In an article titled “Those Promotions Promising a ‘Free’ iPhone? It Isn’t Free,” Brian X. Chen explores the misleading nature of iPhone promotions from Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. These carriers advertise that customers can get the new iPhone 15 Pro for free by trading in an old phone and signing up for a wireless plan. However, Chen uncovers that these promotions can actually result in customers spending more money in the long run due to the requirement of subscribing to expensive plans with unnecessary features. Through his research and calculations, Chen reveals the true costs of these promotions, urging readers to approach such offers with caution.
Verizon’s requirements for a free iPhone 15 Pro
Verizon is offering a promotion for a free iPhone 15 Pro, but there are several requirements that customers must meet in order to qualify. To get the free iPhone, customers must trade in an older phone and sign up for a wireless plan. However, the promotion requires customers to choose a more expensive plan called Unlimited Ultimate, which costs $90 per month. Over the course of the three-year promotion period, customers would end up paying a total of $3,240. This is approximately $300 more than if customers bought the new iPhone with a cheaper Verizon plan during the same period. It is important for customers to consider the cost of the plan they choose, as it can significantly impact the overall cost of the free iPhone promotion.
Cost analysis for Verizon’s free iPhone promotion
When analyzing the cost of Verizon’s free iPhone promotion, it becomes clear that customers may end up spending more in the long run. By requiring customers to choose the more expensive Unlimited Ultimate plan, Verizon is able to recoup the cost of the “free” iPhone over the course of the three-year promotion period. Customers who opt for this plan would spend $315 more over three years compared to if they traded in their old phone and chose a cheaper Verizon plan. It is important for customers to carefully evaluate the cost of the plan and determine if the additional features and perks offered by the more expensive plan are worth the extra expense.
AT&T’s offer for the iPhone 15 Pro
AT&T is also offering a promotion for the iPhone 15 Pro, but like Verizon, there are certain requirements that customers must meet in order to receive the promotional offer. Customers must trade in an eligible phone, with the most recent and expensive smartphones receiving the highest trade-in value. The trade-in credit is applied as discounts spread out over 36 months of bill payments. For example, a three-year-old iPhone 12 would receive a promotional credit of $700, reducing the cost of the iPhone 15 Pro to $8.30 per month over three years.
Cost analysis for AT&T’s iPhone promotion
To qualify for AT&T’s promotional offer, customers must also choose one of AT&T’s eligible data plans, which start at $65 per month. When considering the total cost of buying an iPhone 15 Pro and using it on AT&T’s network with an eligible plan over three years, the cost would amount to $2,675. However, if customers chose one of AT&T’s cheaper plans, such as the $50 Value Plus plan, the cost of the iPhone 15 Pro would be reduced to $800. Over the course of 36 months on the cheaper plan, the total cost would be $2,635. Although the more expensive plan does offer additional features such as mobile hot spotting, it is important for customers to weigh the costs and benefits before making a decision.
T-Mobile’s promotion for a free iPhone 15 Pro
T-Mobile is also running a promotion for a free iPhone 15 Pro, but customers must meet certain requirements to be eligible. To get the free iPhone, customers must trade in their older phone and sign up for T-Mobile’s Go5G Next plan, which costs $100 per month. The free iPhone is provided in the form of bill credits spread out over 24 months. Over the course of two years, customers would end up paying approximately $2,400 in total.
Cost analysis for T-Mobile’s iPhone promotion
While T-Mobile’s promotion may seem enticing, customers need to consider the cost of the plan they choose. If customers opt for the cheaper Essentials plan, which costs $60 per month and is not part of the promotion, they would receive a $200 credit for their iPhone 12 trade-in. After purchasing the iPhone 15 Pro for $800, the total cost over two years would be $2,240. By choosing the more expensive Go5G Next plan, customers would essentially be paying roughly $160 more over two years for additional data and streaming services. It is important for customers to carefully evaluate their needs and determine if the higher cost of the plan is justified by the additional features and perks it offers.
The Reality of ‘Free’ iPhones
Customers often end up spending more in the long run
While the promotional offers from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile may advertise a free iPhone, the reality is that customers often end up spending more in the long run. By requiring customers to choose more expensive wireless plans, the phone carriers are able to recoup the cost of the “free” iPhone over the course of the promotion period. For example, Verizon’s free iPhone promotion would cost customers approximately $3,240 over 36 months, which is $300 more than buying the new iPhone with a cheaper plan. It is important for customers to carefully consider the long-term costs before committing to a promotional offer.
