Carrier T-Mobile iPhone "not a contract" 2 1/2 year contract

minimo3

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Oct 18, 2010
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The carriers are loving the new “no contract” era. In the past they’d have to eat a $450 phone subsidy every 2 years to get folks to lock in to a contract. In return we got a new phone (no trade in required) for $200 up front. If you sold your old phone privately you’d usually make at least $350 so you’d actually make money.

Nowadays people pay $800-1000+upfront and the carrier doesn’t have to subsidize anything. In fact people think they’re sticking it to the man when they do so! I’m generalizing of course but many of these people usually stick the carrier for years even though they claim they’re not locked into a contract (in general churn rates have stayed about the same or declined since 2008). The carriers are doubly happy that they don’t have to subsidize and yet still get about the same in monthly subscription fees.
 
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pdxmatts

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Jan 12, 2013
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I am with T-Mobile. I sold my SE (2020) on here and no longer have a trade-in. If i did, there is no way in the world I would do that deal. I saw the smoke and mirrors ad. I will buy the mini outright from Apple. A 30 month contract on a cell phone is crazy. If a person has to do a contract like that to be able to get the phone, then I think said person is in financial disaster.
Well, my sister got $530 each trade in credit for her 7+ and husbands 7 for iPhone 12's. (No one is offering older trade ins like that) They keep their phones forever as you can see. So, it was a good deal for them and not crazy at all.

Screen Shot 2020-10-17 at 6.07.51 AM.png
 
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russell_314

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Your way: Pay $800 upfront for an iPhone 12

My way: Get the phone for free. If I want to upgrade next year, I’ll pay $480 for my iPhone 12 then upgrade. If I want to upgrade in 2 years, I’ll pay $160 for my iPhone 12, then upgrade. Or I can keep my iPhone 12 for 2 1/2 years, pay $0 for it.

You can always get out of the 'contract' at any time by paying the remaining balance. My way is ALWAYS financially better.
Still not nearly as good as the deal going on with Verizon. They give $550 over 24 months (Not 30) plus $250 after 2 months. The only downside I can see with this is it only shows for the iPhone 12 or 12 Pro. Maybe the Pro Max will be included once it's available for preorder but IDK

Well it looks like T-mobile is at least attempting to compete with the Verizon deal now because I see they offer a free iPhone 12 or $1000 towards a Pro or Pro max over 24 months (Again not 30). The terms are a bit different than the Verizon deal. You have to pay back the entire amount if you cancel the line so if you canceled at 23 months they would want the $1000 back.

For me I'm already on T-mobile so I don't think that deal would apply to me. I might walk into the Verizon store and see how interested they are in getting a new customer and what deals they can do. If they don't seem interested I might just get an unlocked 12 from Apple and a prepaid SIM card. I probably wouldn't get 5G but I don't have 5G where I am anyways.
 

russell_314

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Well, my sister got $530 each trade in credit for her 7+ and husbands 7 for iPhone 12's. (No one is offering older trade ins like that) They keep their phones forever as you can see. So, it was a good deal for them and not crazy at all.

View attachment 967892
It's not a bad deal if you have kept your phones for that long. The problem is going to come with customers who haven't kept their phones this long but think it's such a good deal so they will do it. Of course they won't keep the phone and that's how T-mobile will make money on this "deal". For your sister this seems like a great deal. If they got these iPhone 7's in 2017 that means they kept them for three years so chances are very high that they will do the same for the iPhone 12
 
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Stolz25

macrumors member
May 14, 2012
88
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The carriers are loving the new “no contract” era. In the past they’d have to eat a $450 phone subsidy every 2 years to get folks to lock in to a contract. In return we got a new phone (no trade in required) for $200 up front. If you sold your old phone privately you’d usually make at least $350 so you’d actually make money.

Nowadays people pay $800-1000+upfront and the carrier doesn’t have to subsidize anything. In fact people think they’re sticking it to the man when they do so! I’m generalizing of course but many of these people usually stick the carrier for years even though they claim they’re not locked into a contract (in general churn rates have stayed about the same or declined since 2008). The carriers are doubly happy that they don’t have to subsidize and yet still get about the same in monthly subscription fees.
You are ignoring a key piece of information here. The monthly charges went down without the phone subsidy. Really, for a person who upgrades every year no question you are probably right, of course you couldn’t do that on 2 year contracts as easily. And switching from one carrier to another was a nightmare to time with contracts and not get killed on fees.

