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Which iPhone and more questions

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#1 DirtyHarry50


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Posted 18 February 2016 - 06:13 PM

Well, a call tonight revealed that I had forgotten about already having an iPhone for months before i moved down here to lovely North Carolina. So, it turns out that on Valentine's Day, my two year contract with Verizon ended. Yay.

So asked them to explain to me why it is that I continue to be billed for the same amount now that I have repaid them in full for the iPhone 4s they gave me at the outset with zero down. The rep explained that I had a "loyalty contract" which they no longer offer. The current pricing is what I was paying. Oh, I see. So, the price did not go up. I was just getting an incredible fabulous deal. Now it all make sense, except it doesn't. Whatever.

So now, the base cost is 57 bucks before we even start talking about the phone I want to upgrade to. I own the one I have now. Too bad owning it saves me zero. Maybe I'd hang onto it for a while. I guess doing that would save me from spending more but I feel a wee bit let down by all this. Such is life. I'll get over it somehow.

So the new deal ain't like the old deal with Verizon. Thanks to "dramatically increased phone costs" it goes like this:

Buy your phone with payments and zero interest from them in addition to the plan you had.
Buy your phone outright at full retail
Buy into a two year contract that requires 50% of the phone retail cost paid up front, plus a upgrade fee of 40 bucks.

I think I liked the old deal better. I think maybe the new deal is better for Verizon and not better for me. It sure seems that way.

So, I guess I will be calling AT&T and T-Mobile who have coverage where I need it and see how they play the game.

Enough talk of mean, nasty, money grubbing carriers fleecing us all. On to the fun stuff, the iPhone itself.

I am trying to decide about storage wishing I could save some money but afraid I might be making a mistake if I don't go for the max. I am also still tossing around how much do I want the largest screen or not. It would be easier on my eyes all of the time. There would be more room to see notes and basically anything else displayed on it but I have to confess part of the driving thing there for me is I'd like using it as a handheld gaming device too. I need to go to the Apple site I guess and total up how much is the 6s vs the 6s Plus and would I be better off potentially even go backwards to an older model that still has decent stats if you will.

So any opinions and advice here would be welcome. I guess it is ultimately a very individual and subjective call but if nothing else I am curious what you guys use and how much storage you bought into, etc. or even if you like Android better and why if so. I'm thinking those don't play well with a Mac but I know zero about that. I also just assume they cost about the same anyway don't they?
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#2 Matt Diamond

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 08:15 PM

It's not just Verizon AFAIK; subsidizing phones via contract is on the decline.

You could look into Apple's 2-year plan; it's not a bad deal, you get the ability to upgrade every year by tacking on an additional year to your obligation period. Plus you get AppleCare coverage, and drop protection for the duration.

Or, buy an unlocked phone outright (perhaps refurbished) and go with a cheap carrier, like Walmart's (name escapes me) or Ting. As long as you have good coverage in your area(s) from either Sprint or T-Mobile, Ting is a good value. I dropped my family's monthly phone bill from ~$130 for 4 phones (no smart phones!) to $70 (and one phone is now an iPhone.)

Ting's GSM (i.e. TMobile) support isn't perfect: caller ID doesn't work yet so people who don't have you in their address book only see your number; and group messaging is a bit hacky. No big deal. If that bothers you, maybe look at their CDMA network instead (i.e. Sprint.)

It's also possible to bring existing unlocked phones in. If you were with Verizon, maybe your iPhone is unlocked already, which makes things much easier. AT&T made me jump through some hoops.

If you decide to try Ting, I can send you my referral code and I'll get a credit. But I tell everyone about them and have yet to collect a referral from anyone; that's not why I recommend them.


iPhone: I'm hoping to upgrade to a smart phone later this year. I like the 5s form factor, and they can be had for quite cheap, but at this point I'm leaning towards a 6 or 6s. My plan is to get 64G, don't think I could live on just 16G. It's a ridiculous minimum; 32 gig really should be the low end but Apple is stubborn.

Current setup: macOS 10.11.x/2008 MacPro 3,1 Xeon 2 x 2.8GHz/8GB RAM/NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB