What would happen if you tried getting a 5S like this?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by GMF33, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. GMF33 macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2013

    I'm curious what would happen if you "added a line" on AT&T and bought a 5S at the $199 price but never actually activate the phone on their service? Rather, get it unlocked and activate on tmo. I've thought of possible problems but interested in others' ideas? Thanks.
  2. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    I don't think it will activate without the proper sim card.
  3. Ramio macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2011
    Houston, TeXas
    Can't do that because once you get it for that price, it will be activated before you get it no matter where you get it from.
  4. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2008
    Beach Cities, CA
    You can't really do it, unless you're willing to pay the ETF of about $325 (unsure of the amount). You're only getting that price since you're telling them you're going to be with them for 2 years. And, I believe the phone would be somewhat activated already and locked to AT&T.

    Why not just get a device-only phone and save yourself the trouble?
  5. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    U think you are the first one with an "angle?" :p
  6. Namji macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2010
    What about this scenario...

    My wife and I have two separate verizon wireless account. She has two lines 1. Her primary line with unlimited data and 2. Dumb phone line her father uses.

    The dumb phone line is upgrade eligible.

    I have unlimited data single line.

    In order to keep my line.. Can we purchase a iPhone 5s on her fathers line with subsidized price and activate it on her fathers line adding the data line to it. And then 5 to 10 minutes later deactivate the data plan on the fathers line and then activate the 5S on to my line?

    Thanks in advanced.
  7. Ramio macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2011
    Houston, TeXas
    Yes, I have done that many times with AT&T. I'm sure Verizon is the same. Do exactly what you said and you'll be fine.
  8. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    To get the $199 price you have to sign a two-year service contract with AT&T. While under a two-year contract, AT&T will not unlock the phone for you. Even if you do get the phone unlocked, you'll still be under contract for the $xx/month service. Per AT&T's policy, AFAIK, terminating the contract early requires a $325 fee, plus the return of the phone, but you do get a refund of the purchase price.

    It'd be cheaper to just pay the $640 for the T-Mobile version.
  9. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    OP could do that without paying the ETF but the OP would be contractually obligated to pay for the service for the duration of the contract. It's the service that is bound by the contract. Dropping the service would subject the OP to the ETF. The device could definitely be used elsewhere though unlocking it would be a separate matter.

    You could but there's no need to even activate it on her father's line to begin with.
  10. sk24iam macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2009

    As long as you keep paying the monthly fee for the extra line you should be able to do whatever you want with the phone. I'm not sure if you can use an AT&T phone on t-mobile service unless you ask AT&T to unlock your phone. Here is what I would do...

    I would buy the phone from AT&T, don't open it out of the box or activate it. Then I would sell the phone as a brand new AT&T iphone on Craigslist for top dollar.

    I would take the money from selling it and buy a brand new iPhone for t-mobile at the unsubsidized price.

    If you don't want to pay the monthly fee for the extra line, after you sell the AT&T iphone 5s for full price on Craigslist, I would buy a used iPhone 5s for t-mobile in a few weeks which will be cheaper than a new one. Then use the savings to pay the early termination fee at AT&T.
  11. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    No. Cancel before 14 days and pay full price of the phone or return it. Past 14 days pay ETF (maybe plus tax) plus service plus activation fee, but keep the phone.

  12. appleii.c macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2013
    I think what the OP poster was possibly referring to was getting the phone for $199, taking over to tmo and just never paying back the contract on att. I cant imagine he thought he wouldn't be obligated to pay anything else. I suppose you could technically do this, but it'll be a hit on your credit, then have att's collections hounding you for the next couple of years. Why not just get a line over at sprint or vzw or leave it on att?
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You'll end up paying the same, if not more for an off-contract phone.
    Cheating the system rarely works.
  14. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    Cool, thanks for the correction.
  15. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2010
    I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that when you buy a phone on contract part of what you pay each month is for the service, and part is paying towards the value of the device, hence why you get cheaper monthly rates if you bring an unlocked fully paid for device to a carrier. So even if you got the phone unactivated and therefore never had to pay for any service, you should still be charged for for part of the value of the phone every month until you've paid the whole value (and probably a little interest)
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I don't think you do in the US. Before my employers gave me an iPhone I don't remember the rate dropping at the end of the 2 yr contract.
  17. yanki01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 28, 2009
    IIRC, it will activate itself if nothing is done after a certain amount of days of receiving it.
  18. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2010
    Yeah, I'm Canadian, so I don't know much about how things work in the US. But if you don't pay for your phone through the duration of a contract, why would anyone buy a phone off contract?

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