Switch from ATT Next to Apple Upgrade Program

redman042

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 13, 2008
2,912
1,361
Just finished reading about Apple's new iPhone Upgrade Program, and it appears to be a better deal all around, in comparison to AT&T Next. Comparison:

I'm now paying $42.45/mo for a 64GB iPhone 6+ without Apple Care. I can swap every 12 months. The phone is locked to AT&T until it's paid off (which is never, since I would upgrade each year).

With Apple, I'd pay $40.75/mo for the same phone. I would get Apple Care + bundled in the price. The phone is unlocked, which is great if I travel. Also, if I want to preorder, I don't have to deal with AT&T, which invariably has much longer preorder queues when a new iPhone is released.

Two questions:
  1. Am I missing anything here that would affect this comparison?
  2. How do I easily transition from AT&T Next to Apple? Can I just preorder the new iPhones through Apple's Upgrade Program, then go to an AT&T store and hand in my existing phones and be removed from the Next program? I will have completed 12 of 20 monthly installments, and I'm eligible for a phone swap now, but I just want to instead hand in the old phones and end the Next program, so that I can switch to Apple. I will preorder through Apple first, then return my old phones to AT&T after I have the new iPhone in hand.
 

Seth Matthews

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2015
430
240
The Ether
  1. How do I easily transition from AT&T Next to Apple? Can I just preorder the new iPhones through Apple's Upgrade Program, then go to an AT&T store and hand in my existing phones and be removed from the Next program? I will have completed 12 of 20 monthly installments, and I'm eligible for a phone swap now, but I just want to instead hand in the old phones and end the Next program, so that I can switch to Apple. I will preorder through Apple first, then return my old phones to AT&T after I have the new iPhone in hand.
Curious about this as well.
 
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powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,735
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I would have liked to see the option available online. I actually don't have an interest in 'upgrading," as I pass my phone down. However, for the small payments and included Apple Care, I would still be interested.
 

AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Sep 21, 2008
4,394
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This news has a lot of questions for many people.

You have to have a valid US credit card and is available to qualified customers. You must open an installment loan from a bank that they have setup to do this.
 

caligurl

macrumors 68040
Jun 8, 2009
3,194
1,025
socal
my assumption is you will have to pay off your current NEXT phone (and then sell it) and then start the plan with apple.

they are both separate from one another.

at&t MAY allow you to pay off your final payment needed for an upgrade, and still turn in the phone.... but I don't see them being that generous. they are going to want to keep you with them.... we'll see, though
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,735
159
I would have liked to see the option available online. I actually don't have an interest in 'upgrading," as I pass my phone down. However, for the small payments and included Apple Care, I would still be interested.
 

EnJaNir

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2011
103
29
61114
You aren't comparing apples to apples

Next 12 is the (Phone MSRP)/20 where you can upgrade every 12 months
Apple Upgrade is (Phone MSRP)/24 where you can upgrade every 12 months

Next 12: 849/20= $42.45
Next 18: 849/24 = $35.38
Next 24: 849/30 = $28.30

Apple: 849/24 = $40.75

After 12 months
Next 18: $424.56
Apple Upgrade: $486

Apple Upgrade will cost you $64.44 more after 12 months or $128.88 after 24 months.

Assuming you normally purchase applecare ($99.00), you will pay $29.88 more with Apple Upgrade to enjoy an unlocked phone on day 1 vs day 731.
 
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TB07-NJ

macrumors 68020
Jul 7, 2008
2,324
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FORMERLY NJ now FL
You aren't comparing apples to apples

Next 12 is the (Phone MSRP)/20 where you can upgrade every 12 months
Apple Upgrade is (Phone MSRP)/24 where you can upgrade every 12 months

Next 12: 849/20= $42.45
Next 18: 849/24 = $35.38
Next 24: 849/30 = $28.30

Apple: 849/24 = $40.75

After 12 months
Next 18: $424.56
Apple Upgrade: $486

Apple Upgrade will cost you $64.44 more after 12 months or $128.88 after 24 months.

