1. This point was made very clear to any AT&T customer who asked about the new plan. Besides, who possibly could expect their monthly bill to be significantly reduced without any changes to the services offered?

      1. Actually, AT&T did explain that. To be fair, I was pretty well armed with the facts, and I have dealt with the same salesman since, at least, my iPhone 3G.

        The family plan worked for me to switch from the grandfathered “unlimited” plan because there are four iPhones in my family, and I wanted the ability to tether.

        If anything, I will probably upgrade with EVERY new released iPhone rather than every other. The used ones will just bounce down the line to wife and sons. The outlay is more at purchase time, but I can decide exactly when, and if, I want to upgrade.

  2. There’s no getting around the fact that T-Mobile has finally brought competition to the cell phone industry. The days of the subsidized cell phone shell game are over. With T-Mobile your bill includes an interest free loan to finance your phones, and when the phones are paid for your bill drops by the amount of the loan payment. AT&T and others can try to beat that, but they never were actually subsidizing phones. They were simply charging you a recovery fee for the up-front discount they gave you, and that recovery fee wen ton for as long as you owned a phone from that carrier, basically forever.

    Now the screw-the-customer game is over. I expect that we will see lower and lower down payments now, as carriers scramble to attract and keep customers now that the corral gates have been opened. Zero down payments on an interest free phone purchase loan will drive phone upgrades now, and I doubt to will seriously impact Apple. It may impact Samsung though, if you can walk in and pick up an iPhone for nothing out of pocket on a two year purchase plan. Samsung counts on price sensitive customers, and those would be most affected by these changes.

  3. I chose not to change my plan, keeping both unlimited data lines to prevent any upgrade disruptions.

    If Apple does release two phones separately, months a part, that can pose a complication in my upgrade plans though.

      1. If they announce both phones at the same time, then I will pick the best one, most likely based on the camera. If they both have the same camera then I will get the 4.7. If they don’t announce the 5.5 but do 3 months later and it has the hinted better camera, I am going to have a hard time. My purchase pattern is 1 iPhone per year. I have two lines and interleave them. I sell my oldest phone and only end up spending $100 in the end.

  4. There’s a way to avoid the switch to the much more expensive Next plan. Simply pay full retail for your new iPhone, then swap out your old iPhone for the new one on your current share plan. You can then sell your old iPhone to subsidize the new one yourself.

    The new Next plan continues the subsidy, so you do get the new iPhone at a lower upfront cost, however, you lose ownership of the new phone if you trade it in next year. If you keep it for two years, you’ll get to keep the phone, but you will have doubled your purchase price with Next’s higher rates.

    Much better to pay upfront and stay on your current share plan.

  5. Or, pay for it in full and don’t pay $25 increase. This is not fine print, anyone who looked into it should realize that you pay $15 for a paid-in-full smartphone or $40 for a subsidized one. It is actually very clearly stated in a large table, not the fine print. I switched to the plan since 10GB is plenty for us and I only upgrade about every 2.5-3 years (waiting for the new iPhone, which I’ll pay full price for). I’d rather own my phone than subsidize it anyway.

    1. The $15/40 price difference only applies to data plans of 10GB or more. Data plans under 10GB have a $25/40 different, in which case it would actually be $90 more expensive over the course of 2 years if you paid for your phone in full.

  6. iPhone buyers have realized the subsidized phone deals are a cheat and most iPhone buyers can easily pay for the phone upfront specially when they get a great savings on their monthly wireless bills.

    iPhones users care about the Total Cost of Ownership. I switched to StraightTalk 3GB data, unlimited Voice/text, no surprise bills. I am saving more than $900 a year which easily pays for a new iPhone and a new iPad when I sell my previous year iPhone/iPad.

    I would love to have the sapphire phone (larger screen better) and the iPad pro (larger screen).

  7. Not me. I know what I am paying for my cell service and I know what I’m paying for my phone.

    I’d rather pay full price for the phone than have to remember when I’m eligible to change my plan at the 24 month point.

    Why would I want to keep paying the higher monthly fee to AT&T after they have recouped the cost of the phone? If I buy my phone outright, this won’t happen.

  8. We’ll see how this shakes out. I can see how paying the full price for the phone can discourage upgrades, especially for consumers who’ve been conditioned to the “$199” or “free” or “BOGO” pricing schemes.

    If anything, T-Mobile brought the kind of transparent pricing that’s commonplace in other parts of the world to the large carriers. You pay for the device yourself, and you bring it to the provider that wants your business the most. If someone else offers a service that better meets your needs, you bring your phone over there. If a device that better meets your needs comes along, you buy it when you want it, not when your contract expires. That’s how competition SHOULD work. Carrier subsidies, long-term contracts, locked devices, etc. are a shell game designed to impede competition.

    The price drops with monthly plans have been long overdue with the increase in consumers bringing their own device. Unfortunately, I can see customers whining about how the carriers are ripping them off, because they now have to pay the full price for the phone — ignoring the fact that with the lower monthly fees, they pay less in the long run.

  9. I have an AT&T unlimited data and texting plan from 2007 with more minutes than I’ve ever used for my family plan at a very low price. I’m not changing anything.

  10. Anecdotally speaking, I see plenty of people with pre-iPhone 5 phones. This tells me that there is a somewhat significant number of people that are okay with having older iPhones. This will be interesting to follow. Previously there was an incentive to upgrade every two years: your monthly wireless bill wouldn’t go down after the two year contract, so you might as well take their $450 dollar subsidy every two years. Upgrading wouldn’t really cost you anything*; not upgrading wouldn’t save you anything.

    However, now that you can reduce your monthly bill by not taking the subsidy, not upgrading can save you hundreds of dollars a year. This wasn’t possible before.

    I feel like the group I mentioned earlier are the ones that will be most affected. But whether that will be significant remains to be seen.

    * Selling your old iPhone can fund the purchase of a new, subsidized iPhone.

  11. I always felt the subsidy pricing made figuring out the best deal very confusing and hard to determine. I would rather know what the service costs without the phone. If I want a new iPhone I can buy one unlocked from apple and sell my old one. Apple even offers financing right on their website.

  12. It’s all relative. My plan has 6phones and 2 tablets. L
    Not all of us like the newest stuff. I saved 210.00 per month for 5 months by switching. Buy the hardware outright and Over a 2 year contract you’re still ahead

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