To Join AT&T Next or Stay Off-Contract... Help

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SR71, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. SR71 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Okay, so I upgrade my iPhone yearly whenever the latest one is released. I currently have a Verizon iPhone 6 64GB on AT&T with no contract (I always buy the Verizon model because it works on any network therefore having a higher resale when it comes time to sell it for the new one).

    My question is: should I continue doing what I do every year and just sell my current phone to buy the new one for full price OR should I sell my current iPhone 6 when the 6S is out and switch to AT&T Next 12?

    I bought the iPhone 6 for $750 + tax and I'm hoping to sell it for around $500 and put that towards the iPhone 6S. That's assuming the resale price doesn't drop too much on the iPhone 6 come release day. This would leave me losing about $250-300. Switching to AT&T Next 12 when the 6S comes out would leave me paying $37.50/month ($450 after 12 months + $15 upgrade fee = $475 to own the 6S) for 12 months (basing this off the price of monthly payments for a 64GB iPhone 6 on Next 12).

    Price wise staying off contract is looking more appealing, but I'd have to go through the whole selling process and it may take longer than I anticipate to sell my iPhone 6. Going for Next 12 would be easier and quicker but more expensive and in the end I'd be paying to rent a phone essentially. What do you guys think I should do?
     
  2. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #2
    The choice is yours. I prefer to stay off contract and buy outright. Some can not afford that and it works for them.
     
  3. dcgore macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #3
    AT&T next is a zero percent loan over the course of a predetermined amount of time. I am sure you can find better use for your money than paying ~$800 bucks up front.

    You can always payoff your phone under next and sell it conventionally. You will have an available upgrade as soon as you pay your phone off. Turning your phone into AT&T is definitely the worst deal. You can get more money for it else where as you highlighted. The good thing to know is that you have a 'buyer' for your phone in AT&T no matter what (given the phone is in good working condition). If you don't get the money you want on craigslist, swappa, ebay, etc, you just give AT&T your current phone and get to take on the new one.

    *Note: Once you payoff your phone with AT&T there is no going back. So you must be sure you want to own the device outright when doing so.
     
  4. SR71 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    That's another thing I was thinking. While I can afford to buy outright, not having to spend all that money up front would be nice. On the other hand paying for AT&T Next would end up being significantly more expensive than just selling my iPhone and buying the new phone. And on top of that I wouldn't own the phone with AT&T.

    For example, let's assume I actually only end up selling my iPhone 6 for $400 (super lowball offer). I'd then upgrade to an iPhone 6S Plus 64GB ($850). $850-400=$450 total spent for a new iPhone 6S Plus. The same iPhone 6S Plus would cost $510 over the course of 12 months ($42.50/month). And then presumably that's how much it'd cost for subsequent years to upgrade. The difference is with this year I could put the money made from selling my current iPhone 6 towards the 12 months of payments and it would pay for nearly all of it.

    I plan on upgrading my Mac once the Skylake Mac's are out, so this money that I'd normally spend on the iPhone could be saved for that and it'd definitely be helpful. Gah, I'm at a loss for what I should do. For the first year paying for Next wouldn't be as expensive, but for the following years it'd be more expensive.
     
  5. dcgore macrumors member

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    New York, NY
    #5
    If pay off the phone at month 12, you will effectively pay the same 850, just 12 months later. You will end up getting the same amount of money for the phone when you sell it on your own whether you buy it up front or pay it off 12 months later. It is the same exact device.
     
  6. nostresshere macrumors 68030

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #6

    EXACTLY.

    And, you have the back up option to turn it into ATT and upgrade.
     
  7. SR71 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    The thing is, I wouldn't be paying off the phone after 12 months. That's just the point at which I'd be able to upgrade to a new phone. I wouldn't actually own the phone until 18 months of payments have gone by. Maybe I'm not understanding it correctly, but it seems like you guys are saying Next is my best option. Is that correct? For some reason that just seems like it'd be the more expensive option.
     
