U.S. wireless price war! Big four carriers go all out with iPhone 6 deals

“Major wireless carriers have amped up their promotions in the face of the Apple’s new iPhone 6 release on Tuesday, in an attempt to poach customers from each other in a nearly saturated market,” Reuters reports.

“Earlier on Wednesday, AT&T announced it is offering customers the iPhone 6 with no immediate down payment required when subscribers sign up for its equipment installment plan,” Reuters reports. “Sprint Corp announced on Tuesday a program that allows customers to lease the iPhone 6 and get the latest iPhone model every two years for $20 a month when they sign up for an unlimited plan.”

“Verizon Communications will give subscribers who trade in an old iPhone a free iPhone 6 in exchange for a two-year contract,” Reuters reports. “Earlier in the week, T-mobile announced it will match any deal in the industry.”

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15 Comments

  1. Att was a nightmare last night. Took me an hour to upgrade two 5s’s to 6’s.

    That said, they’re not charging me for not fulfilling a whole year of my 2-year contract on either phone if I change to NEXT, which I did. Going to wait until the Sixes arrive to find out if that means I own the two 5s’s outright and can get them unlocked and sold.

    If it wasn’t for the above deal I’d be a little sketchy on NEXT. It still seems like a lease where I pay for the phone but never actually get to keep and sell it if I upgrade every year. So, pay for half of it, I guess, but then turn it in and never get that 1/2 phone value back.

    This time I’m figuring I end up ahead by getting to keep my two 5s’s. Will have to see how the landscape looks next Sept when I’m looking at potentially upgrading again. (Love to have the new phones!)

    1. Next is rent to own not lease. You essentially get an interest free loan to buy the iPhone and own it outright at the end of the payment cycle.
      There are different lengths of payment – 12 or 24 months IIRC. If you choose the 12 month cycle then I believe you can upgrade without penalty after a year.

    2. If you did Next 12, (or 18), the payment for 12 is about 2/3 the cost of the phone. So you’d still owe for example on a 4.7 64, $300 in 12 months, you can pay this off at any time. After which, you’d own the phone to sell for the next upgrade.

      The interesting thing this time is if your mid contract on a 5S and switched to Next, what is AT&T expecting one to do with the 5S, do you need to give to them, sell it and pay the ETF?

  2. I’m not sure I understand the Sprint deal. So are they saying that a phone I could purchase for $199 with a two year contract I could instead have the option of paying them $20 a month for two years and spend $480?

    1. I’m not sure how would it work any other way. In a market-based, capitalist system, a business can only exist if the product or service it sells does NOT lose them money (i.e. it makes profits). Conversely, for a consumer / customer of such business, the only way they can obtain the product or service is to pay the business (i.e. to “lose” money). I thought this simple economic principle was quite clear to everyone ages 8 and above.

      In this particular case, American mobile carriers seem to be lowering the cost of acquisition and monthly service for the new iPhone in order to lure competitors’ clients away. Collocquially, that is called a”good deal”.

      1. Just to make things perfectly clear; there are some products / services that appear to be offered at no cost to the consumer (free Google services, $0 acquisition cost for a mobile phone), but none of them are actually truly free (due to the immutable laws of finance, as described above). With phones, the cost of the phone is recovered during the mandatory two-year contract period. In the case of Google services, the user is not the actual customer — they are the real product that Google sells to its paying customers (the advertisers).

    2. The only thing you can do is the math. Find the lowest cost plan and device that meet your needs and get it. Do the carriers gouge us? Yes. Are their pricing structures traps for the unwary? Yes. Are they your friends? No.

      The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. That applies to keeping your phone costs down too.

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