Worth the $399 early upgrade fee?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by frozencarbonite, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. frozencarbonite macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2006
    I renewed my AT&T contract last May. At that time I was in no financial position to have an iPhone. It just wasn't in my budget. I really wanted one, but I just had to do the smart thing. So I just went with a cheaper phone and basic plan.

    Today, I'm in a better place to be able to afford the monthly bill. But the problem is that my contract will not be up until next May 2010. I definitely don't want to wait that long. If I do get an iPhone, I'm waiting until this summer when hopefully the new hardware will be released. I know AT&T offers an early upgrade price of $399 for existing customer.

    I've heard some success stories of people being able to get the "new customer" price, but it doesn't happen much. I guess it depends on the managers at the AT&T stores.

    So I guess my question is: is it worth paying the early upgrade fee of $399 for an iPhone? I know I'm talking to a pretty biased crowd here. I'm the same way. I know I could get one on ebay or something like that, but it's getting harder to find good sellers on ebay who aren't trying to rip you off.

    It kills me that cell phone providers only give discounts to new customers when they've had loyal customers for years. I guess customer loyalty means nothing these days. You can't even get the refurbished iPhone if you are an existing customer. I just don't understand why their are contracts for devices. I understand have a contract on a service. Just imagine having contracts on a computer. That would be a nightmare.
  2. wyatt23 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    Forest Hills, NY
    100% no. the phones are subsidized $200!!!

    is there a chance anyone you know (gf, significant other, MOM) would want to do a family plan with you?

    there were times when i would help people in rough spots get phones for the cheaper price. say a college student would come in... there would be cases where the Father would start a family plan, add his sons existing phone onto the new plan. The Father would buy an iphone and then swap SIM cards.

    Father = son's old crappy phone
    Son = Spanking new iphone.

    if not, go to ebay, i'm sure they're as much money and you won't be signing a contract for two more years.
  3. TexanMan05 macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2008
    Since you are waiting for the new iPhone to come out then I would do exactly that: wait.

    I say this because no one knows what the new price will be. It may still be $399 for an 8GB or it could be $199 for a 32GB. Who knows.

    I would save up some money so that when the time comes you can easily get what you want.
  4. FearNo1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2009
    I wouldn't pay that much for an iphone. Its not worth it. I was in the same situation last year but decided to wait. Now my contract is up (or will be this month), I still am not 100% sure I will get an iphone. Hopefully the features I want (multitasking, vid cam, copy/paste, etc) are announced.
  5. frozencarbonite thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2006
    Well, I'm definitely going to wait until this summer, but I don't think I will wait until May 2010. It won't take long to save up $399, if that's how much I can get one for this summer.

    But yeah, we really don't know if anything will change in the way AT&T & Apple do contracts. Probably not, but I guess you never know.

    I mean, when you look at it from a business standpoint, I understand why Apple does this. But it just seems like they would allow a person to just extend their contract. It's not like Apple would be losing money. Your still paying for the full price of the iPhone during your 2 year contract through the monthly payments.
  6. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    look around on craigslist and eBay.

    you can get a 2G non jailbroken phone for 200 bucks. 3G is a bit more and if you want them Jailbroken and Unlocked it will be extra. a lot extra haha

    i actually traded my Samsung Epix with a lady who worked at AT&T for mine (through craigslist). i think she got the shorter end of the stick :)
  7. frozencarbonite thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2006
    I was looking on craigslist today. The area I live in is not a very big city, so not many people have things to sell, especially Apple products. Anyways, the 2 iPhones I did see were selling for $400 - $500. By the time I buy a used one, I could buy a brand new at the early upgrade price. If I didn't have that option, I could see where buying a used one would be a good choice.

    And I definitely do not plan on unlocking or jailbreaking the phone.
  8. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    Is the phone you currently have subsidized? Did you get it free? or very cheap. The reason they don't let you upgrade is because your basically paying your current phone off before they subsidize yet another phone for you. (I think you already get this, but...) If it's AT&T you should be able to sign a new 2 year contract and get an iphone this summer. Option B, since you started in May of 2008, by June or July of 2009 you could CANCEL your current contract as the Early Termination Fee drops by $5 per month. If your say 14 months in that knocks off $70 of the $175 ETF. Paying $105 for the termination, then getting a new 2 year deal with an iPhone subsidized $200+ off your still ahead.

    There's more then one way to skin a cat :p
  9. frozencarbonite thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2006
    I'd lose my number doing that, wouldn't I?

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