Assuming you normally purchase applecare ($99.00), you will pay $29.88 more with Apple Upgrade to enjoy an unlocked phone on day 1 vs day 731.

Under this program does Apple guarantee the new phones will be delivered on the first day they are available every year or is it still a "wait in line or pot luck pre-order" deal? I can see a lot of people doing this (right, wrong or otherwise) just to get it first day if that's the deal.
 

xman1102

macrumors member
Sep 9, 2013
35
10
This news has a lot of questions for many people.

You have to have a valid US credit card and is available to qualified customers. You must open an installment loan from a bank that they have setup to do this.
Does this mean I can't use my debit card?

I'm using AT&T Go on an unlocked Google Nexus and have been planning on going to AT&T Next for my family with new IPhones.

What I'm curious about, does it matter if I go through AT&T or Apple when buying the phones? Does Apple give some type of discount when buying the phones and singing up with Next?

I also have a 25% employee discount I was planning on using with Next. I'll need to do the math on what is cheaper. Using Go or an AT&T plan.
 

duaneu

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2010
675
211
Bellevue, WA
I don't think you can just give the old phone back to AT&T if you're not trading it for another phone. You'll probably have to just pay it off and sell it yourself.
 

Mr D

macrumors 6502
Oct 11, 2007
342
159
Looking at the 6s+ ... all of the options are the same in terms of % paid.

For example

The 128GB is MSRP $949

Apple Upgrade is $47.45/month
AT&T Next 12 is also exactly $47.45/month

So if you plan to upgrade every year, the Apple upgrade is better since it's the same price but includes Apple Care+

HOWEVER - if you plan to pay out the phone...

Apple Upgrade with $100 Apple Care+
$47.45 x 24 = $1138.80

AT&T Next 12 without $100 Apple Care+
47.45 x 20 = $949

(with Apple Care that would be $1049)
 

redman042

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 13, 2008
2,912
1,361
You aren't comparing apples to apples

Next 12 is the (Phone MSRP)/20 where you can upgrade every 12 months
Apple Upgrade is (Phone MSRP)/24 where you can upgrade every 12 months

Next 12: 849/20= $42.45
Next 18: 849/24 = $35.38
Next 24: 849/30 = $28.30

Apple: 849/24 = $40.75

After 12 months
Next 18: $424.56
Apple Upgrade: $486

Apple Upgrade will cost you $64.44 more after 12 months or $128.88 after 24 months.

Assuming you normally purchase applecare ($99.00), you will pay $29.88 more with Apple Upgrade to enjoy an unlocked phone on day 1 vs day 731.
Something is not right with this math. Shouldn't you be comparing Next 12 with Apple Upgrade (not Next 18)? In that case, I'm paying AT&T $509.40 per year ($42.45 * 12) which is $23.40 per year more than I would pay Apple, yet with Apple I get Apple Care +. Both options allow upgrade in 12 months time, so it appears Apple is the better way to go.
 

raoden

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2015
8
1
You aren't comparing apples to apples

Next 12 is the (Phone MSRP)/20 where you can upgrade every 12 months
Apple Upgrade is (Phone MSRP)/24 where you can upgrade every 12 months

Next 12: 849/20= $42.45
Next 18: 849/24 = $35.38
Next 24: 849/30 = $28.30

Apple: 849/24 = $40.75

After 12 months
Next 18: $424.56
Apple Upgrade: $486

Apple Upgrade will cost you $64.44 more after 12 months or $128.88 after 24 months.

Assuming you normally purchase applecare ($99.00), you will pay $29.88 more with Apple Upgrade to enjoy an unlocked phone on day 1 vs day 731.
If I understand right With Next 18 you can upgrade only after 18 installments.

See https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/next.html
"AT&T Next 18: Divided into 24 installments; trade in and upgrade after 18 installments."

