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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    JBHII's Avatar
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    Default Any guess as to how much we'll have to pay for the iPhone 5 on AT&T?

    I just looked up my upgrade eligibility, given that I upgraded when I bought the iPhone 4s when it was first available in October of last year. I was surprised to learn that I won't be available for a fully discounted upgrade until 5/2013! My wife is a user on my plan and won't be available until 7/2013.

    So I'm guessing that means I'll have to pay substantially more for an iPhone 5 if I want one when it launches. I assumed based on my prior three years of upgrade experience, I wouldn't be able to do a full upgrade until October. I'd be OK waiting a month to upgrade....but I'm not waiting nearly a year.

    Has anyone else looked into this?
  2. #2  
    Laelipoo's Avatar

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    That's normal. Most upgrades aren't rewarded until 18-22 months into the contract.


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  3. Thread AuthorThread Author   #3  
    JBHII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laelipoo View Post
    That's normal. Most upgrades aren't rewarded until 18-22 months into the contract.


    Beamed from a galaxy far, far away using Tapatalk!
    Actually this is not at all normal. I've done fully discounted upgrades at the 12 month mark on the past three iPhones I've owned. Which is why I'm asking the question.
  4. #4  
    Fausty82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHII View Post
    Actually this is not at all normal. I've done fully discounted upgrades at the 12 month mark on the past three iPhones I've owned. Which is why I'm asking the question.
    There are a lot of factors that go into determining what your fully subsidized upgrade date is... and it varies from carrier to carrier. It also seems to be somewhat of a moving target.

    Typically, AT&T (my provider) allows you to upgrade when you have 3 months left on your contract - so somewhere around 21-month mark.

    They also base the eligibility on the ARPU (average revenue per user) - so the primary line on a multi-line account usually can get an annual upgrade... but that, too, seems to be changing... and it is very much based on the amount of the monthly bill. With my 5 line family plan (monthly bill is around $260), I have never failed to get an annual upgrade. Everyone else in the family gets their upgrade based on the 21-month rule.

    And there have been instances when AT&T allows anyone that will be eligible within the calendar year to do the discounted upgrade at the time the iPhone is released. I've seen them do this at least twice, but don't know if they'll do it again.

    My understanding is that VZW and Sprint have their own process, but they also offer several paths to an upgrade.
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  5. Thread AuthorThread Author   #5  
    JBHII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fausty82 View Post
    There are a lot of factors that go into determining what your fully subsidized upgrade date is... and it varies from carrier to carrier. It also seems to be somewhat of a moving target.

    Typically, AT&T (my provider) allows you to upgrade when you have 3 months left on your contract - so somewhere around 21-month mark.

    They also base the eligibility on the ARPU (average revenue per user) - so the primary line on a multi-line account usually can get an annual upgrade... but that, too, seems to be changing... and it is very much based on the amount of the monthly bill. With my 5 line family plan (monthly bill is around $260), I have never failed to get an annual upgrade. Everyone else in the family gets their upgrade based on the 21-month rule.

    And there have been instances when AT&T allows anyone that will be eligible within the calendar year to do the discounted upgrade at the time the iPhone is released. I've seen them do this at least twice, but don't know if they'll do it again.

    My understanding is that VZW and Sprint have their own process, but they also offer several paths to an upgrade.
    Yes, I'm an AT&T customer and have never failed to get the annual upgrade. But it will be interesting to see how the carriers handle this upgrade. Now that all the major carriers seem to have the iPhone, the carrier with the friendliest upgrade policies may get users flocking to them.
  6. #6  
    Irish Rose's Avatar
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    If you are not eligible for full subsidy pricing with AT&T on release day you'll at least get a partial subsidy which is $250 + the 2 year contract price of whichever model you pick. Not sure about the other carrier offerings but I think AT&T's partial upgrade policy is fairly reasonable.
  7. #7  
    Laelipoo's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHII View Post
    Actually this is not at all normal. I've done fully discounted upgrades at the 12 month mark on the past three iPhones I've owned. Which is why I'm asking the question.
    That's why I said "most". I do this for a living (sell phones). This really is normal. Sometimes they'll give out earlier dates when the new ones launch. Sometimes not. And the other replier who talked about how much you spend is also right-that is definitely a factor. Just because you got it the last few times doesn't mean you will this time. This is normal, but they may surprise you with moving it up.


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    I do wonder if any iphone 4S owner will be upgrade eligible. The carriers are all complaining they need more revenue. Yet, like those in this thread, i've gotten full upgrade pricing each year from ATT (but also pay an obscene amount to them). Guess we'll see since it's still early.

    But about this early upgrade 250 dollars thing, paying an ETF would also be an option. I don't consider it reasonable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    I do wonder if any iphone 4S owner will be upgrade eligible. The carriers are all complaining they need more revenue. Yet, like those in this thread, i've gotten full upgrade pricing each year from ATT (but also pay an obscene amount to them). Guess we'll see since it's still early.

    But about this early upgrade 250 dollars thing, paying an ETF would also be an option. I don't consider it reasonable.
    Ironically, the $250 upgrade is actually more expensive that paying the ETF, assuming that your 2-year contract is half way expired when the new phone is released...

    ATT's current smartphone ETF is $325 and it drops $10/month for the duration of the contract... so after 12 months, the ETF is only $205 ($325-$120)...

    It's still a lot of money, but it's $45 cheaper...
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    It's a flat 20 months now. It's easier to keep track of than a weighted system.

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