I have 3 other people on my phone plan though, and I am the only one who cares at all about having the latest and greatest phone. Instead of paying a monthly up charge of $15 per month per line for a contract, I’m usually just paying for a single phone payment. For those customers who don’t care much about upgrading, which I think is actually the majority of their customers, this is the far better deal.
 

cdames00

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Mar 19, 2012
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It's not a bad deal if you have kept your phones for that long. The problem is going to come with customers who haven't kept their phones this long but think it's such a good deal so they will do it. Of course they won't keep the phone and that's how T-mobile will make money on this "deal". For your sister this seems like a great deal. If they got these iPhone 7's in 2017 that means they kept them for three years so chances are very high that they will do the same for the iPhone 12
Yeah, but t-mobile confirmed to me that you keep the bill credits as long as the line is active. You can sell the old phone and buy a new one as long as you keep the line active. You just don’t get a trade in deal until the 30 months is up. Nothing precludes you from selling the old phone to offset the cost of next year’s phone.
 

MrMacintoshIII

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Oct 11, 2019
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Yeah, but t-mobile confirmed to me that you keep the bill credits as long as the line is active. You can sell the old phone and buy a new one as long as you keep the line active. You just don’t get a trade in deal until the 30 months is up. Nothing precludes you from selling the old phone to offset the cost of next year’s phone.
Precisely.

In this topic, a lot of people that can‘t navigate the admittedly dense financial legalese.

Essentially loyal T-mobile and Sprint customers (defined by them as 5+ years) are getting $615 off ANY iPhone 12 series for trading in an iPhone 8. $415 in bill credits that will come for 30 months on that line, whether or not you sell your very valuable 12 series phone in a year, or two, or 6 months, as long as you don’t get rid of that line (which we won’t, we all love T-mobile and are loyal now until either they dissolve or Apple creates their own network, and because that line will be used for the iPhone 13 or 14 you buy by selling the 12 you got by creating value out of your worthless iPhone 8 that Apple was going to give $140 for...). $200 in the form of a prepaid debit which is essentially just as good as cash.

So actually, I feel quite sorry for those who refuse to understand what this deal means.

It means I get my Pacific Blue 256gb iPhone 12 Pro on launch day (10/23) for $484 over 30 months, that I can pay off in full ($1099) early at any time for no penalty, while still receiving the 30 months of bill credits on the line, and I’m free to upgrade to whatever phone I want and sell my 12 Pro for full value as long as I pay off the remaining balance in full first, which would be reimbursed over the 30 months...

So if you don’t have excess money floating around and 30 months sounds long to you then I suppose this is a bad deal, but for those of us who are financially savvy this is essentially a loan-free credit check-free 66% discount on a brand new iPhone with no drawback to be seen. And T-mobile has already proven itself in the United States for many years now since its uncarrier movement that it is committed to nonsense-free contracting, and it shows, for those who understand how to look.
 
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cdames00

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2012
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Precisely.

In this topic, a lot of people that can‘t navigate the admittedly dense financial legalese.

Essentially loyal T-mobile and Sprint customers (defined by them as 5+ years) are getting $615 off ANY iPhone 12 series for trading in an iPhone 8. $415 in bill credits that will come for 30 months on that line, whether or not you sell your very valuable 12 series phone in a year, or two, or 6 months, as long as you don’t get rid of that line (which we won’t, we all love T-mobile and are loyal now until either they dissolve or Apple creates their own network, and because that line will be used for the iPhone 13 or 14 you buy by selling the 12 you got by creating value out of your worthless iPhone 8 that Apple was going to give $140 for...). $200 in the form of a prepaid debit which is essentially just as good as cash.

So actually, I feel quite sorry for those who refuse to understand what this deal means.

It means I get my Pacific Blue 256gb iPhone 12 Pro on launch day (10/23) for $484 over 30 months, that I can pay off in full ($1099) early at any time for no penalty, while still receiving the 30 months of bill credits on the line, and I’m free to upgrade to whatever phone I want and sell my 12 Pro for full value as long as I pay off the remaining balance in full first, which would be reimbursed over the 30 months...

So if you don’t have excess money floating around and 30 months sounds long to you then I suppose this is a bad deal, but for those of us who are financially savvy this is essentially a loan-free credit check-free 66% discount on a brand new iPhone with no drawback to be seen. And T-mobile has already proven itself in the United States for many years now since its uncarrier movement that it is committed to nonsense-free contracting, and it shows, for those who understand how to look.
I figure I’ll roughly in the ballpark get 70% of retail for my 12 pro max next year. it’s a no brainer to either pay off the eip balance and redo a new 0% eip loan for whatever the new iPhone is or just buy it outright with the sale of the 12 pro max offsetting quite a bit of that cost. Especially considering t-mobile will be subsidizing a part of my monthly bill for an additional 18 months or so.
 

russell_314

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Yeah, but t-mobile confirmed to me that you keep the bill credits as long as the line is active. You can sell the old phone and buy a new one as long as you keep the line active. You just don’t get a trade in deal until the 30 months is up. Nothing precludes you from selling the old phone to offset the cost of next year’s phone.
Wait I might be confused. You get 30 monthly refund payments based on keeping the iPhone 12 and not paying it off. When you say "Nothing precludes you from selling the old phone" you mean the iPhone 12 say in 2021 when the iPhone 12S comes out? I'd be willing to bet that while you might be able to pop your SIM into another phone you can't pay off the 12 early to get it unlocked or sell it without losing the remainder of your refund. I had this issue with a similar refund with Verizon where a trade in refund was credited to my account in 24 monthly payments and I paid it off 6 months early. By doing this I lost 1/4 of my refund but at the time I just wanted it done.