Ninja'd by redman042
 

EnJaNir

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2011
103
29
61114
Something is not right with this math. Shouldn't you be comparing Next 12 with Apple Upgrade (not Next 18)? In that case, I'm paying AT&T $509.40 per year ($42.45 * 12) which is $23.40 per year more than I would pay Apple, yet with Apple I get Apple Care +. Both options allow upgrade in 12 months time, so it appears Apple is the better way to go.
I tried to baseline over the same monthly terms (24months) vs time you are able to upgrade to the next phone. I typically give my old phone to my parents and sell their 2yr old phone so I am never trading in a year old phone. But yes you have more equity in the phone via next12 than Apple upgrade at 12 months.

After some additional research it appears applecare+ for the 6s/6sPlus is now 129 vs 99. If you typically buy AppleCare then going through Apple is a better deal because you get an unlocked phone on day 1. If you never buy AppleCare then going through art would be cheaper.
 

NYY FaN

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2009
455
16
New York
technically the Next plan is still cheaper because you're forgetting about the $15 discount they apply to your AT&T monthly bill when you go with the next plan.
 

AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Sep 21, 2008
4,394
2,729
Going to stick with NEXT. I have no plans on switching carriers or need to worry about an unlocked phone. I also don't want to deal with going to a store, signing up for credit approval and having to deal with two billing charges from two different sources. All to save very little money. Not worth it to me.

Order online - done.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,260
1,352
technically the Next plan is still cheaper because you're forgetting about the $15 discount they apply to your AT&T monthly bill when you go with the next plan.
FWIW, they'll give you that $15/month discount if you're on the Next installment plan, or if you've "brought your own phone".

The only time they don't give the $15/month discount is if you use a 2-year contract through them to get the phone.
 

xman1102

macrumors member
Sep 9, 2013
35
10
Going to stick with NEXT. I have no plans on switching carriers or need to worry about an unlocked phone. I also don't want to deal with going to a store, signing up for credit approval and having to deal with two billing charges from two different sources. All to save very little money. Not worth it to me.

Order online - done.
I'm going with Next as well. I get a 25% employee discount that makes this a no brainer.
 

SeanZy

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2008
845
96
Going to stick with NEXT. I have no plans on switching carriers or need to worry about an unlocked phone. I also don't want to deal with going to a store, signing up for credit approval and having to deal with two billing charges from two different sources. All to save very little money. Not worth it to me.

Order online - done.
Agreed. Although I will be upgrading my 6 Plus to a 6S Plus at best Buy because I am already down as number 1 for a preorder on a 128GB ATT Space grey. I am so glad best buy lets you do next switches with them now :cool:
 

xman1102

macrumors member
Sep 9, 2013
35
10
I just need to figure out how to preorder through AT&T Next, when I don't have an account.

Anyone know how I can do that? Preorder 2 iPhone 6S on AT&T Next when I don't have an existing account?
 

EnJaNir

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2011
103
29
61114
To those mentioning the plan discount with next: you get a $15 or $25 discount for owning the phone. As long as you don't sign a 2yr commitment you get that discount.

To those mentioning corporate discounts: I believe most if not all don't provide hardware discounts on Apple and you don't get discounts on next only your base plan. So that makes no difference to your pocketbook if you go next vs Apple.
 

CosmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Nov 8, 2010
1,423
86
South Carolina
Last year, I ordered 2 iPhone 6 models (64GBs). I opted for AT&T's NEXT 12 (20 monthly payments). I've made 12 payments thus far @ $37.45/piece.

Over the course of 12 months, I've paid $449.40 ($37.45 x 12 months) per phone. After 12 payments, I owed $299.60 per phone.

I just sold both phones on nextworth.com for $390 a piece (promo code GETNEWIPHONE). So, I owed $299.60 but sold them for $390. So instead of giving my phones back to AT&T after 12 months to upgrade, I just paid them off and sold them to Nextworth and pocketed the $180 ($90 per phone).

Another way to look at it. I paid $449.40 over the course of 1 year to use each phone. I got $390 back for each phone. So I basically spent $59.40 to use each phone for 1 year!
 
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