Why would anyone pay full price to avoid contract?

johndallas999

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
885
1
Seattle
What is the point of not getting a subsidized phone? It's not like youre going to not use it with the carier you bought it for during the next 2 years. I could see this if you wanted to have lots of phones to switch between but other than that what would be the point of having a phone that isn't under contract, so you can cancel and have an iPod touch?
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,595
3,971
In the US it does not make much sense, but in other countries you get a cheaper monthly plan buying the phone out right.
 

ninethirty

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2006
796
265
A better question would be why you care, but I'll answer you anyway.

Because I don't like not having the choice of switching. Or leaving. Since 2006, I've lived in 3 different countries. Sometimes I move with only a few months notice, so I'd rather not be locked into a contract.

Also, when your phone is unlocked, you have the freedom of being able to travel, and using a local SIM card, instead of roaming.

What is the point of not getting a subsidized phone? It's not like youre going to not use it with the carier you bought it for during the next 2 years. I could see this if you wanted to have lots of phones to switch between but other than that what would be the point of having a phone that isn't under contract, so you can cancel and have an iPod touch?
 

pragmatous

macrumors 65816
May 23, 2012
1,378
99
Lots of times when you sign a new contract the plans have also changed. You go from paying 70 a month to 90 or 90 a month to 130 a month for equivalent plans. Also for people who have verizon subsidizing the plan means you lose unlimited data. On LTE you will use up 2GB in a day or two. It's a combination of cost increase per month and losing unlimited data for verizon users. If you add that up over 2 years it equals the cost of the phone at full price.

What is the point of not getting a subsidized phone? It's not like youre going to not use it with the carier you bought it for during the next 2 years. I could see this if you wanted to have lots of phones to switch between but other than that what would be the point of having a phone that isn't under contract, so you can cancel and have an iPod touch?
 

mattydee87

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2008
221
0
The question is not why, but why not?

I'm in a 2 year contract and I want the latest iPhone. Full price is the only option so sell old phone and put money towards iPhone 5.
 

Coleman2010

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2010
1,868
115
NYC
What is the point of not getting a subsidized phone? It's not like youre going to not use it with the carier you bought it for during the next 2 years. I could see this if you wanted to have lots of phones to switch between but other than that what would be the point of having a phone that isn't under contract, so you can cancel and have an iPod touch?
Some of us are a little more cosmopolitan than others, have a passport and use it. We like to use our iPhone while abroad without paying ridiculously high international roaming rates.

*Turns off smug demeanor**
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,531
At the iPhone hacks section.
What is the point of not getting a subsidized phone? It's not like youre going to not use it with the carier you bought it for during the next 2 years. I could see this if you wanted to have lots of phones to switch between but other than that what would be the point of having a phone that isn't under contract, so you can cancel and have an iPod touch?
I know someone that has a family plan with 4 lines and keeps buying iphones on ebay. Pays and arm and a leg but refuses to sign a contract. He's been with AT&T for over 8-9 years and all this time he could have got tons of upgrades and iphones cheap but instead he's wasting the upgrades and not using them and still paying the same price for monthly service.
I dont get it. Its not like he's going to go anywhere, he's been with them forever.
 

d123

macrumors 68020
Oct 19, 2009
2,034
452
Earth
In the UK, the monthly costs with of without a phone are considerably different, subsidised phone plan could cost £40-50 a month, equivalent sim only plan is only £10-15 a month.

Buy the phone outright and choose the right plan and it can cost half to 2/3rds of the cost of network subsidised + contract.

Not to mention the advantage of moving supplier when a newer better plan is launched.
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,845
597
Los Angeles
What is the point of not getting a subsidized phone? It's not like youre going to not use it with the carier you bought it for during the next 2 years. I could see this if you wanted to have lots of phones to switch between but other than that what would be the point of having a phone that isn't under contract, so you can cancel and have an iPod touch?
My buddy has unlimited data on VZW. Only way for him to keep it is to buy the phone unsubsidized. So that's what he did.
 

Mr.C

macrumors 601
Apr 3, 2011
4,500
603
London, UK.
In the UK, the monthly costs with of without a phone are considerably different, subsidised phone plan could cost £40-50 a month, equivalent sim only plan is only £10-15 a month.

Buy the phone outright and choose the right plan and it can cost half to 2/3rds of the cost of network subsidised + contract.

Not to mention the advantage of moving supplier when a newer better plan is launched.
Ditto.
 

