AT&T not offering upgrade pricing for iPhone 5 to existing iPhone 4S customers?
This comes as no surprise, as AT&T has been tightening the belt with regards to subsidies and data plan pricing. Add the fact that AT&T will be requiring its customers to sign up for its Mobile Share service to use Facetime over cellular, and you see the trend that AT&T is pursuing with its pricing and subsidies.
There have been some customer reports that AT&T customer service reps were pinning the upgrade policy on Apple, which is highly suspect, as Apple would be more than happy to sell more iPhones to AT&T.
If you are an AT&T customer with an iPhone 4S, and were thinking of upgrading let us know if you are being offered an upgrade price or not.
1. tedkord (Posts: 4708; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
Well, if you sign a two year contract, then you can't complain if you have to wait until the end to get your subsidy.
41. Dr.Phil (Posts: 905; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
Although in reality its more like 18 months until you can get a new subsidized phone.
2. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
I checked my account today all 5 lines eligiblefor an early iphone upgrade.. but my family is smart and we use androids so unless I feel like selling an iphone 5 for extra money and loose an upgrade..
3. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5478; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
"...but my family is smart and we use androids..."
Sounds good. :)
7. Bernoulli (Posts: 1443; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
And you would be smarter if you were with T-Mobile ;)
10. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1828; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
Mine also says , eligible for iphone upgrades, on both lines,,, I laughed, and said " yea riiiight" lol
51. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1828; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
LMAO! !!! No you rock, and you know it
12. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 460; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)
I think android fans like posting stupid stuff just to seem cool. "My family of 5 is eligible for upgrades but were smart we use androids". So what was the reason for commenting if you don't have an iPhone 4s and been offered a iPhone 5 upgrade or not? Also it's lose, not loose! I guess y'all aren't to smart!
19. Sniggly (Posts: 6964; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
When you correct another's spelling or grammar, it is best that you make sure your spelling and grammar are impeccable as well.
Otherwise you just look like a DUMBASS.
22. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 460; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)
Sniggly you are a dumbass! Is that correct grammar?
33. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Awe, somebody seems a little butt hurt over being made fun of. Go away whiny.
34. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 460; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)
Not really. I don't know any of y'all. You don't exist in my eyes. Unlike you and your band of idiots who run wild on phonearena, I have a pretty fulfilling life. I just like making fun of android loyalists who would die for google, such as yourself.
46. Sniggly (Posts: 6964; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Yes, but now you're missing a piece of proper punctuation. I'll let you figure out what it is.
36. PAPINYC (Posts: 2276; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
The fact remains that the good man and his 5 lines were offered early upgrades to the iPhone 5; he is a smart man, tbough, and knows that there is no sense in using five subsidy allowances on a phone that uses yesteryear's technology and screen size. It's really sad what has happened to the iPhone; these are dark times for everyone.
44. Hemlocke (unregistered)
I'm sorry, did I miss the memo where the highest quality mobile screen on the planet, the Cortex A15 CPU, the best build quality on a mobile device, and the Qualcomm MDM9615 were "yesteryear'stechnology." If you want to carry around a skateboard-sized phone, fine, do what works. But to criticize something you obviously have no clue about because you don't like a certain size or brand is not embracing "open" or "choice," the Android buzz words. I suppose that only applies so long as it aligns with YOUR choice.
45. Sniggly (Posts: 6964; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Hi. Best build quality? I think I hear Motorola and their Razr line saying "Bitch please."
47. Hemlocke (unregistered)
Yes, because plastic with a carbon fiber panel qualifies as being superior to anodized aluminum. You better alert the Air Force.
48. Sniggly (Posts: 6964; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Plastic with Kevlar and water resistant nano coating=much more durable than aluminum (dents) and glass (shatters).
Look, the iPhone is a very nice phone, but it doesn't break any boundaries anymore in any way. All it does is play catchup to what comes out before it anymore. Combine that with Apple's horrific business practices and there's just no way you can convince someone like me to buy one.