Maybe the T-mobile deal is different but before you do anything be sure to see that part of the contract in writing and get a copy. They can tell you whatever verbally and it doesn't mean anything if something else is in writing. I know when they tell you to sign on the credit card reader for the contract it's easy just to sign because lets face it you're getting a new phone and you want to have it now. They might get impatient with you but oh well they want you to sign something so you have a right to read what you're signing.
 

C DM

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Oct 17, 2011
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The carriers are loving the new “no contract” era. In the past they’d have to eat a $450 phone subsidy every 2 years to get folks to lock in to a contract. In return we got a new phone (no trade in required) for $200 up front. If you sold your old phone privately you’d usually make at least $350 so you’d actually make money.

Nowadays people pay $800-1000+upfront and the carrier doesn’t have to subsidize anything. In fact people think they’re sticking it to the man when they do so! I’m generalizing of course but many of these people usually stick the carrier for years even though they claim they’re not locked into a contract (in general churn rates have stayed about the same or declined since 2008). The carriers are doubly happy that they don’t have to subsidize and yet still get about the same in monthly subscription fees.
Well, they just reworked the contracts really now by offering discounts that are stretched over long periods of needing to be with the carrier to get them.
 

cdames00

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2012
76
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Wait I might be confused. You get 30 monthly refund payments based on keeping the iPhone 12 and not paying it off. When you say "Nothing precludes you from selling the old phone" you mean the iPhone 12 say in 2021 when the iPhone 12S comes out? I'd be willing to bet that while you might be able to pop your SIM into another phone you can't pay off the 12 early to get it unlocked or sell it without losing the remainder of your refund. I had this issue with a similar refund with Verizon where a trade in refund was credited to my account in 24 monthly payments and I paid it off 6 months early. By doing this I lost 1/4 of my refund but at the time I just wanted it done.

Maybe the T-mobile deal is different but before you do anything be sure to see that part of the contract in writing and get a copy. They can tell you whatever verbally and it doesn't mean anything if something else is in writing. I know when they tell you to sign on the credit card reader for the contract it's easy just to sign because lets face it you're getting a new phone and you want to have it now. They might get impatient with you but oh well they want you to sign something so you have a right to read what you're signing.
youre now comparing apples to oranges. Verizon and T-Mobile are different organizations with different terms. I received my information directly from t-mobile. You are taking your experience with Verizon and attempting to apply it to t-mobile, and that’s a faulty premise.
 

russell_314

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youre now comparing apples to oranges. Verizon and T-Mobile are different organizations with different terms. I received my information directly from t-mobile. You are taking your experience with Verizon and attempting to apply it to t-mobile, and that’s a faulty premise.
Did you read my whole post or just the first sentence? “Maybe the T-mobile deal is different but before you do anything be sure to see that part of the contract in writing and get a copy.”.

I was explaining my experience with Verizon and then said T-mobile might be different. My main point was to read the fine print in writing rather than depending on what someone said.
 

kevink2

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Nov 2, 2008
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I might be reading the deal wrong, but I didn’t think it was attached to the phone, but to the line. If you pay off the phone early and change phones but keep the line I think you still will get the billing credits. Can anyone verify how it works one way or the other?
Which is better than ATT, where you pay off the phone you stop receiving credits. Even if you remain on the plan.
 
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russell_314

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Which is better than ATT, where you pay off the phone you stop receiving credits. Even if you remain on the plan.
I agree. Having it linked to the phone service is more like the traditional contract where you had a penalty to get out of. Most people don’t need to switch carriers as often as they do phones
 

PaladinGuy

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Sep 22, 2014
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Still not nearly as good as the deal going on with Verizon. They give $550 over 24 months (Not 30) plus $250 after 2 months. The only downside I can see with this is it only shows for the iPhone 12 or 12 Pro. Maybe the Pro Max will be included once it's available for preorder but IDK

Well it looks like T-mobile is at least attempting to compete with the Verizon deal now because I see they offer a free iPhone 12 or $1000 towards a Pro or Pro max over 24 months (Again not 30). The terms are a bit different than the Verizon deal. You have to pay back the entire amount if you cancel the line so if you canceled at 23 months they would want the $1000 back.

