Staying w/ ATT for years, Not Going Intl - why would I buy a phone outright?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by nostresshere, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    People keep talking about buying a phone, unlocked when they become available. If I know I will be staying with ATT for years to come, and I know I am not going to travel intl, why should I pay out $750 - or whatever upfront?

    Please help me understand the logic here.

    I could care less about a contract - have been with them for 10+ years.
    I am not concerned with intl.
    I really do not see myself selling a phone.
  2. oldwren macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    This has been my thought process, too. I'm still on the tail end of a 2-year contract with them, and I think I'm going to switch to their Next program next month. I've heard people saying it's a big waste of money, that you should just buy outright, but honestly, I can't figure out how it's a bad deal. You pay for 60% of the phone over one year, then get a new one, all while keeping a pre-subsidy plan. I fail to see how it's a bad option. Anyone have thoughts?
  3. juanrp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2014
    Even if you don't go intl or are planning to switch carriers, you still have that flexibility.

    You feel a sense of freedom from being off contract (like I am)
    You never know if you have to ever travel outside the continental US.
    some people sell their phones to afford the new one. Unlocked phones can be sold from way more than a carrier locked phone.

    But you're right - whether you pay $649 unlocked (16GB) it's sill the same phone as the $199 option with contract.

    It's all personal preference.
  4. jlake02 macrumors 68020


    Nov 2, 2008
    I agree with the OP.

    With AT&T Next you're not under contract for the service and you can quit any time. Sure you'd have to purchase your phone in order to leave, but how is that different than just purchasing it to begin with?

    0% financing and a new phone each year? Yeah, I'm switching to Next for the iPhone 6.
  5. oldwren macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    I forgot it was month-to-month, device aside. I'm sold.
  6. mac.cali macrumors 65816

    Mar 16, 2012
    If I was able to keep my unlimited data and finance a phone, I would. Dam you Verizon. Should of stuck with AT&T.
  7. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Because people like the fact that they can leave their carrier if they want to.

    Take your post though and read back through it. Substitute the word "Sprint" for "AT&T" in your post and see if your opinion might change. Considering the hate that is out there for Sprint, it might.

    I'm a 15 year Sprint customer (1999). Sprint has been my first and only cell carrier, I have never been on another. So, I see things much the same way you do. The only difference is that with Sprint paying full price does not mean an unlocked phone, it means contract free.
  8. Eileen89 macrumors 65816

    Aug 12, 2014
    That stinks how Verizon won't even allow their UL data customers to use EDGE. I have an UL data plan with AT&T and currently have the option to use either NEXT or a full subsidy upgrade and keep my UL plan.
  9. mattster16 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2004
    It's kind of like the whole buying outright/financing/leasing a car thing. Some people have strong opinions about which is the best way to go. In reality, all these different methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Same with buying a cell phone. Do what makes sense for you.
  10. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Yep, everyone has their own opinion. Unless you need help buying the phone and have to use Next, I would just pay outright for the phone and be done with it. I have been with ATT forever but no longer under contract.

    To each his own.
  11. Ledsteplin macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2013
    Florence, AL
    Next is a rip off IMHO. They're pushing that plan hard for one reason. They will make more money and the consumer will pay for it. Also, if you upgrade before the phone is paid in full, you lose the old phone. You can't keep it and sell it or whatever. They will keep it and sell it as a refurb. I have Verizon, but I'm staying away from their Edge plan. I'm happy with the More Everything Plan i have my 4 phones on.
  12. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    ATT NEXT has one purpose!

    NEXT will allow people who can not pay cash for their phone a way to buy the hardware under installments.
  13. nostresshere thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    Please explain more to me.

    If I go NEXT, I have the option of paying over an extended time period. If I want another phone next year, I can

    a) Continue with the next plan on a new phone (they take back my old one)
    b) Pay off the NEXT phone and sell it, etc (same cost as if I bought it upfront)

    What am I missing here?
  14. Ledsteplin macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2013
    Florence, AL
    Yes, it will. And if that were my only option financially, I'd do it if I wanted a new phone. But carriers are not offering those installment deals out of the goodness of their hearts. They stand to make a huge killing on those plans. And consumers will pay for it. My point is if you are able to go with the 2 year subsidized contract plan, you'd come out better in the long run. They are banking on most Next users upgrading every year. So the carrier keeps the old phone and sells it as a refurb. That's a big loss there to the user. If you upgrade after paying 60% in 1 year, you have to turn your phone in. So you have paid maybe $400 on a phone you can't keep. I don't see that as a good deal. But, as stated, I'd do it if it were my only option.
  15. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    You aren't missing anything, that is exactly how Next works. I honestly don't understand how Next is a ripoff, to me the Subsidized plan is a rip off, I sign a contract and pay an extra $25 per month even AFTER the phone is paid for, how is that a better deal? At least under the Next Program, once the device is paid for, it is paid for.
  16. oldwren macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Exactly. If you exchange it after 12 mos, you've only paid for 60% of the device. The other 40% amounts to what you would make from selling it on eBay anyhow.
  17. ricktat macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2013
    If you search the 300 threads about this you will find that the overall expense is the same over a 2 year period no matter what plan you go with or how often you trade in your phone.

