Retailers discount iPhone 5s down to $120, AT&T offers customers $450 to leave T-Mobile [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Friday brought three impressive new deals for those looking to buy a new iPhone or jump ship from their current carrier, with Best Buy knocking up to 35 percent off of on-contract iPhone 5s sales, MacMall pricing the 5s at $120 and AT&T offering up to $450 per line to customers who switch from rival T-Mobile.

Update: MacMall will also be running a special limited-time-only iPhone promotion for the new year, with the 5s priced at $119.99 and 5c free on contract. More details below.

Best Buy iPhone 5c offer


Best Buy's iPhone 5s sale, which runs through Jan. 4, brings the 16-gigabyte flagship handset down to $124.99 when purchased with a two-year contract. The 32-gigabyte model retails for $224.99 with the promotion, and the 64-gigabyte variant checks in at $324.99.

The retailer is also discounting Apple's mid-range iPhone 5c --?a new two-year deal will net customers one of the plastic-backed handsets for free. Like the iPhone 5s sale, the iPhone 5c promotion is only valid until the close of business tomorrow.

AT&T, meanwhile, has taken its ongoing battle against rival GSM carrier T-Mobile to a new level. Beginning today and continuing for a limited time, Dallas, TX-based AT&T will give switchers up to $450 in service and device credit.

T-Mobile customers who trade in their current smartphone will receive an AT&T gift card worth up to $250 --?AT&T says that each device's trade-in value will be determined separately, but "many of the latest and most popular smartphones" will earn the full $250. Customers who port their T-Mobile number to an AT&T Next plan, purchase a new device at full retail price, or activate an existing device will receive an additional $200 credit for each activated line, though they will need to wait up to 90 days to receive the subsidy.

AppleInsider sponsor MacMall is also running a New Year's sale for Apple's latest handsets. The reseller is offering the iPhone 5s for only $119.99, while the 5c will be available for free, with a two-year Verizon contract. Promotional pricing is good only through this weekend.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44

    The cell phone market is like a cocaine supplier.

     

    The entire industry only exists due to carrier subsidies. Phone adoption would have been far slower otherwise.

     

    And now they want to get rid of subsidies and still think they’ll sell the same amount of content? They think that because we “need” cell phones now as a “society” that we’ll be “forced” to pay for them. 

     

    This had better blow up in their faces.

  • Reply 2 of 44

    Good!

     

    Cell phone companies are a rip-off. (And so are Cable companies!)

     

    Soon, I'll buy my iPhone 5s/6 outright and go with T-Mobile. I may get my iPad Air thru T-Mobile as well, even though it's only 200mb of free data. Still, it's a step in the right direction.

     

    If/when Tang can accommodate the 5s, I may go with them. 

     

    And Verizon, ATT and Sprint can stick it up their nose! :)

  • Reply 3 of 44
    Are iPhones allowed to be discounted after less than 4 months on the market? /s
  • Reply 4 of 44
    Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

    Are iPhones allowed to be discounted after less than 4 months on the market? /s

     

    Do you see Apple discounting the iPhone?

  • Reply 5 of 44
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    Do you see Apple discounting the iPhone?


     

    No, but that's not what I said.

  • Reply 6 of 44
    can we please agree to stop calling it "Carrier Subsidy"???

    The postpaid Cell Phone market in USA runs on something that can be called Carrier Loans.

    You give your SSN
    The company that approves the loan checks your credit history
    Once convinced that you can repay,
    the company will approve your application for a loan of $450 (you are paying $199 downpayment upfront).

    That $450, is paid back by the subscribers over two years at a whopping 50% annual interest!!!!! (thats a very conservative estimate of ~$18 per month, where as iPhone/Smartphone plans have always been $30 more than non-smartphone plans).

    So, where is the "Subsidy" that everyone keeps referring to?
  • Reply 7 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by calvinbhai View Post



    can we please agree to stop calling it "Carrier Subsidy"???



    The postpaid Cell Phone market in USA runs on something that can be called Carrier Loans.



    You give your SSN

    The company that approves the loan checks your credit history

    Once convinced that you can repay,

    the company will approve your application for a loan of $450 (you are paying $199 downpayment upfront).



    That $450, is paid back by the subscribers over two years at a whopping 50% annual interest!!!!! (thats a very conservative estimate of ~$18 per month, where as iPhone/Smartphone plans have always been $30 more than non-smartphone plans).



    So, where is the "Subsidy" that everyone keeps referring to?

     

    Carrier subsidy has made sense because until recently you paid the same monthly rate for service whether or not you purchased your phone at the subsidized price.  Now with the option of cheaper monthly rates for those who don't take the "upgrade price", a loan is a more accurate name for the structure.

  • Reply 8 of 44
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,921member
    calvinbhai wrote: »
    can we please agree to stop calling it "Carrier Subsidy"???

    The postpaid Cell Phone market in USA runs on something that can be called Carrier Loans.

    You give your SSN
    The company that approves the loan checks your credit history
    Once convinced that you can repay,
    the company will approve your application for a loan of $450 (you are paying $199 downpayment upfront).

    That $450, is paid back by the subscribers over two years at a whopping 50% annual interest!!!!! (thats a very conservative estimate of ~$18 per month, where as iPhone/Smartphone plans have always been $30 more than non-smartphone plans).

    So, where is the "Subsidy" that everyone keeps referring to?

    The credit check is to see if you can pay the monthly bill. You'd get the same treatment even if you bring your own device.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    Zero chance I'm leaving T-Mobile. Good luck AT&Terrible.
  • Reply 10 of 44
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 664member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    The credit check is to see if you can pay the monthly bill. You'd get the same treatment even if you bring your own device.

