Buying Iphone X with AT&T

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Fiat lux
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Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by Fiat lux » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:26 am

Back when I bought my Iphone 6 plus (Sept 2014) I was able to upgrade and pay discounted price. I read on an ATT forum the company made their money on it if you broke your 2 year contract which I never did. From what I have read, those days are over industry wide.

Back to present day. My wife got me an Iphone X for my birthday. She payed $1k straight up for it instead of breaking it up. From what others are saying, it seems the days of "upgrading" your cell phone, getting a price break via contract extension are gone. So what is a boglehead to do? Better just to pay cash or should I break it up? I havent called ATT to get the particulars on this.. hoping some 'heads get some light on it first..

bob60014
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by bob60014 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:38 am

I solved this years ago. I never buy the latest and greatest, current smartphone phone is 4 years old and still does what I need it to do, and haven't had a contract in years.

bh7785
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by bh7785 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:44 am

I have a 6S and just bought the $29 battery. Good as new! Should keep me happy for years to come.

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Fiat lux
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by Fiat lux » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:48 am

Ok this not a thread on if its a wise investment, but rather we are presupposing I am buying it !

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Cosmo
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by Cosmo » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:54 am

Sprint and Verizon are both offering a two for one deal if you decide to upgrade. That sounds like a price break to me.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:55 am

Fiat lux wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:48 am
Ok this not a thread on if its a wise investment, but rather we are presupposing I am buying it !
Not sure I understand what you're trying to ask. It seems that you're asking if it's better to pay for the phone up front rather than stringing it out as monthly payments. But you also say that your wife already got the phone for you for your birthday. Given that, it seems the phone purchase has already been executed. So why wonder now if it would be better to pay it monthly? At this point, the purchase of the phone seems to be a done deal. Or am I missing something?
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

masteraleph
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by masteraleph » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:56 am

The good news is that contracts are now a little cheaper than they were back when they gave you price breaks. This is particularly true if you keep a phone beyond two years. I can’t speak for AT&T, but Verizon charges a line fee that’s $20/month cheaper than the old style- so over two years, you pay $480 less for that line, which is typically a small savings vs. the old prices. If you keep the phone for 3 years, that’s another $240 saved.

As for buying up front vs. a payment plan- if your credit is good, it doesn’t make a difference, since there’s a 0% interest rate. The result is that the payment plan may be slightly better since you can invest the money/keep it in a savings account, but we’re talking a $20 or so difference, tops. The issue might be a little different if you’re thinking about switching carriers.

neilpilot
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by neilpilot » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:01 am

Fiat lux wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:48 am
Ok this not a thread on if its a wise investment, but rather we are presupposing I am buying it !
A phone isn't an investment, it's an expense.

emoore
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by emoore » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:04 am

Doesn't matter if you break the payment up or pay at once, it's all the same cost. If you want to upgrade before you pay off the phone you will have to pay off the balance.

b42
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by b42 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:09 am

I bought my iPhone X outright on release since I'm still on my family's plan (much cheaper this way, and I pay extra so it's mutually beneficial) and prevented the bill from going up. Usually the carriers allow you to break it down into monthly payments, most times at no interest. I just wanted to pay it off and go from there.

I would, however, check and see if your current plan makes sense. A few years ago we "switched' our AT&T plan from a subsidized one (where you used to just pay $200 per phone and the rest of the cost was built into the plan) to one where we had to buy the phones outright or add to the monthly payment. When we did this our bill dropped about $100 a month...which ends up being about $2,400 for 4 phones at $600 over two years. So we ended up saving thousands because we kept the phones for at least 4 years and we can now update when we want. I'm not sure if this option is still available, but I would do some research.

Big Dog
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by Big Dog » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:10 am

Verizon was offering a no-interest "loan" for the X, so it made more sense to me to pay over 24 months.

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Fiat lux
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by Fiat lux » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:55 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:55 am
Fiat lux wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:48 am
Ok this not a thread on if its a wise investment, but rather we are presupposing I am buying it !
Not sure I understand what you're trying to ask. It seems that you're asking if it's better to pay for the phone up front rather than stringing it out as monthly payments. But you also say that your wife already got the phone for you for your birthday. Given that, it seems the phone purchase has already been executed. So why wonder now if it would be better to pay it monthly? At this point, the purchase of the phone seems to be a done deal. Or am I missing something?
Good question, I have 14 days to return it.

If its just a matter of breaking it up vs paying outright- then Id just assume keep it and not have to worry about making higher monthly payments for my cell phone. I posted the thread because I wasnt sure if there was any benefit to NOT paying for the phone outright.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:57 am

Fiat lux wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:55 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:55 am
Fiat lux wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:48 am
Ok this not a thread on if its a wise investment, but rather we are presupposing I am buying it !
Not sure I understand what you're trying to ask. It seems that you're asking if it's better to pay for the phone up front rather than stringing it out as monthly payments. But you also say that your wife already got the phone for you for your birthday. Given that, it seems the phone purchase has already been executed. So why wonder now if it would be better to pay it monthly? At this point, the purchase of the phone seems to be a done deal. Or am I missing something?
Good question, I have 14 days to return it.

If its just a matter of breaking it up vs paying outright- then Id just assume keep it and not have to worry about making higher monthly payments for my cell phone. I posted the thread because I wasnt sure if there was any benefit to NOT paying for the phone outright.
Ah. Thanks for the clarification. My thought is, if AT&T doesn't charge any interest for spreading it out, then purely from a financial point of view I would think it's a wash. My personal tendency, if I had the cash on hand, would be simply to pay it in one lump and get it off my radar, so that (as you mention) it won't affect my monthly budget. But that's just me.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

OnceARunner
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by OnceARunner » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:13 am

Cosmo wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:54 am
Sprint and Verizon are both offering a two for one deal if you decide to upgrade. That sounds like a price break to me.
I don't know about Sprint, but that deal is only valid if you are adding a line on Verizon.

JBTX
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by JBTX » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:41 pm

We have ATT. What I’ve seen of the pricing there is no price break for paying it up front vs installment so it really doesn’t matter.

Look up ATT next.

https://www.att.com/plans/next.html

Also may as well look into the buy one get one free deal

https://www.google.com/amp/bgr.com/2018 ... rizon/amp/

I did this with iPhone 8s. The only catch is you have to open a new line of service and you have to keep that line of service over the 30 month time period or you will be charged the unamortized balance of the new phone. It effectively locks you into ATT for a couple of years. What you can do if you have multiple lines is to cancel one and then get a new one, with a new phone number. This is what we did with my sons line that he doesnt use much.

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StevieG72
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by StevieG72 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:51 pm

Sprint user here....

I am disappointed with the recent changes.

Sprint has lowered their plans by $10 for those that are no longer under a contract. ( This is money that was previously used to subsidize the phone purchase)

You may want to check with AT&T to see if they did something similar.

Sprint did not go out of there way to notify customers of this change.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

Hug401k
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Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Post by Hug401k » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:54 pm

I've been looking into it, and it doesn't seem to matter. I prefer the idea of paying for the phone, and I'm considering switching to Verizon prepaid plan since I don't need an unlimited data plan. I don't know if AT&T offers a prepaid plan. If you own it, you can take your business somewhere else if you want.

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