    There are so many factors like resale value and how often you want to trade but the house always wins.

    ATT will still get your money, no matter what version you do. If you feel happy, then be happy.

    Some people feel better with $199 and contract, some feel better with NEXT, and others just want to pay cash. ATT will still make money on you. The expense lost or saved will be within $200 over 2 years... even if you have 4 lines.
  18. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    If you're on the MS Value 10GB plan or higher, the 2-year contract is more expensive.

    Again, you can do whatever you want with your Next phone as long as you pay it off. You are not required to trade it in to AT&T. If you want to sell it on CL or ebay or swappa and use the amount to pay off the balance, you can.

    That said, the trade-in value through AT&T Next appears to be in line with what you can get from trade-in sites like Gazelle.

    iPhone 5s

    AT&T Next 12
    16GB $260
    32GB $300
    64GB $340


    16GB $300 unlocked / $265 locked
    32GB $310 unlocked / $275 locked
    64GB $325 unlocked / $285 locked

    16GB $315 unlocked / $280 locked
    32GB $325 unlocked / $290 locked
    64GB $350 unlocked / $300 locked
  19. ricktat macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2013
    A guy at work told me that he wouldn't do NEXT because he doesn't buy insurance and if they phone breaks, he will still have to make payments on a broken phone... I told him that if his 2 year contract phone breaks that he still has to pay the contract.... and if he breaks the phone he paid $649 cash for that he is still out $649
  20. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    For us, with 4 iPhones (32GB) and staggered upgrades, it's $1,200 saved over a 2 year span either buying outright or Next versus signing a 2-year contract.
  21. mattster16 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2004
    I guess I don't see how it is a 'rip-off'. You are just essentially financing the phone at 0% interest. If you can get 0% financing on something you'd be dumb not to take it, even if you can pay cash upfront. Take that money and invest it instead and you will come out ahead - assuming you don't make a horrible investment decision.

    If you decide you no longer want AT&T or Next you can just pay the phone balance off at any time and be done with it. Then you own the phone and can do whatever you want with it. You aren't paying additional finance charges or fees by using Next.

    Yeah AT&T will make money on people trading in early and surrendering their phone. Some out of stupidity, some willingly. Some people will willingly always have an additional monthly fee to have a new phone and that's ok. Just like some people will lease a car and always have a payment to have a new car all the time. Some people think cable TV is a necessity and some don't. Some people play video games and some think it is a waste of money. People can choose to spend their money however they want.
  22. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    Obviously if you are staying with att buying outright might not be the best move. Those that buy outright are usually moving to another carrier, or want the flexibility to do so.
  23. sixxmum macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2010
    For one person, staying on the regular subsidy is probably = or < in cost. But, for a family that is currently paying $15 a month per phone on a family plan, it is more.

    Looking at 2 year cost, just for the 2 phones we plan to switch right now:

    If I buy 2 new phones outright, the cost is $1300 and then 2 years of service at $15 a month per line for $720. This gives us no commitment and the phone can be sold whenever. Total of $2020

    If I use Next, the cost is $1300 (spread out over 18 payments) and then 2 years of service at $15 a month per line. This can be paid off any time after month 2 and then we own the phone, can sell it, and have no commitment. Total of $2020.

    If I use the subsidy, the up front cost is about $460 ($199 per phone plus $30 upgrade fee), and then the per line cost goes up to $40 a month (2 years = $1920). This requires a two year commitment. At the end of two years, we can sell the phones. Total of $2380.

    Because AT&T agents have given conflicting answers about whether upgrading 2 phones on the plan will result in losing the $25 discount on all the phones still in contract, the subsidy option could potentially be another $150 a month for us, because we have 8 phones on the plan.

    I've been told 2x that we can upgrade using Next and not lose the $25 discount on the other 6 lines, but am going to ask again and try to get that in writing before we decide. If that's not the case, then we will buy outright. If it is the case, then we will probably do Next, primarily because we can preorder and I'm not able to stand in line.
  24. Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011
    No offense but in what universe would someone not expect to pay for their cellphone server and/or phone, as well as the company providing it making a profit? Of course AT&T will make money.

    As for Next I don't see the flexibility it provides ever being a negative. You can keep the device, sell the device, turn in the device... whatever you want. With a contract you either wait for upgrade eligibility, pay a higher price for a partial upgrade eligibility, or pay an early termination fee that decreases each month but never matches exactly what is owed on the device like Next.

    To me contracts are only useful for people who are okay with two generations old devices. The device you get for free on a contract but still sell for $400 outright. But even then you are stuck on a two year contract with a device only the Smithsonian will want when completed.

  25. ricktat macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2013

    That was directed at people calling NEXT a rip off.

    I will be doing month

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