iPhone upgrade

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Offshore
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iPhone upgrade

Post by Offshore » Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:27 pm

Our old iPhone 4's are failing. My wife and I are looking at either 5s or 6. AT&T is our current carrier, and we have no contract to honor.

The AT&T rep told me a new 5s would cost $550. per phone!! If we paid this price, our plan is unchanged in every way. A second option is to purchase an iPhone 5s from the Apple store for $149., but our monthly AT&T bill will go up by $25, forever. Another lousy option. I can't see myself spending $1100. to upgrade two phones, and I can't see myself allowing the monthly bill to go up by $25. for no additional services.

Has anyone recently upgraded their iPhone? If you found a way to upgrade without a heinous gouging, I would love to hear from you.

Offshore

Userdc
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by Userdc » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:03 pm

I don't think that's gouging, iPhones are expensive.

It sounds like you have a plan that doesn't bundle in "free" upgrades every two years paid for by a higher monthly bill. As these plans have become less popular, I've seen multiple people be surprised by how expensive smartphones are.

The best way to save money is to get an older model phone, or a phone with less features or a used/refurb phone.

DSInvestor
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by DSInvestor » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:06 pm

iPhones are expensive. I bought an unlocked iPhone 5S 32MB and paid full price $599. One advantage of an unlocked phone is that you can switch companies if you find a better plan or need to use the phone with a SIM card in another country. iPhone 6 unlocked is even more money $649 (16GB), 749 (32GB), $849 (64GB).

There are other smart phones out there that don't cost as much. If you're willing to switch to Android, Google Nexus 5 is $349 (16GB) or 399 (32GB).
https://play.google.com/store/devices/d ... black_16gb

Some companies like T-Mobile separate the plan price from the monthly phone payment. For example, if you pick a $50 plan and have a fully paid phone, you pay $50. If you use the same $50 plan with a subsidized phone you pay an extra $25-27/month for 24 months. After 24 months, the phone is paid off and you just pay for the $50 plan. One thing I like about my iPhone 5S with T-Mobile service is that it supports WiFi Calling on IOS 8. If the iPhone is on a WiFi network anywhere in the world, it will operate as though I was still in the US with no roaming charges.
Wiki

EHEngineer
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by EHEngineer » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:18 pm

you can get an iPhone 5S on ebay in the $300s.

The 6 plus is a big phone. It is hard to hold with a moderate sized case. Slim cases are better, but it's a $700 phone. or more.
Or, you can ... decline to let me, a stranger on the Internet, egg you on to an exercise in time-wasting, and you could say "I'm probably OK and I don't care about it that much." -Nisiprius

angelescrest
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by angelescrest » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:41 pm

You didn't explain how they are failing--you can send in your phone to many a service repair person for quite cheap, or buy replacement parts. I've taken mine apart many times and replaced things, there are websites that give you entire demos. We are still happy with one of our 4S's. It's a good phone.

And yes, you could buy a used one in good shape, from eBay or any number of resellers. Or get a refurb. But seriously, look into the repairs, so few people consider that when in fact it is a computer and more expensive than many of them, and we are all used to repairing our computers.

But first, check out ifixit.com

HIinvestor
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:47 pm

We have switched from our iPhone5 to the OnePlus One phone, which is an andnroid smart phone. It was $349 and came with 64gb. It is compatible with Tmobile and AT&T. So far, we like it but it is a learning curve.

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prudent
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by prudent » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:13 pm

I feel your pain. I was pretty late to the smartphone party and now that I see my iPhone has IMHO an enforced limited lifespan due to software, I'm also torn about how to get an upgrade done. Just seems to me that for what these devices cost, they ought to be usable for a longer time.

When I looked at the AT&T plan options, no matter which one is chosen (buy phone outright, buy with subsidy and 2-year contract, or the AT&T Next plan), it's going to cost easily over $1K a year (counting phone cost and service) over a 2-year period.

angelescrest
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by angelescrest » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:47 pm

prudent wrote:I feel your pain. I was pretty late to the smartphone party and now that I see my iPhone has IMHO an enforced limited lifespan due to software, I'm also torn about how to get an upgrade done. Just seems to me that for what these devices cost, they ought to be usable for a longer time.