  8. febernovo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    #8
    I have a doubt about Next. I always buy my iPhone's through T-Mobile, pay full price and end up with a fully unlocked iPhone, currently using AT&T as my carrier.

    Let's say I choose to do Next (Much prefer to alleviate the upgrade cost in 12 months) would I have the option to "Unlock" the "Next" iPhone once I have payed it off?

    Or would this device be locked to AT&T?
     
  9. SR71 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Yes, so long as the phone is fully paid off you can unlock it. You just have to be aware that the AT&T Next 12 (and Next 18, and Next 24 Plans) don't actually mean you'll have paid it off in 12, 18, or 24 months respectively. Those numbers just indicate the amount of months between when you can upgrade. So for Next 12 you can upgrade every 12 months, but should you not choose to upgrade you can keep paying the phone off and by 18 months of payments you'll have paid the phone off.

    I essentially do what you do: I buy my phone full price from Verizon and that way it's unlocked to work with all US networks (except Sprint).
     
  10. dcgore macrumors member

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    Jul 21, 2011
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    New York, NY
    #10
    You can pay off the phone whenever, the next day after buying it on the next program if you want...you don't have to wait 18 months. You just have to have the money.

    Unlocked phones from Apple work on all four carriers, all the radios are included. I bought a 6 plus unlocked from the apple store and was using it on Verizon, now i am on AT&T.
     
  11. SR71 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Yes I understand that. One thing that isn't clear about the Next 12 plan is whether a full year has passed between iPhone releases. For example, say I buy the iPhone 6S on AT&T Next 12 on September 18th, 2015 and then a year later the iPhone 7 comes out on September 14th, 2016. Between those two dates a full 12 months has not passed. Would I still be able to upgrade or would I have to wait till a year has gone by?

    If that's the case then I'd miss out on the preorders thus reducing my chances of getting a phone on launch day. Does AT&T have a way of handling this? Do they give you a few days of leeway between yearly upgrades?
     
  12. ricktat macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    #12
    NEXT also has a 30% down payment option now. So you can pay 30% now and have a lower payment that is divided over 28 months and still leaves the option to upgrade at 12 months. This still costs exactly the same as paying cash or any other NEXT plan but, your payment and payoff will be lower. I just did a deal at Best buy where they give you $200 gift card for adding a new line to NEXT. I was able to use the $200 gift card as the 30% down and the payment is $16 instead of $31. Just sounds better when you keep adding lines and want to keep the monthly expense manageable.
     
  13. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #13
    Correction, Next 12 is paid off after 20 months, not 18. Here's the pay off for the different Next plans:

    Next 12: 12 months upgrade with trade-in; 20 months paid-off (40% effective residual value)
    Next 18: 18 months upgrade with trade-in; 24 months paid-off (25% effective residual value)
    Next 24: 24 months upgrade with trade-in; 30 months paid-off (20% effective residual value)

    You don't have to wait the full year. You do, however, need to have made 12 months worth of payments. Heck you can do a Next 12 upgrade/trade-in at month 6 - you just need to make an extra 6 months of installment payments. No idea how AT&T's servers are going to handle that, though, since this is the first time a lot of people will be upgrading using Next.
     
  14. SR71 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Yup was just doing some more research and realized I got the months wrong. That was my bad. Also read up on the upgrade process and you're correct, as long as you pay 12 installments you can upgrade. I think I'm gonna end up doing the Next 12 program after getting a little more clarification on all this.
     
  15. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #15
    (1) Although the policy is to not allow unlocks when there is still money due on the installment plan, it seems ATT still honors unlock requests very often. I had my iPhone6 unlocked by ATT after 3 months on Next.

    (2) There are literally no downsides to doing the Next financing, as compared to buying outright. But there is one big upside, the 0% loan gives you liquidity and could end up saving you a bit of money.
     
  16. rui no onna, Aug 14, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015

    rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #16
    Not really. Buying outright means you can buy the Verizon or factory unlocked version which generally fetches a slightly higher resale price compared to the AT&T version. Also, a lot of credit cards (well, at least all the ones I have) offer extended warranty coverage for devices bought with that credit card - something that you lose if you go the financing route. Granted, I think Wells Fargo covers your phone if you pay your monthly cellphone bill with a Wells Fargo credit card.