Vikinguy

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2007
407
12
I paid full price because I couldn't stand to look at my galaxy s2 one more second. Good lord touchwiz sucks. So great to be back to a stable OS. But yeah...it hurt the old checking account. :D
 

dgstan

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2010
625
1
I use the same amount of data on lte as when I used 3G, why would you suggest a faster connection uses more data? Unless you're downloading more its not going to..
In theory, you are correct. But in practice, I would often quit browsing sites because 3G was just too slow. With LTE, you load the page, go to the next link, the next link, etc. You end up using a lot more data.
 

Daniel L

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2009
416
101
You guys do realize that opening a line and canceling it will result in you paying less out of pocket than just paying full price right? (199+325=$524 vs $649) Not only that, AT&T will unlock the phone for free after you pay the ETF. And for the smarter "cosmopolitan" users, unlocks are only 15 minutes and $15 away. OP has a good point.
 

KandyKane

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2009
359
5
Australia
I'm on a staff plan, which iPhones are not available on. I can go to a normal offering, but I would have to increase spend and lose some data.

My bf is on a $100 unlimited plan, if he went subsidized it would increase to $137 per month. So he would save $111 over 2 years buying it subsidized over outright ($999), but then he can't change his plan if better plans come out. Within the last couple of years the unlimited plan went from $180->$150->$130->$100. The flexibility is worth it here...
 

nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
314
Middle Earth
In theory, you are correct. But in practice, I would often quit browsing sites because 3G was just too slow. With LTE, you load the page, go to the next link, the next link, etc. You end up using a lot more data.
That's because your behavior changed. It has nothing to do with anything intrinsic to LTE. That's the point he was trying to make. Getting a LTE phone doesn't make your data change it just brings the data you want quicker.

As for full priced phones they make sense for people that

A. Want carrier mobility when they travel.
B. Want the ability to upgrade their phone whenever they want
C. Don't want to be stuck in a contract.

It makes sense from various angles.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,148
1,500
5045 feet above sea level
You guys do realize that opening a line and canceling it will result in you paying less out of pocket than just paying full price right? (199+325=$524 vs $649) Not only that, AT&T will unlock the phone for free after you pay the ETF. And for the smarter "cosmopolitan" users, unlocks are only 15 minutes and $15 away. OP has a good point.
And you realize that you still have to pay one month service and the activation fee with a phone on contract and then paying the eft right?
 

darster

Suspended
Aug 25, 2011
1,703
1
You guys do realize that opening a line and canceling it will result in you paying less out of pocket than just paying full price right? (199+325=$524 vs $649) Not only that, AT&T will unlock the phone for free after you pay the ETF. And for the smarter "cosmopolitan" users, unlocks are only 15 minutes and $15 away. OP has a good point.
Dont forget to add another $100 for activation and first month bill to your total. So its $624.
 

aziatiklover

macrumors 68030
Jul 12, 2011
2,676
109
8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
You guys do realize that opening a line and canceling it will result in you paying less out of pocket than just paying full price right? (199+325=$524 vs $649) Not only that, AT&T will unlock the phone for free after you pay the ETF. And for the smarter "cosmopolitan" users, unlocks are only 15 minutes and $15 away. OP has a good point.
For the 2G, 3G, 3GS it worked that way, but from 4, 4S, and 5 u will end up paying more! Dont forget to add tax, first month, activation fee etc....
 
Last edited:

Mr.C

macrumors 601
Apr 3, 2011
4,500
603
London, UK.
You guys do realize that opening a line and canceling it will result in you paying less out of pocket than just paying full price right? (199+325=$524 vs $649) Not only that, AT&T will unlock the phone for free after you pay the ETF. And for the smarter "cosmopolitan" users, unlocks are only 15 minutes and $15 away. OP has a good point.
That may apply in the US although as other have said there are additional costs you haven't factored in. Here in the UK it doesn't work that way. You have to pay the remaining part of your contract.
 

dasx

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2012
1,098
17
Barcelona
In my country you can have calls for $0.08/minute and 1GB of data for €9, 2Gb for €15... So if you don't call that much you can have an iPhone and pay less then €15/month.

Not that I have those plans but there's the option if you want it.
 

pragmatous

macrumors 65816
May 23, 2012
1,378
99
On streaming sites they auto detect if your fast enough for HD or not. What happens is you stream a show but it is in HD.

Lots of sites auto detect if you can view the advanced website or not also. You use more bandwidth with a faster connection.

It's the difference between HD or not and sites auto detect that setting.

I use the same amount of data on lte as when I used 3G, why would you suggest a faster connection uses more data? Unless you're downloading more its not going to..
 
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