iPhone question - purchase

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Barefootgirl
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

iPhone question - purchase

Post by Barefootgirl » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:08 pm

My mom's phone has finally given out. I'd like to buy her an iPhone 8 plus. I noticed they are the same price on the Consumer Cellular site as they are on the Apple site. She has been using CC as her provider.

Since they are the same price, does it matter whether I buy the phone from the manufacturer or the service provider? any advantages or disadvantages to either? (I could travel to an Apple store, although it's quite a distance).

Thank you.
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

ras4250
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by ras4250 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:15 pm

Apple will service it under warranty no matter where you buy it from. If you need to return it under the return policy for some reason will need to return to store you bought it from. Apple ships quick for free.

Do you want to buy it outright or on payment plan? That could change your thinking as I believe Apple only offers the payment plans for the big carriers?

I generally buy from Apple just in case ever an issue to deal with them and not the carrier. I can’t think of any other reasons one way or the other.

mchampse
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by mchampse » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:18 pm

The phones available from Apple come factory unlocked. They also have radios for all possible frequencies/technologies that the phone might use on any US-based carrier. The one from CC might be a version that omits some of those frequencies/technologies which could make it harder to switch carriers.

Instead of going to an Apple store, you can also order online and have it shipped to you. If your mom ends up wanting to switch carriers at some point, it could be useful.

hgilani
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by hgilani » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:22 pm

Apple - gives the option of buying an unlocked phone. not sure if the phone purchased from the carrier is going to be locked or unlocked? Either way, you can't go wrong if you buy directly from Apple.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by Artful Dodger » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:08 pm

We've had iPhones for a number of years, and you can get trade in credit immediately if you turn in your iPhone to the Apple Store. That may not apply in your mom's case, if she doesn't have a iPhone to trade in. Also, I just like dealing with Apple vs the phone carriers. They know their product 10x vs the carriers, can recommend classes, transfer data, etc. just a better experience IMO. If however, the carrier has a better than market rate deal, I would consider.

doneat53
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by doneat53 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:37 pm

The "unlocked" feature mentioned above when buying from Apple is huge if your mom does any traveling. You can swap a sim card in the airport when you get to your destination and for say 20.00 have full phone use for your 10-20 day trip. If your phone is locked you won't be able to do this. Having a phone on a trip is not only great for communication, looking up restaurants etc. but a must for mapping programs if you are renting a car.

doneat

Copper John
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by Copper John » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:20 pm

Artful Dodger wrote: We've had iPhones for a number of years, and you can get trade in credit immediately if you turn in your iPhone to the Apple Store. That may not apply in your mom's case, if instant she doesn't have a iPhone to trade in. Also, I just like dealing with Apple vs the phone carriers. They know their product 10x vs the carriers, can recommend classes, transfer data, etc. just a better experience IMO. If however, the carrier has a bette c than market rate deal, I would consider.
You can also do a trade in for a non Apple phone if you order online. Phone can be picked up at the Apple store or can be delivered to your home. The third party Apple uses will send you a box with prepaid shipping label to send your phone in. Credit is not instant but is credited to your credit card when they receive your phone.

anoop
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by anoop » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:19 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:08 pm
My mom's phone has finally given out. I'd like to buy her an iPhone 8 plus. I noticed they are the same price on the Consumer Cellular site as they are on the Apple site. She has been using CC as her provider.

Since they are the same price, does it matter whether I buy the phone from the manufacturer or the service provider? any advantages or disadvantages to either? (I could travel to an Apple store, although it's quite a distance).

Thank you.
Buying from Apple gives you 14-day no questions asked satisfaction guarantee, so you can return it even if you decide you don't like the color. Does the provider offer that? Additionally, I would recommend buying the unlocked, SIM-free version from Apple. I'm not sure if the provider will be selling a locked or unlocked phone.

The return policy is even better around the holidays. Typically anything bought from some time in mid November (exact date bounces around) can be returned until mid January (check date for given year) the following year.

rj49
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by rj49 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:01 am

It looks like the 8 plus is $550 on Consumer Cellular. For $25 more you could buy a new iphone X on visible.com, which is what I did--they will send you a Visible SIM (part of Verizon) and give you a number, but by simply not activating service with them, you can just pop in her SIM from Consumer Cellular and it should work, since the phone isn't locked.

