Subsidized or Unsubsidized

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by XedLos, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. XedLos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    #1
    Ok so i have a 3gs that i bought without a plan. I now want to get a iphone 4. I know it would be cheaper to upgrade and get a subsidized or unsubzidized phone. I currently have a unlimited data plan which is not for smartphones but it still works. I want to keep this unlimited data. So in the long term am i better staying with a 2yr contract or buying an unsubsidized phone.
     
  2. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    Either choice won't affect your data plan....or shouldn't. The fact that it's not a smartphone plan perplexes me (as my iPhone data doesn't work with my BB smartphone plan.)

    Financially the subsidized phone is the smarter move. Unsubsidized is like leaving $400 laying in the street and walking right past it. Makes no sense.
     
  3. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #3
    In the US, buying unsubsidized iPhone 4 is a rather poor decision. The main reason is that the point of getting unsubsidized phone is to get it unlocked so you can you it with other carriers in the US and outside the country when you travel.

    For some odd reason, unsubsidized iPhone in the US is still locked to AT&T whereas UK and (looks like) Canada, as well as the rest of the world will have a factory unlocked iPhone 4 sold directly by Apple at full price.

    I beg to differ, I have Nexus One and maybe because of where I'm from, I am not used to purchase a locked phone at subsidized rate as it hinders my ability to freely use it wherever I want (especially when I travel). Plus I do change my phone every year and having to deal with contracts that are not expired, ETF, and mobile phone company is a waste of time. If I can't afford $599/$699 for a full priced phone NOW, I probably should NOT purchase that luxury item and wait for more disposable income ;)

    If Apple is selling iPhone 4 fully unlocked and no commitment in the US, I will gladly get that at a heartbeat.

    PS: Yes there is unofficial unlock from Dev Team but participating in cat and mouse game for 3 years is enough
     
  4. 7racer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    #4
    I was thinking about purchasing this unsubsidized because it is actually cheaper to pay the full fee now then the cancellation fee from ATT within the 2 years of the contract.....

    However, this is only beneficial if a verizon version really materializes.

    Has anyone been able to find a way to pay for this at the unsubsidized price? It won't allow that option on the website.
     
  5. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    I'm specifically speaking of AT&T. So yeah, it's a poor decision on AT&T if you just do the math. But on other carriers, that may not be the case.

    No, it's not. Let me do some quick math for you....

    Scanario w/ AT&T service averaging $75/month

    Unsubsidized iPhone 4 32GB = $599
    Activation fee = $36
    approximate cost of 2 years of service on AT&T = $1836
    Total = $2436

    Subsidized iPhone 4 32GB = $299
    Activation fee = $36
    approximate cost of 2 years of service on AT&T = $1836
    Total = $2136

    Savings = $300


    Here's a scenario assuming you buy the phone and cancel after 4 months of service - same average $75 a month

    Unsubsidized iPhone 4 32GB = $599
    Activation fee = $36
    4 months service = $300
    Total = $935

    Subsidized iPhone 4 32GB = $299
    Activation fee = $36
    4 months service = $300
    ETF = $285 ($325-$40 prorated @ 4 months)
    Total = $920

    Savings = $15
    Now, if you cancel sooner the difference is even smaller, possibly $5-$10 negative. Pretty much negligible. If you cancel later, the savings grow.

    As you can see, with the new ETF things are evened out. The difference is, if you never cancel your AT&T service, you miss out on $300. If you cancel your service, you pay pretty close to the same amount, maybe even save a few bucks if your later in your contract. But you keep more of your money in your pocket longer in the subsidized scenario instead of giving it to AT&T up front.

    So when it comes to unsubsidized phones from AT&T, it's pointless. Only users that happen to be in the US and need to pick up an iPhone right away to unlock later should be buying unsubsidized from AT&T. Anything else is illogical.
     

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