Why purchase an unlocked iPhone 5...?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by zuckuss00, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. zuckuss00 macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2012
    I'm trying to get a better understanding on what causes a person to choose buying a factory unlocked iPhone verses a locked in 2 year contract iPhone. Basically a new iPhone 5 (32GB) model for me is a $2030 investment over 2 years. With AT&T I pay exactly $70 each month for unlimited data, and enough minutes + text for my needs: $70.00x 24 + $350 = $2030.

    So, for the people who buy an unlocked phone (+/- $800? for a 32GB with tax). What is the incentive to do so? I assume it would be to save money with a different carrier such as T-Mobile etc... However, how much are these people actually saving with an unlocked phone over 2 year... If any at all?

    This is for people in the U.S. I understand why people outside the states do it because of coverage.

  2. taedouni macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    Pretty much Tmobile.
  3. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    Its not always about money.

    I buy mine for convenience, when travelling abroad I can use whatever Sim need to from the country I am in, and also for freedom, I don't like to be locked into a contract.

    They are more important to me than getting the phone for a subsidised rate.
  4. bzavala macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2012
    Also, if you travel outside the US, if you want to use your iphone there, you want it unlocked; just insert a SIM card from that country and you can use it with their networks.
  5. imazu macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2012
  6. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010

    I get the travel part.

    For the life of me, I can not understand the contract part. After all, are you really going to be changing companies that often?
  7. darster Suspended

    Aug 25, 2011
    When it comes to resale, unlocked worth more $$$$$ than locked.
  8. daveishere macrumors 6502a


    Dec 2, 2008
    This is the first phone i've bought sim-free.

    Just signed a 12-month sim only deal in the UK, so I now have the freedom to flog my iPhone 5 when the 5S hits the market sometime next year.
  9. Radeon85 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2012
    South Wales, UK
    I bought it full retail as I'm still in the middle of a two year contract.
  10. thearc macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2011
    travel mostly, but also for resale.
    Selling a used iphone 4s unlocked you can get a much better return.
    I'll be selling my 4s and I expect to get around $450. (32gb)

    So buying a $750 32gb iphone 5 unlocked and selling it in a year for just over half that and keeping the flexibility works for me.
  11. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    I don't know, but I have the freedom to do what I want/need should my circumstances or desires change.
  12. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    I know in countries like the UK people actually save money on their monthly bill by buying unlocked phones. In the US, if you plan to stay with the same carrier anyways, contract phones are the best option.
  13. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    I travel a lot, and use many different carriers! So iMessage, and facetime save me a lot of money for international calls and sms!
  14. auero macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2006
    Some people just hate signing contracts. I personally rather pay the premium because I know that I won't have to extend or sign a new contract and that I can travel with the phone.

    A lot of my family is from Europe so I can even sell them the device when I want to upgrade. It helps with resale value tremendously in my experience.
  15. ROLLTIDE1 macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2012
    I did it so that I could keep unlimited 4G LTE data
  16. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    I am on contract for another 11 months, but wanted a subsidized phone, and only pay $199.00 instead of full price. Don't care if they gave me another phone number to do so, but I saved a good amount with the subsidized price over un-subsidized. I will always keep Verizon, and I don't go overseas, but if I did, I guarantee I won't be bringing a cell phone with me, and rake up the data cost. If need be, I would use one of the overseas phones.
  17. thesage macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2007
    the reason I do it is that I am still on my old O2 UK staff tariff where I get unlimited data and sms with 1000 inc mins per month for £14.50.

    If I was to upgrade I would lose that tariff and have to sign up for a new 18 month one for £35 per month with a 500mb cap on data and 350 mins, plus have to pay £299 for the phone.

    So, £35 x 18 months = £630 + £299 for 16gb handset premium = £929

    Current tariff ove the same term. £14.50 x 18 months = £261 + £599 for 32gb from Apple = £860

    And I'm not locked in to a contract, I can take my phone when I travel and use any country sim in it.

    The freedom is worth more to me than signing to a new contract. I've had my current handset for 3 years so I save even more money.

    Horses for courses though as I have a larger initial outlay than someone signing into a contract.
  18. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
    Some people don't like obligations.

    For example: I didn't buy my car using a loan. I paid in cash.
  19. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    If you upgrade with ATT and have unlimited, you will still have unlimited on a discount phone.
  20. ROLLTIDE1 macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2012

    They throttle people unlike verizon

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