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iPhone from Verizon vs Apple

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:17 am
by Barbara
It's time to get a new iPhone. Verizon is our carrier, so I am wondering should I buy the iPhone from Verizon, Apple or some other iPhone seller. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Re: iPhone from Verizon vs Apple

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:05 am
by Stephen Hart
I just went through the choices a month or so back, when I bought my 6s. You should check all of the facts, though, because cell phone plans are changing rapidly.

If I've got it right:

1. Apple sells iPhones for full price paid in monthly installments, and includes AppleCare+ -- but only with a contract with a carrier. Their plan lets you upgrade iPhones every year and just keep on paying. All Verizon iPhones are unlocked by law.

2. Verizon will let you continue your current contract arrangement. You have a monthly charge added to your bill to pay the cost of the iPhone above and beyond your down payment. The amount down depends on what model you buy, and ranges from 0 (for an iPhone two generations old) to many hundreds for a loaded iPhone 6s +. This charge will go on forever, however, after two years you can request that Verizon stop charging you for the iPhone you've paid in full for. You must request this, a Verizon rep told us.

3. Verizon has a plan where you pay the extra cost of the iPhone in 24 (or so) equal installments. These automatically stop when you've paid off the iPhone. This isn't exactly the same as extending your contract, but it's darn near.

4. You can also buy an iPhone from some other stores, like Walmart. And, of course, from a real Verizon store or a contract Verizon store or from an Apple Store. I don't think the plans differ when you buy at a store. I didn't check into those.

None of the monthly plans have any interest, so you're not really paying for a loan.

I opted for #3.

The main reason I can see to pay in full up front is if you know you will be switching carriers in the near future. In any case, you can pay the remainder of the iPhone cost (and possibly an early termination fee) if you must switch.
One other reason is that Apple has two models. The one normally attached to AT&T includes the capability of using one more radio band for calls, one that only AT&T uses now.

Any iPhone can be used internationally, either by paying for a carrier international plan or by switching SIM cards at your destination.

But again, as I said, cell phone plans from all carriers are in turmoil now, so who knows what the situation will be in two years.

Verizon phone reps have always been excellent to us, though you might have to be persistent in asking questions. If you get a dud, just hang up and call again. The last time we called, to deal with switching my old iPhone 6 to my wife's number, we got transferred by accident to a different rep, who was flummoxed at first, but then made everything work and very cheerfully too.

Re: iPhone from Verizon vs Apple

Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:27 am
by Stephen Hart

Re: iPhone from Verizon vs Apple

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:55 pm
by Barbara
Thanks, Stephen, for linking to this article. It's very informative.