49. Hemlocke (unregistered)
Like I said, where is the phone the iPhone is catching up to with the A15 SoC and the Qualcomm LTE chip?
As for business practices, their business practices are no worse than any other company's. "They sued Samsung," and other such hate only masks the flip side, which nobody really talks about because it is indefensible: "Samsung steals." If they weren't thieves, not only would they not be convicted, Google themselves would not have sent them a warning concerning their designs. You don't see Ford rolling out the Ford-branded Enzo Ferrari knockoff, and this is no different.
50. Sniggly (Posts: 6964; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
On the contrary, everyday vehicle designs steal from each other all the time. Headlight, window and grill shapes match each other very often now.
For instance, Ford offered the redesigned Focus along with the Fiesta and now the Fusion with those sporty looking high grills. Now there are many other cars from other manufacturers sporting the same look.
What did Samsung actually "steal?" What is now in Samsung's possession that is no longer in Apple's?
Apple uses the government to try to quash anyone even remotely competitive to them. They didn't even sue Samsung first; that distinction goes to HTC, whose phones look virtually nothing like an iPhone.
Yes, in 2010 Samsung knocked off Apple pretty badly, but since then they have branched off heavily and gotten rid of the broad strokes that liken their phones the most to the iPhone. In fact, it's ridiculous to believe that anyone could mistake a Galaxy S3 for an iPhone in any way, or that someone would buy a Galaxy S3 versus an iPhone for features like scroll list bounceback.
Apple is catching up to the rest of the smartphone world (except for Blackberry) by offering LTE to begin with, and a processor with performance on par with ones like the Snapdragon S4, Exynos, and Tegra 3. iOS 6 is finally including GPS navigation and panorama mode. Name one truly new feature on the iPhone 5 that is completely new that no one in the industry offered before.
52. LostInTheRed (Posts: 85; Member since: 03 May 2012)
Ah, but be weary. The "early" iPhone upgrade adds $200 to the price of the iPhone. So a brand new iPhone 5 becomes $399 for the 16GB.
4. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Phonearena, this is such a stupid article. Come on!! I know the i(nferior)phone 5 is being released, but at least have some quality stories out there.
You buy an iphone last october, you will be eligible 18-21 months later for another upgrade. It used to be different, yes, but, you can thank APPLE and their legion of zombies for higher upgrade fees, higher subsidy costs, and less perks for upgrades. Used to be a customer could have earned a 50.00 or 100.00 additional discount - not any more.
6. Sniggly (Posts: 6964; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
It might apply to people who will be trying to do alternate upgrades, or to the "early iPhone upgrade" bullcrap that AT&T usually offers.
29. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
No, the policy has not changed for the 5...same as before - same for any smartphone.
35. Jay_F (Posts: 236; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)
Please stop being so butthurt in every single Apple article. You'd think for somebody who despises Apple as much as you do, you wouldn't click and reply in every single article related to Apple.
38. -box- (Posts: 3784; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Exactly. Verizon and sprint have the same or similar policies.
Maxwell, do you have an axe to grind with AT&T or something? Are you one of those who got a 4S and are sad you can't get the 4Stretch? Those that aren't eligible now will likely be eligible next year for the The New iFlop6S XL S+ LightingThunderPort DruidWiccanMagic RubberBandBounce MetalBox MountainTigerCockerPoodle LTE
5. Sniggly (Posts: 6964; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
I'm willing to bet it's because of the cost of subsidizing the iPhone, in addition to the fact that AT&T is still smarting over the billions they had to just hand T-Mobile last year.
8. MesEyes (Posts: 18; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)
you people really act like this is a bad thing....i mean come on. You buy a phone at a discount and agree to a two year contract. Earliest upgrades into each two year contract is 18 months depending on your account. (for some providers 23 months or not until your out of contract) If you want the phone at a discounted pricing, you'll wait. They already proivide an early upgrade pricing which still gives you a partial discount before your actual upgrade date. There is absolutely no reason why you should be entitled to a discounted pricing just because a new model came out. And yes Apple would love to sell AT&T more iPhones duh but they arent sold at a discount to AT&T.
11. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
No one implied it was bad - I said this article was bad/stupid.
14. MesEyes (Posts: 18; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)
you people meaning who wrote the article :)
25. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
ahhhhh, yes, I am with you there - thanks for the clarification.
9. JustinHorn (Posts: 2; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)
MesEyes is right, but AT&T has been more flexible in the past.
I just posted this in the comment on the linked TUAW post:
If your monthly bill was $100 or more, AT&T would give you a full $400 discount upgrade every 12 months. If you were less than $100 it would around 17-19 months, but you could sometimes get early upgrade pricing which was $200 off.Then for a couple years if people were within like 3 months of their full upgrade date they would allow the upgrade. But if it was beyond that, you were always stuck with early upgrade only. They never gave people on a sub $100 monthly service a 12 month or less upgrade. Didn't happen.
So....that was then, now in 2012 this they had a policy change in June. All contracts are eligible after 19 months (even if you have the $100+ line). Also, if you are eligible for early upgrade, the savings is now only $150 off, not $200.
My post covering basically what I wrote here:
13. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
My bro works at at&t - the policy changed with the iphone 4, but those who had already upgraded under the former policy were grandfathered in, one last time. Basically, the system will allow an upgrade 18-21 months into the contract.
15. JustinHorn (Posts: 2; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)
Yeah, I liked it better when they gave my main line in the family plan (billing over $100) a full upgrade every 12 months. Now my upgrade is 19 months, same as my second line only billing $40!!
39. -box- (Posts: 3784; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Some of my acquaintances work for AT&T, they confirmed some "primary" lines on family plans can still upgrade after a year
17. Jay_F (Posts: 236; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)
AT&T is pure garbage, but so are Sprint and Verizon... I don't even know what to do here... Not that I'm worrying about the ip5 release anyways.
18. godinruin (Posts: 9; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
You signed a two year agreement knowing that Apple releases a new one every ONE year. I don't see any fault with AT&T for a contractual agreement you made without putting effort into researching the track record of Apple for releases. Why should a company bend their upgrade policy based on what phone you choose to purchase? You're eligible for an early upgrade after 12 months. Suck it up and pay the price, or else pay the early termination fee and move on to another carrier. Period.
26. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
exactly, and besides, you buy an iphone 4/4s/5 and wait two years and it will not be much different, so you are not missing out on much.
42. Hallucinator (Posts: 344; Member since: 24 May 2010)
Kind of like if you want a Razr or a htc phone or a Samsung. Dude, no one is making any strides in looks these days. In my opinion all Htc phones look the same, all Sammy's and the fact that the last 6 Motorola phones have all been Razrs is kind of laughable.
21. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)
What a bogus article. If you only have an iPhone upgrade available because you've been in contract only a year, then you're ppaying the price of the phone plus 250 dollars, regardless of what phone you have. if you have an actual upgrade, you get the price of the phone. Don't be stupid.
23. johnny9000 (Posts: 44; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
This article is ridiculous. AT&T has had the eligible in 19/20 months policy since March of 2011, BEFORE the 4S came out by about 6 months. The older policy was spend more on a line and get a faster upgrade, and customers with the upgrade were allowed to do it 1 more time, but the release of the iphone 5 has nothing to do with this. AT&T spends 450-500 per iphone 4S it sold, and I'm quite sure the 5 will be as bad or worse. Do you really think it makes ANY sort of business sense to sell 8 million 4S's at a loss of about $300 per phone in the hopes that the customer fulfills their contract to get the money back, but "Hey, here's a new iphone this Fall (like EVERY FALL), so let's give those iphone 4S customers an early 2 year pricing upgrade and cost ourselves another $300 per phone when they were only 1 year into contract." Yeah, right, that makes perfect sense. This has nothing to do with AT&T becoming big jerks, its called good business.
27. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
APPLE is the reason that upgrade fees are high and upgrade perks are low....greed all around
24. SavageLucy42 (Posts: 211; Member since: 24 Mar 2011)
Lots of customers call in threatening to cancel BEFORE WE CAN EVEN PREORDER THE PHONE FOR THEM because of their eligibility. So there's no way AT&T can confirm or deny if we can make some sort of exception for any customer.
And yes "I do this every year" Surely you're used to it then. It was explained to you last year how this was going to work, right?
28. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
AT&T can confirm and has confirmed - you want to buy a smartphone before you are eligible for one? Then pay up:
250 + 2 yr contract price.
30. Sniggly (Posts: 6964; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
I am so glad I am not one of those people.
*grabs Verizon rep and shakes him violently* WHY CAN'T I PREORDER THE RAZR MAXX HD YET, YOU ASSHOLE?!
40. -box- (Posts: 3784; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
I have a Lumia 900 and want a 920 for free or else AT&T sucks and I'll go to someone else. Oh wait, that's right, I'm not a pretentious selfish jerk, and I had full awareness I'd have the phone for at least 18 months or buy something else to replace it, even though I knew WP8 was coming out this year. Even with that it's still a satisfactory purchase and better than the iFail in every way I use it for
32. therygy (Posts: 94; Member since: 24 May 2010)
It said i was eligible for a discounted iphone but not at full upgrade pricing so i can get the iphone 5 16 gb for $350 with 2 year contract. there was also this wierd "big event" count down. It dont know what it was for but it only had four minutes on the clock.
54. holla4123 (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)
So-I'm actually pretty ticked about this whole process (and please excuse any typos-touchscreen ;). I've had every model on release day (I know, I know)...pre-ordered this am only to realize I'm now penalized for being a 'loyal' customer to AT&T. I paid full price for the phone...am considering canceling the order...and this old die hard Mac fan might move right along to another phone completely. I use all Mac products and like the sync features for work etc. what phone does everyone recommend? For me to even be thinking this due to my loyalty means they've really created too much of a 'controlled' env. that only seeks NEW customers forgetting about their long term customers.
57. matt_mc (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
I bought a 3GS 32g @ $299, then upgraded and preordered to the iPhone 4 16g @ $199, I then preordered the iPhone 4s 32g @ $299. But not AT&T is refusing to allow me to upgrade and preorder the iPhone 5 32g @ $299. They are offering it to me
For $549. And I cannot get an answer as to why this is now a problem this year. I have been a customer since 1995 when it was bellsouth, then Cingular and now AT&T. But this has made me mad enough that see switching to another provider for all my iPhone and iPad needs.
58. matt_mc (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
Maybe verzion will take advantage of AT&T bad decision on not allowing Consistant customers iPhone upgrades. I been with AT&T for many years but this draws the line for me. Maybe Verizon will offer a buy out from AT&T to switch to their iPhone 5. They stand to loose their good Consistant customer base.
59. goodwitch (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)
yep...same thing happened to me too. i am due for my upgrade on 12/23/2012 so i called att to see if i could possibly upgrade earlier. they said if i wanted ANY other phone except the IPHONE 5, then they would be happy to let my upgrade right now. But, they could not let me upgrade to Iphone 5 earlier than my set date because they were bound by the contract rules with APPLE ! that is exactly what they told me ! they said i could pay the 199 for the iphone upgrade and also an additional 250 for an early upgrade fee if i wanted to do it now. ok, 250 bucks more just to upgrade 2 months early. insane, i dont think so ! i told them i would now be thrilled to let my contract with them for all 3 phones on my plan expire and sign up with another carrier. i have been with att for many many years and i would think they would want to keep their current customers happy ! uggghhh att sucks !!!