    EDIT:
    So for kicks, I tried to see what would happen if I try to upgrade now. Here's the message I got:

    So I guess for folks interested on doing online pre-order with Next trade-in upgrade, make sure you have the 12 months balance paid off before pre-ordering goes live.
     
  17. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #17
    The Verizon and ATT models are identical, except for the carrier lock. They're both Model A1549 (for iPhone6). If you unlock the ATT model, it is indistinguishable from the Verizon model, they're both capable of connecting to all the same LTE bands. http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/ . So in terms of resale price, so long as you get it unlocked before you sell it, the price is the same. No one has to know it was once locked to ATT a long long time ago. When I sell my iPhone6, I will list it as unlocked and compatible with ATT, Verizon, and Tmobile - which is a true statement.

    As for credit card extended warranty coverage, read the fine print. Almost always there is an exception for physical damage. I've read the fine print for AmEx and Discovery. I bet the rest also have it. What are the odds your phone will have a defect that presents itself after Apple's warranty tuns out, but isn't related to physical damage? Plus you have to deal with the headache processing a claim with an unfriendly insurance company.

    On balance, the 0% interest loan is far more valuable than the illusory warranty coverage.
     
  18. SR71 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Ah, I didn't know the unlocked versions also worked on Verizon. I was under the impression that the unlocked version only worked on GSM carriers and that the only version that worked on every carrier was the Verizon model since they're forced to unlock their LTE phones because of their agreement with the FCC.

    That's one of the things I was thinking about in terms of buying outright, but according to one of the posters above the unlocked model is pretty much the same as the Verizon model. See the quoted posted above yours.
     
  19. SR71 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Verizon will allow an unlocked AT&T iPhone on their network? I was under the impression that it had to already be a Verizon model or that it wouldn't activate.
     
  20. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #20
    I said "compatible with." If you stick your existing Verizon SIM into an unlocked iPhone6, it will work just fine. People do this all the time.

    It is true that Verizon gives people a hard time about activating a new SIM when the customer doesn't have a phone purchased from Verizon. This applies to ALL phone, not just Apple ones, and it has nothing to do with the phone's capability.
     
  21. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #21
    While the Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are identical hardware-wise, the Verizon model has an edge due to Verizon's whitelisting policy. Even if the AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 6/6+ are unlocked, you still can't use them to activate new service/SIM with Verizon. Non-whitelisted phones are also not eligible for the $25 no contract smartphone line discount on Verizon More Everything plans so that's a possible $300 per line per year you'll be paying for service if you use non-whitelisted smartphones.

    The SIM-free iPhone 6/6+ is whitelisted on both Verizon and Sprint and has an extra 4 TDD LTE bands compared to the VZW/ATT/TMo version one of which is used by Sprint.
     
  22. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

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    #22
    I think AT&T's policy is to unlock a Next-financed phone if it have been active for 60 days. You're still on the hook for the payments, so it's not like they have anything to lose here.

    Next now has a $15 upgrade fee, which isn't applied if you buy the phone outright. If someone is doing a Next12 upgrade every year for a $750 iPhone that $15 adds like 3% to the cost.
     
  23. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #23
    Good point. I forgot to take that into account. Ugh... why does AT&T make it so hard to stay with them.
     
  24. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

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    Mar 22, 2009
    #24
    I did Next last year for the iPhone 6. I was able to get AT&T to unlock my phone while still under the Next plan. I just paid off the remaining Next balance and my plan this year is to sell my (now) unlocked iPhone 6 to Gazelle and pay full price for an iPhone 6S+.
     
  25. SR71 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Exactly. This is what I meant with Verizon phone's being the only main version that is allowed on their network without having to jump through hoops like already needing a pre-activated SIM. This is much clearer than what I was trying to state earlier in the thread. Also, I wasn't aware that the SIM-free models were whitelisted on Verizon's network so that's news to me.
     

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