How to get an iPhone cheap?

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tadamsmar
Posts: 9164
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by tadamsmar »

My wife wants an iPhone. She has no particular need for one, but I am not going to try to talk her out of it. She says she want to learn the new technology, surf, take photos. And her daughter just gave her a $150 check for her birthday to put toward this.

Anyway we now have a couple of cheap cell phones and use a t-mobile pay as you go plan. We have no experience with an IPhone.

I did a search here. Buying a used iPhone off of Amazon and buying some minutes was recommended, but I don't know the details.

Anyone have advice on what to buy and where to get it? She is looking for advice, I will pass it on to her.

Thanks!
davidepope
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:00 am

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by davidepope »

If Sprint has good coverage in your area, you could buy an iPhone 4S from eBay / Amazon and activate on Ting (also looks like u can buy that phone from Ting itself). Helpful info on MMM:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/11/ ... ompetitor/

-- David
ourbrooks
Posts: 1575
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:56 pm

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by ourbrooks »

The current hot market is in "starter" smart phones in the $70 to $150 category. If what you want to do is stream HD movies while switching back and forth between Facebook and gmail and take professional quality photos, they're utterly hopeless and not worth a second thought. On the other hand, if she texts a lot (or will in the future) and wants a large screen to see previous texts in the conversation or if she wants to use Google Maps while driving or if she occasionally wants to look at the weather, they're more powerful than some of the five year old iPhones that people are still walking around with.

Models to look at are the Moto E, the Alcatel Fierce and the ZTE Concord II. Worst case, she decides she wants the real thing, you're out $150 at most and less if you can manage to return or sell the cheapie. In fact, you might want to just go ahead and buy one for her to use while you're tracking down a better iPhone deal.
mikep
Posts: 3723
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:27 pm

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by mikep »

I use a Verizon iphone 4 t hat I paid $140 about 6 months ago (maybe cheaper now) on page plus, which are officially allowed now. With an $80 standard plan PIN, my cost is 50 cents/mo, 4 cents/min, 5 cents/text (iMessages are free) and 10 cents/MB data and the rest rolls over as long as I add $10 after a year and then every 120 days after. For me that adds up to about $5 per month for ~80-100 minutes, a few texts that aren't iMessages and minimal data since I am near wifi most of the time.
ajcp
Posts: 645
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:44 pm

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by ajcp »

I would not try to save on a cheap iphone. Apple has only recently made phones for different price points, generally their plan has been to made last year's high tier this year's mid tier and the 2 year old phone this year's low tier. I've known a few people who either bought a new old iphone (e.g. buying the 2011 iphone in 2013) or their once new iphone just got old because they tried to keep it for 3 or so years. I've heard a bunch of complaints that Apple's updates make the phone unusable and practically force you to upgrade. If she's set on an iphone, I'd make sure to spend a little more and get one of the 2013 models. If you're set on price, I'd 2nd ourbrooks suggestion and check out something like the moto e.
fundseeker
Posts: 908
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:02 am

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by fundseeker »

A lot of people just upgrade every two years and think their old iphone is worthless. I bought a used one recently from someone and it works great. You just have to get the prior owner to have it "unlocked" by their carrier, then you can sign up with another carrier. I walked into tmobile and started paying by the month. Good luck. And, there are youtubes about how to replace the battery for $15, etc., and you can do that without having to worry about voiding any warranty.
inbox788
Posts: 7801
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by inbox788 »

My experience is just the opposite with older iPhones. I have an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 4s and they're working surprisingly well with iOS 7.1.1. Aside from the smaller 3.5" screen, these 2-4 year old devices are doing most of the things that less than 2 year old iPhones are doing. Between the two, the iPhone 4s is the better phone with longer potential relevance, but despite some complaints about the iPhone 4 that I read about, I have yet to notice much difference aside from the occasional lag/stutter/delay. One huge improvement is the built-in Cellular data monitoring and apps settings for controlling what can use the data. Many MVNOs are offering very competitive plans, including a few with usable data plans for low/medium usage.
DualIncomeNoDebt
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:38 am

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt »

I'd get a used and unlocked iPhone 5s. It will be a good phone for years, it has HD voice (for carriers that use it, TMobile does), and Apple will provide software updates for several years, which is much, much better than Android land.

Protip: buy a used Verizon version of the iPhone 5s. It is sold unlocked, with all radios active, even though it comes in a "Verizon" box. That's what I did, bought a "Verizon" iPhone 5s, put in a T-Mobile nanoSIM, and now use it on T-Mobile. Just slip in the T-Mobile nanoSIM and it is good to go, the GSM radio will be active. The reason this works is the "Verizon" iPhone 5s is sold unlocked, has all three radios for use with any CDMA, GSM or HSPA carrier. See generally http://www.idownloadblog.com/2013/09/27 ... -unlocked/, or scores of other tech blogs which report the same thing.

So a Verizon iPhone 5s is a true worldphone. As for purchase, go with a reputable aftermarket retailer.
BigTom
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by BigTom »

You can get an iPhone 4 for free with the service contract . Maybe the 4s now since I got my 4 almost 2 years ago . But not with mobile . I think verizon still had a traditional plan
ajcp
Posts: 645
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:44 pm

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by ajcp »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote: and Apple will provide software updates for several years, which is much, much better than Android land.
The only real difference (especially now, maybe not so much years ago) is how each company defines "update". Apple updates old phones but may remove features to get the new OS to work on the old phone and calls it an update. In android, an os update is only an os update if every single feature of the update is included. If not, Google has moved away from needing OS updates directly, working on expanding their ability to update services, apis, etc. in the background as soon as ready without carrier input, and stripping stuff out from the os and moving it to the play store, where it can be updated whenever.

So when both get some, but not all, of the new os features, Apple calls it an os update and Google doesn't. But you're still at the same place.
johnubc
Posts: 773
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:54 am

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by johnubc »

I have recently moved a number from TMobile to Ting - and bought a used iPhone 4 from Glyde - so far, very happy.
bloom2708
Posts: 8361
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: How to get an iPhone cheap?

Post by bloom2708 »

+1 for Ting and an iPhone 4 or 4s. I have a 4, works perfect. Ting will support 4, 4s or 5. Not 5c or 5s yet.

You can buy them from Glyde linked directly from the Ting.com website for $100 or less.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
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