iPhone 5 Pricing for Early Upgraders Still On Contract Seems Higher than the Past

Pricing and plans always seem to be the details that drive so many users crazy when it comes to new Smartphones. Of course that’s a tale well told, and one that we know the carriers like to play their own games with. So, as I’m catching up with what others are saying about the new iPhone 5, I noticed Chris Breen tweeting a simple post saying, “Why I’m not upgrading” with this link, which I assume is the “check your eligibility link on Apple’s website. The pricing on that seemed high to me, so I thought I’d head over to Apple’s site to check out my eligibility pricing as well. Now, know that as an always early upgrader, I’m used to paying  a premium when it comes to a new iPhone. But I was a bit shocked when I saw the price in the picture below for the 64GB model.

Apple Store

First, before I comment on the pricing, I want to point out the date. Both Breen and my eligibility point to November 8 as the date when prices break. Checking with the GBM team, those of us who ordered on pre-order day all seem to have different dates. So, that’s somewhat but not completely surprising.

But now on to the pricing. Like I said, I’m used to paying a premium to upgrade an iPhone early. But I went back and checked my records for the last two upgrades and the most I’ve paid is $649. That $849 price for a 64GB model is new to me and certainly, like Mr. Breen, dissuading. Call me crazy, but on some semiotic level it’s almost suggesting to those of us who have been down this road before that we stay away for a few weeks.

Curious to know what others are seeing here.


  1. Tim

    09/13/2012 at 12:38 am

    Apple knows they can. You can always lower your price you can’t go up unless you have a new product.


  2. Tim

    09/13/2012 at 12:49 am

    I’m sure the 5s will have 128gb and some software app you can only get with the 5s a better camera maybe. The only thing that is better is the 4G LTE upgrade they should of had with the 4s. But Apple is the master of getting every penny they can from the people that like them most and when they ask too much they lower the price to see if they can get the rest.


  3. Rand

    09/13/2012 at 11:31 am

    Tim seems to fail to realize that the final pricing is dictated by carrier subsidies, not by Apple. I too am being shown $849 as the price I would pay for early upgrading, that is $200 more than I paid for doing the same thing last year. Also it is curious to note that $849 is about what you would pay for an unlocked iPhone 5 when those are finally made available and these phones would not be unlocked. Hmmmm so it seems to upgrade early you would not receive any carrier subsidy, have another year added to your contract, and be given a locked phone. Whats more it would seem that it would be cheaper for an early adopter to switch to Verizon mid-contract even if I had to pay a prorated cancellation fee to AT&T. On top of that a Verizon iPhone is compatible with more LTE networks world wide.


  4. Kyu Lee

    09/18/2012 at 8:22 pm

    I have an iphone 4s from Verizon that I bought at launch last year. When I tried to pre-order an iPhone 5 with Verizon, it said that I was eligible to upgrade with discount pricing in June of 2013 “with a contract renewal, or you may upgrade today at full retail price.” It showed that full retail price for the iPhone 5 64gb was $849. Therefore, the price difference is $450 extra. My ETF would be $240. So if I switch to AT&T (and get it for the subsidized price of $399) then I’m still saving $210. Why in the world would Verizon incentivize me to leave the contract for an iphone 5 (by getting it from another carrier)?!? This makes no sense to me and I’m surprised I haven’t read more about this online (there’s some discussion about it, but not that much considering everyone who bought an iPhone 4s is still under contract and would either have to pay an ETF or buy a full priced phone to upgrade to the iPhone 5). I just cannot wrap my mind around this. I’m wondering if I buy the phone for full price at $849 am I still under contract with Verizon? If so, for how long? The remainder of my original contract (i.e. 13 months) or an additional 2 years? I know I’m not going to wait until June to get my iPhone 5 so I’m either going to break my contract and go to AT&T or buy the full price phone with Verizon (if I am not stuck with another 2 year contract).


  5. emmanuelkwakuappiah

    08/06/2013 at 5:36 am

    i want to buy the i phone


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