When I looked at the AT&T plan options, no matter which one is chosen (buy phone outright, buy with subsidy and 2-year contract, or the AT&T Next plan), it's going to cost easily over $1K a year (counting phone cost and service) over a 2-year period.
How old is yours? I used my original iPhone for four solid years. That's longer than I use my laptops. I could've kept going, too, but I got a great deal on a new one. Never even had a case for it, either.

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Toons
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by Toons » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:51 pm

Are you sold on Iphones,as there are plenty of less expensive smartphones and plans in the marketplace. :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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prudent
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by prudent » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:57 pm

boroc7 wrote: How old is yours? I used my original iPhone for four solid years. That's longer than I use my laptops. I could've kept going, too, but I got a great deal on a new one. Never even had a case for it, either.
Had it about 3.5 years.

DualIncomeNoDebt
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:59 pm

Tried Android phones. Hated the software, not nearly as robust as iOS, had multiple crashes, hangs, flaws, problems. Further, most Android manufacturers are terrible with support. Samsung and LG, for example, provide almost no updates for the phones past a year. PITA trying to upgrade to the latest Android versions, and I don't want to waste time looking for valid aftermarket ROMs.

iPhones and iOS are more expensive, but if you rely on the phone, I believe the much more robust software, plus excellent support, make it worthwhile.

If you don't need Applepay, get a new 5s. It will last you a good while.

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Toons
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by Toons » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:16 pm

Get one on Ebay,unlocked

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?ssPageNa ... 5205&rt=nc

Then go to Straight Talk and get a Sim Card
Unlimited 45.00 monthly

http://www.straighttalkbyop.com/shop.php
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:52 pm

My wife and I are in a similar situation with our iPhone 4s's through Virgin Mobile. We have unlimited data, talk, and text for $25/month each ($50/month for both). However, upgrading our phones means losing the plan and the plan just so happens to be pretty great. Our phones are functional so all is well for the time being. We've decided to keep these phones until they're driving us nuts because we don't want to lose our current plans nor pay $1300 for new iPhone 6's. Maybe we'll get the iPhone 7 when the 8 comes out in a couple of years.

LeeMKE
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by LeeMKE » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:23 pm

Here's my experience with iPhones:

I got my first iPhone not too long after they came out. My contract on the previous Samsung smart phone was up, so I signed on for a 2 year contract and my first iPhone.

When the iPhone 2 came out, a friend called to let me know I could sell my iPhone 1 on eBay for the same price as the new iPhone on a contract. I was surprised, but sure enough, I sold my old iPhone on eBay for the same as what I spent on my second iPhone. And I did this trick every time until our last set, moving from 5 to 6. Apple arranged the sale of our phones for $300 each, so we had to ante up a bit for the latest iPhone 6s. But considering Apple has such a strong resale market, I'm not unhappy paying so much for their equipment when I have a ready resale market for my old stuff.

And since I've only paid out of pocket twice (first and last) for 5 iPhones (skipped one of the upgrades as it came too soon in my contract period) I have no complaints.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.

Atgard
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by Atgard » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:40 pm

Lee, the "trick" is that you're paying an extra $25-$30 per month ($300-$360 per year) for the right to buy a new iPhone for $199 every 2 years (with 2-year contract). In other words, instead of paying normal retail price for the phone ($649 or so, depending on model), you're paying $199 + an extra $720 over 2 years (in addition to what a service plan would cost without the subsidized upgrades). So over time you are actually paying full price of the phone, plus interest.

AT&T has gone ahead and done the math on this, since it means billions of dollars a year to them.

rotorhead
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by rotorhead » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:21 pm

OP,
Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by Atgard » Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:40 am

Lee, the "trick" is that you're paying an extra $25-$30 per month ($300-$360 per year) for the right to buy a new iPhone for $199 every 2 years (with 2-year contract). In other words, instead of paying normal retail price for the phone ($649 or so, depending on model), you're paying $199 + an extra $720 over 2 years (in addition to what a service plan would cost without the subsidized upgrades). So over time you are actually paying full price of the phone, plus interest.

AT&T has gone ahead and done the math on this, since it means billions of dollars a year to them.
atgard has nailed it. Many people have no idea what their phone actually costs. You need to determine how much usage (voice, texts, data) you need; and separate the hardware (phone) costs from the service plans. By doing that, and buying your new phone on ebay, etc.; and using a low cost service provider, you would be amazed at how much you can save over a period of year or two.

