No Early iPhone 5 Upgrade for You … or Me

Like I’m sure many people did yesterday, I checked the upgrade availability for the new iPhone 5 on Apple’s site, but I was surprised to see that unlike previous years, there is no early access.  Instead, what I found was that I am “eligible” for the unsubsidized price until May which is obviously disappointing.

I have no intention of paying $649 for the 64GB phone or even $449 for the 16GB option. I can’t imagine I’m the only one in this situation as I bought the 4S when it was initially released.  Not sure what this might do to those anticipated holiday sales, but it’s likely to slow a large portion of the potential upgraders into next year as a result.

Now would be a great opportunity for another carrier (hello, VZW, Can you Hear me now?) to swoop in and offer a competitive switch opportunity.  It could generate a great deal of good will, brand love and of course a new base of recurring payments on the network.  This is common in car sales where a competing brand might offer a dealer incentive to get you out of another car’s lease early.  I don’t believe there is any precedent in wireless for this, but hey no time like the present!

6 Replies to “No Early iPhone 5 Upgrade for You … or Me”

  1. What’s your ETF? Assuming it’s between $125-250, that’s a pretty big chunk of money for VZW to eat on top of the massive subsidy they are already providing. Their cost of gross adds has to be less than $375. The other issue is that AT&T will just respond by making the early upgrade offer and it will all be for naught.

  2. It’s certainly possible for AT&T to offer an early upgrade which would be like prior iPhone releases …

    With VZ or another carrier, the ETF would be potentially substantial for them to absorb, but over a longer period of time it should work in their favor. I’ve been with ATT for about a decade – maybe more. Our current plan is two iphones and an iPad with 4G data and additionally there are a few kids getting older who would also eventually join in on a family plan. I don’t know the split between single and shared plans typically … but shared should be a nice bonus.

  3. Is that really unsubsidized? I thought the full unsubsidized price was 599/699/799? You seem to be getting $150 off…

  4. that’s the discount? according to AT&T who I spoke to today I am not eligible for an upgrade. That said, I think there’s a second tier upgrade which is partial and perhaps that is the price I am potentially being offered here.

  5. On the AT&T site which I just had a chance to check vs Apple which is where I got that chart, I found this:

    “Good news! You qualify for early iPhone upgrade at a higher price. A full discounted upgrade may be available on 05/08/2013.”

    clicking through I am seeing:

    Apple iPhone 4 << NOT the 4S though it is also available for more money.

    I already have a 4S, how is that a logical upgrade?

  6. Yeah, I think you’re being offered a partial discount.

    I dunno, man. The Galaxy Nexus is $349, unlocked, and at least the way I use my phone, Android is the better OS for me. I may replace the original iPad I have with an iPad mini if it launches in October as it’s supposed to. Otherwise, may ask for a iTouch for Xmas. It’s either iOS or BB for work email, and dead before BB.

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