The iphone X is a huge improvement over the 8 plus in terms of speed, screen color and clarity, and gives more screen area in a lighter and smaller body, so it's easier to hold and use. Face ID is pretty amazing, once you get over the initial setup.

If you want to pay more, the Apple Store also sells the X for $676 or so in their refurbished section, so it comes in a like-new condition. The X actually has superior specs to the XR and new 11, and is blazing fast for me for surfing and normal things, and fits perfectly in my hand, whereas the 8 plus was too wide and heavy to use comfortably. Before buying, I'd go in a Best Buy or other store that has the different models, so your mother can pick what feels good to her--just don't let sales people talk you into something. If you choose the Apple Store, they also give 10% off for anyone with a military ID.

If she's open to a different service, T-Mobile has an unlimited everything plan for 2 lines for $70, and just one person on the plan has to be over 55, so that's an option if you or someone else want to go in with her on a plan with no limits on minutes or data (Consumer Cellular uses T-Mobile's network partially already).

22twain
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by 22twain » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:28 am

hgilani wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:22 pm
Apple - gives the option of buying an unlocked phone. not sure if the phone purchased from the carrier is going to be locked or unlocked?
From Consumer Cellular's FAQ section:
Can Consumer Cellular unlock my device?
Phones purchased from Consumer Cellular must remain on our service for a designated period of time before they can be unlocked. After that, customers may request that the phone be unlocked so long as the device has been paid in full, and the account in question is not past due.
We bought both of our iPhones unlocked at an Apple Store, and inserted a Consumer Cellular SIM card.

When I bought the first iPhone (a 5S) four years ago, I bought the SIM card from a CC agent in the same mall. At that time, he was in the Sears store; I think that's changed since then. My wife already had a Nokia non-smartphone on a CC account; she called CC to activate my SIM card as a second device on her account.

When I bought the second iPhone (an XR) a couple of weeks ago, I simply swapped the SIM card from the 5S to the XR, after shutting down both phones. A few minutes after I turned on the XR again, it recognized the CC (actually AT&T) signal without any special activation.

My wife's old Nokia used the same type SIM card, in a sort of adapter. We carefully removed it from the adapter using a pair of tweezers, and it fit into the SIM tray on the 5S. The 5S likewise recognized that SIM within a few minutes after starting it up.
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Topic Author
Barefootgirl
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by Barefootgirl » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:59 am

The iphone X is a huge improvement over the 8 plus in terms of speed, screen color and clarity, and gives more screen area in a lighter and smaller body, so it's easier to hold and use. Face ID is pretty amazing, once you get over the initial setup.

While I like the idea of an improved format and lighter phone body, my mom is 76 and the advantage for her of the Plus is being able to read the screen easier - since she has had some challenges with a regular sized cellphone. Does that issue make sense here in light of the X?
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

b42
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by b42 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:04 am

^^ My mom bought and used an iPhone 8 Plus for about a year and a half, but ended up not liking the phone as much for two reasons. The first was the phone was a bit too big and heavy for her with the case. The second was she couldn't get Touch ID to work reliably (she cleans for a living and I think all the cleaning supplies somehow wore down her fingerprints where none of them work with Touch ID). We traded it in for an iPhone XR which is slightly smaller (but the screen takes up more space and there's no bezel, so it wasn't much of a trade-off), and has FaceID which works much better for her than TouchID. My mom also blew up the size of the font to where it's huge and has no problem reading the screen.

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sk2101
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by sk2101 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:14 am

doneat53 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:37 pm
The "unlocked" feature mentioned above when buying from Apple is huge if your mom does any traveling. You can swap a sim card in the airport when you get to your destination and for say 20.00 have full phone use for your 10-20 day trip. If your phone is locked you won't be able to do this. Having a phone on a trip is not only great for communication, looking up restaurants etc. but a must for mapping programs if you are renting a car.

doneat
Factory unlocked phones also have higher resale values.

earlyout
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Re: iPhone question - purchase

Post by earlyout » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:45 am

I would order from Apple for the various reasons given above.

After you place the order, call Consumer Cellular and tell them you need a new SIM card for the Apple. They will send it to you for free (sometimes via FedEx overnight) and talk you through installing the SIM card in the new phone and transferring the data from the old phone to the new phone. If your mother has a preference for Verizon or TMobile as a carrier, tell Consumer Cellular when you order the new SIM. I've just been through this experience and it was painless. Consumer Cellular does have good technical support.

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