By the way, you didn't say how your old iPhone 4's are failing. Could be something as simple as an OS upgrade would make a big difference. I upgraded my wife's i4S recently to OS 8.1, and it's working like a champ. My 5-year old Samsung Galaxy SII is still working fine, and does everything I need. We've used Consumer Cellular nearly 3 years now, and are very pleased with the service.

angelescrest
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by angelescrest » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:40 pm

rotorhead wrote: By the way, you didn't say how your old iPhone 4's are failing. Could be something as simple as an OS upgrade would make a big difference. I upgraded my wife's i4S recently to OS 8.1, and it's working like a champ. My 5-year old Samsung Galaxy SII is still working fine, and does everything I need. We've used Consumer Cellular nearly 3 years now, and are very pleased with the service.
Rotor head, I've avoided going to iOS8 due to the reports of it being really slow on the 4S. Your wife's is running fine, or comparably to iOS7?

leftcoaster
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by leftcoaster » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:43 pm

The 6 Plus is a terrific device. I thought at first that it was going to be over large, but it is really great. The battery life is much better and my aging eyes appreciate the larger screen. Also there are some UI enhancements on the 6 Plus only in apps like Mail and Calendar that I really appreciate.

stan1
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by stan1 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:53 pm

If failing means the home button or power on/off button aren't responding then do a google search for iPhone repair in your city. The address that comes up might be a little shady and they might not speak English well but go down anyways and for about $40 bucks (probably cash only) they'll fix it while you wait, probably in about 15 minutes. About $100 to replace the screen. Then you'll be good for a few more years.

I'm running latest iOS8 on my 4S. Performance is fine for what I do with it (I don't stream music or video).

rotorhead
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by rotorhead » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:00 pm

Post by boroc7 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:40 pm




rotorhead wrote:
By the way, you didn't say how your old iPhone 4's are failing. Could be something as simple as an OS upgrade would make a big difference. I upgraded my wife's i4S recently to OS 8.1, and it's working like a champ. My 5-year old Samsung Galaxy SII is still working fine, and does everything I need. We've used Consumer Cellular nearly 3 years now, and are very pleased with the service.
Rotor head, I've avoided going to iOS8 due to the reports of it being really slow on the 4S. Your wife's is running fine, or comparably to iOS7?
boroc7, we upgraded directly from IOS6 to IOS8.1. We too, had been reading all the negative comments about OS upgrades; and were reluctant to jump in, but finally decided to take the leap. We were very pleased that it was a totally seamless upgrade, and the phone's performance improvement was immediately apparent.

To anyone with similar question, I would recommend go ahead and do it.

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englishgirl
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by englishgirl » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:11 pm

I haven't upgraded, because my iPhone 5 is working perfectly well. But I just came off contract with it, and decided to switch my plan over to Cricket Wireless. I am now paying $35 a month for MORE data, call minutes and texts than I was previously paying $90 for. Now, that $90 did include part of the cost of the phone, but still. Anyway, it may be worth noting that your plan would not go up $25 forever if you went with the $149 upgrade, but rather would last for 2 years until you are free to switch to a company like Cricket.

Cricket is owned by AT&T so it is the same network. They have 5c's for $450 and 5s's for $550, so the actual phones are the same price as AT&T.
Sarah

mmmodem
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by mmmodem » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:44 pm

I'm typing on a 4 year old Verizon IPhone 4s with T-Mobile service. I upgraded to iOS 8 from iOS 6 out of need to run the latest apps. The speed is unbearably slow versus iOS 6 but not enough to justify purchasing a new phone. When this phone finally does die, I will purchase a Verizon iPhone 5 on eBay or Craigslist. A 16 gb model can be had for $200 or so currently. I specifically, say Verizon because some people think Verizon iPhones don't work with AT&T or T-Mobile. Thus, the Verizon models costs a little less. As of last month, all Verizon iPhone 4S and newer are unlocked and work with AT&T and T-Mobile.

campy2010
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by campy2010 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:52 pm

Why would your monthly bill go up? You should be able to keep your old plan if you want to. I have been able to maintain a grandfathered unlimited iPhone dataplan with AT&T at the same rate even when upgrading to a new device.