    T Mobile doesn't do a credit check and they seem to be doing just fine. 

  • Reply 11 of 44
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Are iPhones allowed to be discounted after less than 4 months on the market? /s
    No, but that's not what I said.

    Really it is what you suggested. The iPhone isn't discounted, the phone + 2 year contract is discounted. You aren't paying for the phone when you pay $199 or $125, you're paying a deposit on the phone plus 2 years of a given service. It's unlikely that Apple has agreed to take $75 less per unit from the carrier and the contract-free price looks to remain the same across the board. This means the only thing that can be determined is the carrier is looking to increase subscriber-ship by earning slightly less, which over 24 months is only a difference of less than $3.13 pre month. This can said for any vendor's device so long as we don't see the vendor dropping prices.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    tyler82 wrote: »
    T Mobile doesn't do a credit check and they seem to be doing just fine. 

    I believe hey did a credit check on me when I bought my Retina iPad Mini. I have only paid them a little over $20 at this point and have had it for nearly 2 months.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Carrier subsidy has made sense because until recently you paid the same monthly rate for service whether or not you purchased your phone at the subsidized price.  Now with the option of cheaper monthly rates for those who don't take the "upgrade price", a loan is a more accurate name for the structure.

    This is why I have been telling people to upgrade their iPhone every two years. If you have to pay anything out of pocket after you sell or trade it in it's likely very little and you get a much better product for the price that also resets the resale value. Of course, if you don't plan on sticking with the carrier for the next two years with this subsidy model it may not make sense but it seems most people stick with their carriers.

    I wish I would have since AT&T still doesn't have LTE in my area and I found it quite annoying when I made the unfortunate mistake of entering a store to inquire as to when LTE would arrive in my area only to get canned responses from the brainwashed trained employees who seemed incapable of using the term "LTE" in any form, but instead recite that AT&T has largest and most reliable '4G' network, the whole time looking at you with fake smiles and dead eyes.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post







    Really it is what you suggested. The iPhone isn't discounted, the phone + 2 year contract is discounted. You aren't paying for the phone when you pay $199 or $125, you're paying a deposit on the phone plus 2 years of a given service. It's unlikely that Apple has agreed to take $75 less per unit from the carrier and the contract-free price looks to remain the same across the board. This means the only thing that can be determined is the carrier is looking to increase subscriber-ship by earning slightly less, which over 24 months is only a difference of less than $3.13 pre month. This can said for any vendor's device so long as we don't see the vendor dropping prices.

     

    Best Buy is discounting the phone for consumers.  I think that was fairly clear in the article.  That has nothing to do with Apple's revenue stream in any way at all, and I never implied such.

  • Reply 15 of 44
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    calvinbhai wrote: »
    can we please agree to stop calling it "Carrier Subsidy"???

    The postpaid Cell Phone market in USA runs on something that can be called Carrier Loans.

    You give your SSN
    The company that approves the loan checks your credit history
    Once convinced that you can repay,
    the company will approve your application for a loan of $450 (you are paying $199 downpayment upfront).

    That $450, is paid back by the subscribers over two years at a whopping 50% annual interest!!!!! (thats a very conservative estimate of ~$18 per month, where as iPhone/Smartphone plans have always been $30 more than non-smartphone plans).

    So, where is the "Subsidy" that everyone keeps referring to?

    Where is this 50% annual interest? You're not talking about the actual service plan are you? If I go to AT&T with an IPhone I own free and clear and sign up for a plan and I also sign up for that same plan with them giving me a phone the cost per month is the same. That's a subsidy. The only difference is I have to sign up for a contract so they can get their pound of flesh for having given me a phone at a highly reduced cost.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,921member
    tyler82 wrote: »
    T Mobile doesn't do a credit check and they seem to be doing just fine. 

    Don't pay late because they cut off the service off much quicker.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Best Buy is discounting the phone for consumers.  I think that was fairly clear in the article.  That has nothing to do with Apple's revenue stream in any way at all, and I never implied such.

    To me, your sarcastic comment read differently. To me, it sounded like you were making a comparison to when other vendors have to discount their devices just months after they hit the market which this forum is quick to comment on and valid when it's the vendor making the price cut and there is no evidence that sales are substantial.. For example, the Moto X just dropped to $399 after starting at $580 in 4 months and I'd say that it's because it's not doing well.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    To me, your sarcastic comment read differently. To me, it sounded like you were making a comparison to when other vendors have to discount their devices just months after they hit the market which this forum is quick to comment on and valid when it's the vendor making the price cut and there is no evidence that sales are substantial.. For example, the Moto X just dropped to $399 after starting at $580 in 4 months and I'd say that it's because it's not doing well.

     

    I understand your confusion with the Moto X in mind.  In fact I was making reference to the countless threads about discounts on other manufacturers' handsets, but those threads are usually about carrier discounts (i.e. Galaxy S4 dropping to $99 on contract or, God forbid, free).

  • Reply 19 of 44
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 664member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Don't pay late because they cut off the service off much quicker.

    Yes I learned that the hard way, they kill your service at 12:01 am if your bill is not paid current on the day it is due.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I understand your confusion with the Moto X in mind.  In fact I was making reference to the countless threads about discounts on other manufacturers' handsets, but those threads are usually about carrier discounts (i.e. Galaxy S4 dropping to $99 on contract or, God forbid, free).

    I'd say your comment in that regard is valid.
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