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Question about buying a new phone before contract is up

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by shark974, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. shark974

    shark974 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Ok, from what I understand, ATT (my carrier) charges an "early upgrade fee" of $175.

    I am about 7 months into my current 2 year contract, and sometime in the next few months want to get a new phone, staying on ATT. My current phone is the Captivate.

    I havent entirely decided on the exact phone, I'm looking at the Inspire, the Atrix, and the Infuse, and also waiting to see what Samsung announces about the Galaxy S 2 here at MWC in a few days, which I assume will come to ATT soon enough also.

    My point is, to my understanding, the cheapest way to go about it would be like this:

    Go to ATT, get the phone I want, presumably say the 199 Atrix. They will then also charge me the 175 early upgrade fee. For a total fee of 375. Am I right so far?

    375 is obviously a significant savings over a "no contract" price of $500-$600 for these phones, so it makes sense.

    Next, I understand that I get to keep my old phone, correct?

    So, I would then sell my Captivate on ebay, which would then likely fetch 200-300 dollars. So the the total cost to me to get the new phone would be the 375 minus (200 to 300), or 75 to 175 dollars, not bad at all.

    Is this correct? There's no problems, they dont deactivate the IMEA # of the old phone (Captivate), demand it back when you buy the new phone else charge you a fee, or anything crazy like that do they?

    Also, how would all this work with pre-ordering? For example I'm somewhat interested in pre-ordering the Atrix, since I'm guessing it will sell out. Is it even possible to preorder under my plan of action outlined above?


  2. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert

    Yes. They don't care what you do with your old phone.

    Nope -- see above.

    Call and ask.
  3. holycow72

    holycow72 Lurker

    If you are eligible for an "upgrade"...and can renew another 2yr contract and get your new phone...this means purchasing the phone at the contract price....

    if you are NOT eligilble for an upgrade...you'll have to pay your ETF(earlier termination fee)...plus cough up the dough for the new phone at the 2yr contract price....

    usually...you are eligible for an upgrade after being on contract for 18-20 months, but I could be wrong...
  4. shark974

    shark974 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    No see, this is where I understand differently. As I understand, if you attempt to buy a new phone before you are eligible for an upgrade, they simply charge you a certain fee on top of the contract price, it used to be $75, but they recently raised it to $175. Plus of course you pay the contract price. So say the Atrix is 199 on contract, you pay that plus the early upgrade fee of $175, for a total of $375, still over $200 less than the $599 the phone runs off contract.

    I guess I'll just have to ask ATT.

    Edit: I goggled a bit and found this link: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20019044-17.html

    It seems to confirm my thought. The only question I would have is if they ask for the old phone back in this scenario, but I'm guessing they do not.
  5. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Android Expert

    It's certainly more than just the number you listed. I know with the iPhone, the $699 (retail) model was $499 with an early upgrade. The numbers are clost to what you state, but not quite the same (unless they did something different for iPhone upgrades).

    Also, if you bill is over a certain amount each month (I want to say over $89.99 before taxes), you get a phone at full upgrade price every 12 months, unless they recently changed that.
  6. Evil.Bonsai

    Evil.Bonsai Android Enthusiast

    Or, you could just pay off-contract price and pay activation only, with your original 2-year contract ending with no change.
  7. Jew

    Jew Member

    I currently have AT&T. I wanted to upgrade my phone (had my crappy phone for 9 months now). They told me I can't upgrade my phone for another few months, even with an early upgrade. In fact, it will cost me $118 right now to cancel out my phone and switch carriers. I don't know where you got your info, but unless it is different depending on the states, your info is wrong.

    Go to a store and ask them to search up your account and make sure you can upgrade.

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