Promotions are temporary and rates may increase
Another important factor to consider when evaluating promotional offers for free iPhones is the temporary nature of these promotions. Once the promotion period ends, the wireless service rates may increase, and customers can end up spending more without even realizing it. It is essential for customers to understand the terms and conditions of the promotion, including any rate increases that may occur after the promotion period. By being aware of the potential for increased rates, customers can make a more informed decision about whether the promotional offer is truly beneficial in the long run.
Saving Money with Trade-Ins
Sell your old phone for credit towards a new one
One way to save money when purchasing a new iPhone is to sell your old phone for credit towards the new one. Many websites and retailers offer trade-in programs where customers can exchange their old phones for cash or store credit. By selling your old phone, you can significantly reduce the cost of a new iPhone and potentially save hundreds of dollars.
Explore trade-in programs from Gazelle, Best Buy, Amazon, etc.
There are several trade-in programs available that customers can explore when looking to sell their old phones. Websites such as Gazelle, Best Buy, Amazon, and Swappa offer cash or store credit for used phones, and their quotes are often higher than the trade-in value offered by phone carriers. It is recommended to shop around and compare trade-in offers from different programs to find the best deal for your old phone. By taking advantage of these trade-in programs, customers can save money on a new iPhone and avoid the potential pitfalls of promotional offers.
Examples of Successful Trade-Ins
Selling an iPhone 12 for cash through Gazelle
One successful example of a trade-in is selling an iPhone 12 for cash through Gazelle. The author of the article mentioned selling his wife’s iPhone 12 through Gazelle for $312 in cash, which was then used towards buying an iPhone 15 directly from Apple. This reduced the price of the new phone to about $500, resulting in significant savings compared to the cost of purchasing a new phone without a trade-in.
Choosing a budget-friendly wireless plan
Another example of a successful trade-in is choosing a budget-friendly wireless plan. By trading in an old phone and selecting a cheaper plan, customers can reduce the overall cost of owning a new iPhone. The article mentioned the option of choosing a $50 Value Plus plan from AT&T, which resulted in a lower cost for the iPhone 15 Pro compared to selecting a more expensive plan. By finding a wireless plan that suits your budget and needs, you can save money in the long run.
Be Wary of Promotional Offers
Promotions may not actually result in a ‘free’ phone
It is important to be wary of promotional offers that advertise a “free” iPhone. While these offers may seem enticing, the reality is that the cost of the phone is often incorporated into the terms of the promotion. Customers may be required to choose more expensive wireless plans or commit to long-term contracts in order to qualify for the “free” phone. It is essential to carefully evaluate the terms and conditions of the promotion to understand the true cost and determine if it is a good deal for your individual circumstances.
Consider the long-term costs and benefits
When considering a promotional offer for a free iPhone, it is crucial to consider the long-term costs and benefits. While the upfront cost of the iPhone may be eliminated through the promotion, customers need to evaluate the cost of the wireless plan they are required to choose. The additional features and perks offered by more expensive plans may not be necessary or beneficial, and customers may end up spending more money over time. It is important to weigh the costs and benefits and determine if the promotional offer is a good fit for your needs and budget.
Selling your old phone is still a good way to save money
Despite the potential pitfalls of promotional offers for free iPhones, selling your old phone is still an effective way to save money on a new one. By taking advantage of trade-in programs from websites and retailers, customers can reduce the cost of a new iPhone and potentially save hundreds of dollars. It is recommended to explore different trade-in options and compare offers to find the best deal for your old phone.
Shop around for the best trade-in deals and wireless plans
In addition to selling your old phone, it is important to shop around for the best trade-in deals and wireless plans. By comparing offers from different trade-in programs and evaluating the cost and benefits of various wireless plans, customers can make an informed decision and find the most cost-effective solution for their needs. Saving money on a new iPhone is possible, but it requires careful research and consideration. By implementing these strategies, customers can avoid the potential pitfalls of promotional offers and find the best way to save money while getting the latest iPhone model.