Caduceus
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by Caduceus » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:54 am

What part of your IPhone is failing? It might be possible to repair them. My Iphone is about 4 years old, and I bought it second-hand, so the total age is about 5 years now. The power button was the first thing to go (it got stuck), and I managed to repair it inexpensively.

WHL
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by WHL » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:53 pm

If you end up getting new iPhones, spring for the 6. The 5s is already a generation behind, and in subsequent generations, will rapidly show its age. My moms 4s is still in very good condition but is unable to run some apps at acceptable speeds.
campy2010 wrote:Why would your monthly bill go up? You should be able to keep your old plan if you want to. I have been able to maintain a grandfathered unlimited iPhone dataplan with AT&T at the same rate even when upgrading to a new device.
Because he's on a plan that doesn't subsidize the phone price. In order to qualify for a subsidized phone, he would have to switch to a monthly plan that allows the carrier to recoup this cost. It doesn't happen by magic :happy

kaudrey
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by kaudrey » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:54 pm

I have a 4S and Sprint. Sprint has a current offer to "lease" an iPhone 6 for $5/mo for a 2-year contract (so, $120 over two years). Since people often upgrade every few years anyway, it might not be a bad idea. I am thinking about doing it.

My 4S is working fine but the battery drains quite fast, so I have to carry my charger around with me a lot.

DSInvestor
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by DSInvestor » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:21 pm

My wife had her iPhone 4 destroyed when a foul ball went in the dugout and smashed into her ball bag where the phone was. The screen smashed. We didn't have AppleCare and paid $180 to replace the phone with exactly the same model. The telco was not involved. Apple took out the SIM, plugged it into the replacement phone, we logged on to iCloud and restored. This happened about 18 months ago. I don't know if Apple still carries iPhone 4s in the stores for replacement. Something to consider if there is something wrong with the phone. I can't say what version of IOS will come on the replacement. iPhone 4 runs IOS6 well, IOS 7 is a little sluggish. IOS 8 would be terrible if it runs at all on it.
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mike143
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by mike143 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:51 pm

As a business we buy iPhone 5c near mint on swappa.com, they are going for under $200 right now. We can never justify paying the full price of the current model. I don't spend $600 on a laptop or a desktop, I am not going to spend near that for a smartphone. iPhone has gone stale since the 4s, no improvements worth the substantial price difference. Since most iPeople are so upgrade happy it helps drive down the prices of the previous version(s).
Nothing is free, someone pays...You can't spend your way to financial freedom.

bloom2708
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:58 pm

We switched to Cricket Wireless (AT&T towers). We had Sprint iPhone 4S and now have unlocked iPhone 5S.

I bought them on eBay for $330 each (32 GB models). They look like new. I bought them from a bulk reseller with a very high rating and good feedback. I know you can find deals slightly better by looking for single auctions. But this was a Buy It Now with a good return policy. I had also looked at just buying new. Cricket sells 16GB 5S for $549 which is basically the same price as the Apple Store.

Cricket has an interesting plan. First phone is $40, second $30, third $20, 4th $10 and 5th is $0 until next March and then $10 after that. So our 5 phones are $100 fixed and then will be $110 fixed after March 2016. We are on the Basic plan. 2.5 GB data for each line and unlimited calling/texting to the US.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

zigmund555
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by zigmund555 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:03 pm

If you want to stay with AT&T, look into their GoPhone program, it's pre-paid, month to month. You can use any AT&T compatible phone, they will just change your plan. I dumped my old contract with AT&T, got essentially the same service (dropped unlimited cell data for 3 GB now) and saved ~$70/mo.

inbox788
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Re: iPhone upgrade

Post by inbox788 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:45 pm

AFAIK, the Verizon iPhone 5 isn't identical in GSM frequencies to the ATT one, but the 5c and 5s are.

Prepaid! H20 wireless or cricket are around $20-35/month for decent plans depending on number of lines. And they're both on the ATT network.

Swappa.com is a good place for used phones.
kaudrey wrote:I have a 4S and Sprint. Sprint has a current offer to "lease" an iPhone 6 for $5/mo for a 2-year contract (so, $120 over two years). Since people often upgrade every few years anyway, it might not be a bad idea. I am thinking about doing it.

My 4S is working fine but the battery drains quite fast, so I have to carry my charger around with me a lot.
If it's just the battery, you might try changing it yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6r51T1LhKg

Or find someone local or on craigslist. Shouldn't cost too much.

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