For me I'm already on T-mobile so I don't think that deal would apply to me. I might walk into the Verizon store and see how interested they are in getting a new customer and what deals they can do. If they don't seem interested I might just get an unlocked 12 from Apple and a prepaid SIM card. I probably wouldn't get 5G but I don't have 5G where I am anyways.
Is this Verizon deal only for new customers?
 

pdxmatts

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Jan 12, 2013
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Portland, OR
It's not a bad deal if you have kept your phones for that long. The problem is going to come with customers who haven't kept their phones this long but think it's such a good deal so they will do it. Of course they won't keep the phone and that's how T-mobile will make money on this "deal". For your sister this seems like a great deal. If they got these iPhone 7's in 2017 that means they kept them for three years so chances are very high that they will do the same for the iPhone 12
So, my sister sent me the emails in regards to the deal and signing the contract. I am kind of concerned because she received one stating the trade in value for her 7 and 7+ are $55 and $78, not the $530 that showed when they checked out.
 

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cdames00

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2012
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So, my sister sent me the emails in regards to the deal and signing the contract. I am kind of concerned because she received one stating the trade in value for her 7 and 7+ are $55 and $78, not the $530 that showed when they checked out.
The way that has worked for me is, they take that trade in value and apply it to taxes and down payments, they then subtract that smaller amount from the promotional trade in value, which is then given as bill credits.
 

Stolz25

macrumors member
May 14, 2012
88
3
So, my sister sent me the emails in regards to the deal and signing the contract. I am kind of concerned because she received one stating the trade in value for her 7 and 7+ are $55 and $78, not the $530 that showed when they checked out.
I got a similar email, and I called them back to ask some questions. They assured me that the discount was properly applied in their system despite the trade in value discrepancy.
 
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pdxmatts

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I got a similar email, and I called them back to ask some questions. They assured me that the discount was properly applied in their system despite the trade in value discrepancy.
Thank you! With ATT's deal, you need to put in a special code when you trade it in, so I wasn't sure if that was the same with T-Mobile.
 

russell_314

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So, my sister sent me the emails in regards to the deal and signing the contract. I am kind of concerned because she received one stating the trade in value for her 7 and 7+ are $55 and $78, not the $530 that showed when they checked out.
That is weird but maybe it is to cover the tax as someone said. I will say T-mobile has the best customer service in my experience so what Ido for questions like this is iMessage them. This way I have some record and six months later when I forgot I can look back.
 

roflc0pter

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Jul 16, 2010
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Exactly what I thought when I saw the bill credits was split into 30 months instead of the usual 24

T-Mobile has really gone downhill since John Legere left along with the Sprint merger
 
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JUCJ85

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Mar 29, 2011
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My point stands. If the average person (not with T-Mobile for 20 years etc.) needs to finance an iPhone for 30 months in order to be able to afford the payments (phone), said person is in over his or her financial head and needs to strongly consider cutting back.
I finance all of my iPhone's or iPad's through ATT, I personally can't come up with the money upfront for a device, I'm surprised many can, a lot of people in the US don't make enough money to buy an iPhone or iPad outright, doesn't mean they're financially in over their head, things like ATT Next gives people who can't buy it outright an opportunity to get the device they want. I agree a 30 month commitment is not really fair to people if not able to upgrade, but for ATT, you used to be able to do ATT Next Every 12 Months, but now you have to pay $5 a month, seems unfair, but at least they have an option to get a new device every year, me, I keep my iPhone's for 2yrs or more, so it's not a big deal to me.
 
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russell_314

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Exactly what I thought when I saw the bill credits was split into 30 months instead of the usual 24

T-Mobile has really gone downhill since John Legere left along with the Sprint merger
I was hoping the Sprint merger would mean a better network but it doesn't seem like it. I bet they have not merged the networks but instead keeping customers on their original networks. There are so many places here where T-mobile gets no signal but my friends on other networks don't have an issue.
 

kevink2

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Nov 2, 2008
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I was hoping the Sprint merger would mean a better network but it doesn't seem like it. I bet they have not merged the networks but instead keeping customers on their original networks. There are so many places here where T-mobile gets no signal but my friends on other networks don't have an issue.
I've read that they have been opening up roaming on T-Mobile for Sprint (depends on phone). Doesn't happen immediately.
 

ght56

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2020
188
102
I did the $700 off an iPhone 11 Pro. It's a perfectly legit deal. They just take the savings, divide it by 24 (or 30), and subtract the amount each month off your bill.

More or less if they are giving you an iPhone for nearly free, it's reasonable for them to want you to use their services for a set period of time. It's just structured differently than subsidized contracts.

Why on earth anyone would pay full retail for an iPhone is beyond me...unless they were loaded. I mean, if I was banking seven figures and living on Wall Street and doing cocaine off the rumps of escorts I suppose a free iPhone would not matter.
 
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