iPhone 5 Buying Guide
The iPhone 5 has arrived and everyone is excited to get their hands on it. We’ve rounded up a few tips and reminders before you make your purchase.
Eligibility & Pricing
Check whether you’re up for an upgrade before you make any decisions about buying the iPhone 5. You can get the new iPhone for as low as $199 at most major carriers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon if your 2 year contract is up. Otherwise, you might have to pay at least $300 more to get it. You can check your eligibility for an upgrade here.
Carrier Plans & Coverage
If you’re not tied to an existing carrier and data plan, it’s best to shop around. Check coverage maps to see which carrier gives your area the strongest LTE coverage. The bells and whistles on the iPhone 5 will work better with that super-fast LTE. Also ask about family plans if you’re grouping up. Extra lines can come cheaply.
No Contract Options
No contract options are limited, but Cricket and Virgin Mobile appear to be the leading no-contract, pre-paid services for iPhones. Expect to pay more for your phone (starting at $649) as you won’t be promising to pay a monthly bill for two years.
Whether you’re upgrading with your existing carrier or starting a new contract, make sure to read the small print concerning data limits.
- AT&T – If your current AT&T contract gives you unlimited data, do not add anything to your plan or change your plan. They may attempt to steer you this way but any changes will likely result in the carrier switching you over to a limited plan, especially 4G limits. Get that unlimited plan “grandfathered” in and insist that your plan is unlimited over 3G and 4G.
- Verizon – Effective June 28, 2012, you won’t be able to upgrade to a new phone at a discounted price and keep your unlimited data package. If you want that unlimited data package, you’ll have to pay full price for the new phone.
- Sprint – Sprint lets you keep your unlimited plan, though it has some work to do to catch up to Verizon and AT&T’s larger 4G LTE coverage areas.
Memory & Color Options
With the popularity of cloud storage, the standard model 16GB storage capacity is plenty for most people. However, if you’re taking lots of HD video or panoramic photos, the 32GB or 64BG is a better call. With a two-year contract on the Big Three (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon), it’s $199 for the 16 GB, $299 for the 32 GB, and $399 for the 64GB. There are two color options: slate black and white with an aluminum silver back.
Porting Over Your Phone Number
If you’re switching carriers bringing your old number with you is usually not a problem. Do not terminate your service with your existing carrier before starting a new one. For more information on transferring your number to specific carriers, see the following links:
New Lightning Connector
The iPhone 5 also comes with new accessories like the earpods and a connector redesign. Before you buy the iPhone 5, it would be best to consider the cost of replacing all your cables and connectors since they’re about $30 each.
Information You Need Before Ordering
Before you buy your phone, make sure you have all the information you need to make the purchase. You’ll need your credit history, your Social Security Number, and some patience. Allot at least an hour to make your purchase and set up your phone.
Once you get your brand new iPhone, don’t forget to drain the battery, buy a case, and download our top 10 apps!
If you travel a lot, another important thing to consider is how your carrier handles international calls and texts. Verizon offers plans for over 190 countries, while Sprint offers an International Long Distance add-ons that fit your budget. AT&T also offers a wide range of affordable packages.
Have questions or feedback? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]