If you are looking for a new iPhone, you might be wondering whether to sign up for a contract with a carrier or buy your phone at full price and use it on any compatible service. In this article, we will compare the pros and cons of both options and help you decide which one is best for you.
What is a contract iPhone?
A contract iPhone is a phone that you buy from a carrier, such as AT&T or Verizon, and agree to pay a monthly fee for a fixed period of time, usually two years. The carrier will subsidize the cost of the phone, so you will pay less upfront than if you bought it outright. However, you will also be locked into the carrier’s service plan and have to pay an early termination fee if you want to switch to another provider before your contract ends.
What are the benefits of a contract iPhone?
The main benefit of a contract iPhone is that you can get a new phone for a lower initial cost than if you bought it unlocked. For example, at Best Buy, you can get an iPhone 14 Pro 128GB for $33.34 per month for 30 months with AT&T, which adds up to $1,000.20. If you bought the same phone unlocked, you would have to pay $1,099.99 upfront. Another benefit of a contract iPhone is that you can take advantage of the carrier’s promotions and discounts, such as trade-in offers, free accessories, or loyalty rewards.
What are the drawbacks of a contract iPhone?
The main drawback of a contract iPhone is that you are tied to the carrier’s service plan and network for the duration of your contract. This means that you might not be able to switch to another provider if you find a better deal or coverage elsewhere. You also have to pay an early termination fee if you want to cancel your contract before it ends, which can be hundreds of dollars depending on how much time is left on your agreement. Another drawback of a contract iPhone is that you might not be able to use your phone internationally or with other SIM cards without paying extra fees or unlocking your device.
What is an unlocked iPhone?
An unlocked iPhone is a phone that you buy at full price and can use with any compatible carrier’s service. You are not bound by any contracts or commitments and can switch providers whenever you want. You can also use your phone internationally or with other SIM cards without any restrictions or fees.
What are the benefits of an unlocked iPhone?
The main benefit of an unlocked iPhone is that you have more freedom and flexibility to choose your service provider and plan. You can shop around for the best deals and coverage and switch carriers easily if you are not satisfied. You also don’t have to worry about paying any early termination fees or unlocking fees if you want to use your phone abroad or with another SIM card. Another benefit of an unlocked iPhone is that you can sell it or trade it in more easily when you want to upgrade to a new device.
What are the drawbacks of an unlocked iPhone?
The main drawback of an unlocked iPhone is that you have to pay more upfront than if you bought it on contract. For example, at Best Buy, you can get a pre-owned iPhone 12 Mini 5G 128GB for $459.99, which is cheaper than buying it new on contract, but still more expensive than paying monthly installments. Another drawback of an unlocked iPhone is that you might not be able to take advantage of some carrier-specific features or promotions, such as Wi-Fi calling, visual voicemail, or free streaming services.
Which option is best for me?
The best option for buying an iPhone depends on your personal preferences and budget. If you want to save money upfront and don’t mind being locked into a carrier’s service plan for two years, then a contract iPhone might be a good choice for you. If you value flexibility and convenience and don’t mind paying more upfront or buying a pre-owned device, then an unlocked iPhone might be a better option for you. You can compare different models and prices at Best Buy’s website or visit one of their stores to find the best deal for you.