How to buy a subsidized iPhone
OK, so you want an iPhone but are a bit concerned about the $500-600 price tag. Based on the facts as we know them, if you're not already an AT&T customer, it looks to me like you've got some nice options...
Basically, what you do is buy a different phone, which is subsidized. Then, buy an iPhone at full price (the only way you can get them). Then, sell your subsidized phone on eBay for a profit. You'll want to research in advance the various phones available and what their current eBay resale values are in order to maximize the value.
Alternatively, you can use this approach to buy a subsidized phone that you also like, then buy the iPhone, and keep both. You should be able to swap the SIM card as needed to use whichever one suits your fancy that day.
If anyone thinks I'm mistaken about this idea, please set me straight.
- 06-26-2007, 01:32 PM #2
Wait...are you talking about an early termination fee? That's for the plan, not the phone, AFAIK. The first phone you buy (subsidized) results in you signing up for a single phone plan. Then, you buy a non-activated iPhone from Apple and swap the SIM (and activate as necessary via iTunes...but from what I've read, existing AT&T users can buy an iPhone without needing to cancel their existing contract or start a 2nd contract - so your iPhone is now in use on your one plan). The original subsidized phone should then be able to be sold with no ETF involved.
- 06-26-2007, 01:52 PM #5
- 06-26-2007, 02:01 PM #6
- 06-26-2007, 02:41 PM #7
- 06-26-2007, 02:41 PM #8
- 06-27-2007, 08:17 AM #10
- 06-27-2007, 09:13 AM #11
- 06-27-2007, 09:18 AM #12
- 06-27-2007, 09:51 AM #13
Even if the SIM in the iPhone is specially locked to the iPhone in some way, it would seem to me that my idea should still work, because from everything I've read, it seems that existing AT&T customers still early in their current contract are eligible to buy an iPhone and not have to open a new contract or phone number. So, this is less about whether the iPhone's SIM is special, and more about the subsidized phone's SIM. You buy the subsidized phone (with a normal SIM I presume), activate it, then buy the iPhone at full price and activate it through iTunes. If the iPhone's SIM is special, you might then need to swap your account over to use the iPhone's SIM. In any case, the subsidized phone should then be "sellable" on eBay. The only potential catch would be if some/all of the subsidized phone's savings come by way of a mail-in rebate. In that case, you may not be able to sell the phone on eBay as "new in box" (if you need to cut out the UPC code).
- 06-27-2007, 10:04 AM #15
Silly question time!
- 06-27-2007, 01:56 PM #17
- 06-27-2007, 05:01 PM #18
I'm finding myself serious considering getting an iPhone, which is pretty crazy considering that I'm pretty happy with Sprint's coverage and my $30/month plan. I'm still locked into my Sprint contract, which means I'd either have to pay an early termination fee or keep it around (at least for a while as I determine how happy I might be with the iPhone).
Anyways, if I *do* take the plunge, I'm thinking it would be smart for me to take my own advice here. I'd probably pick up another phone and play with it, too, then sell one or two of my phones later (my then quite used Sprint 700p and possibly the 2nd AT&T phone). Anyways, the two phones that interest me most are the Treo 750 and the HTC 8525. A couple of questions...
1) The 750 has the same amount of run-time memory as the Sprint 700wx, right? So it should perform pretty fast?
2) Any inside-info as to why I should avoid either the Treo 750 or HTC 8525? I'm not thinking in terms of usability differences...I know the two are very different in that regard. I'm asking more about whether there are any glaring defects with the GSM versions of these phones or issues with speed/performance when multitasking, watching videos, etc.
3) Anyone have a clue as to whether having an iPhone unlimited data plan would allow me to swap my iPhone-friendly AT&T SIM into either of these two phones and get unlimited 3G data? I know that no one truly knows the answer to that yet, but I'm wondering if anyone here has had experience getting an unlimited smartphone data plan and then using that with a 3G PDA phone (like the Treo 750 or HTC 8525). I'm guessing that "behind the scenes" at AT&T, the iPhone unlimited data plan is treated much like the smartphone unlimited data plan, but if they somehow lock you out of using the 3G network, that would suck.
- 06-28-2007, 02:33 PM #20
- 06-28-2007, 03:40 PM #21
Can I use a SIM card from another phone? The iPhone comes with an installed SIM card, the tiny circuit board that stores your account information and phone number. Apple says that you should be able to replace it with any recent AT&T card, once you activate it in iTunes. No other company’s SIM card works in the iPhone.
- 06-28-2007, 05:38 PM #22
This is probably just like I said on another thread. The reason the SIM is pre-installed is so that you'll have a recent one when you leave. Unlike when you normally go to buy a phone, the rep. puts everything together and makes sure that it works, this one is going to be just like buying cereal at the grocery store. The cashier scans it, you pay, and you take it home to put it all together.
What kind of chaos would happen if some reps forgot to toss in a SIM inside the bag in all the confusion, and the store was already close. This is done just to ensure nothing silly like that happens.
I think this guy's plan may work, but, if I plan to do it, I would wait a couple of days to see how the activations process works, unless you're willing to take one for the team.
- 06-28-2007, 05:42 PM #23
I just thought of something...
If you're planning on buying an iPhone, I'd get a 2nd one and use as a play around phone, and get the discount on that one. I wish I could do that with my Treo, but I'm with Sprint now, and that's not possible.
- 06-28-2007, 05:49 PM #24
Originally Posted by Pogue
You can swap the SIM for another AT&T phone and keep the same account, like I can swap my ESN# for another Sprint phone and keey my account.
- 06-28-2007, 07:09 PM #25