What is the point of buying off-contract?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jason2811, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. jason2811, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

    jason2811 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    I just went on the Verizon site and compared buying an iPhone with a 2-year contract vs. buying a month-to-month plan. I was under the impression that a 2-year monthly plan would be more expensive because the cost of the phone was baked into your monthly bill to subsidize the phone overall but that doesn't seem to be the case. So am I missing something? How is it $100 per month on Verizon on a 2-year contract when you get the phone for $199 and also $100 per month on a month-to-month contract when you by the phone for $649?

    Edit: Everyone keeps saying that people buy off-contract to use overseas, but I'm asking why people buy off-contract when staying in the US? I always though monthly plans were much cheaper when you bought the phone off-contract (because you're paying so much for the phone) but it seems that's not the case.
  2. enfield macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2010
    I travel a lot and having an unlocked phone saves me a ton of money because I can get local SIM cards.
  3. jason2811 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    Okay, but why do other people buy a phone off-contract for full-price if the monthly cost is the same?
  4. michaelz macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2010
  5. mac.cali macrumors 65816

    Mar 16, 2012
    With Verizon you have to purchase at retail if you intend to keep your unlimited data plan. The moment you use your upgrade you lose the unlimited. To many including myself it's worth it to keep the unlimited data plan.
  6. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
  7. cwosigns macrumors 68000


    Jul 8, 2008
    The difference is they LOCK YOU IN for two years, guaranteeing that they get your $100 a month. If you buy off-contract, as I am, you can cancel your service at any time. I am buying off-contract (full price) to keep my unlimited data plan, although I am eligible to upgrade at a discounted price. If I did that, it would lock me in for two years and I would have to switch to a more expensive plan. I pay $83/month currently. A new plan would be roughly $20 more a month times 24 months. It's actually cheaper for me to keep my plan and pay full price for the phone.
  8. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    Putting Intl aside, as the OP said, why do people do it here in the states?

    1 - keeping unlimited. Seems valid

    2 - Do not want a contract. That used to bother me, but now that I have been with the same carrier for about 15 years, that is a foolish argument. Those that use this based on strictly emotional reasons are foolish.
  9. xxcysxx macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    i use tmobile, and i have three lines on my bill, and i got unlimited data one one line and limited data on another, and unlimited texting on all three lines. for all that i barely touch $110 after all the taxes and fees on my bill.

    also, right now, tmobile is offering a month to month service where you get unlimited voice, text, and data for $50 bucks. so why go for subsidize price on the phone with a heavy monthly bill when you can get it off contract and save. plus you can transfer your number to the tmobile month to month service, too.
  10. moosquared macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2010
    Back when US wasn't selling the unlocked phone, the price for unlocked version can be sold for quite a lot. I bought 2 unlocked iPhone 4 from Canada. One for me and the other was for sale. Suffice to say, I paid $0 for both :D

    But the main reason for me to get an unlocked phone is because I travel overseas often. And.. I don't like being tied to a contract. The only time I had a contract was when I sign up for the iPhone 3G. And when I went overseas, I had to settle for my old Nokia phone.

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