OK I was a geek and got one via Verizon. Extremely painful at midnight. There was all kinds of bugs, but this morning at 6AM, it worked like a charm. Although it won’t ship until next month πŸ™ Here are tips tricks and traps of buying a new iPhone

Trade in bonus in the first month? Maybe it does work πŸ™‚

The biggest hidden promotion is that if you have a working iPhone 4 or better from any carrier, they will give you $200 (instead of the $55 or so an old iPhone 4 is worth) as a gift card. I don’t know if this will really work as they say they have to appraise the device and so forth, but worth a try.

If you’ve an old iPhone 4 (that is worth about $40 on the used market), Verizon will let you trade it for $200 for an iPhone 6, but this is the 16GB version and for devices like you really need 64GB
Verizon announced Tuesday it will offer a free 16GB iPhone 6 in exchange for your old iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S or 5C in good condition β€” as long as you re-up your contract for another two years. That’s a $199 value.
via How to Trade in Your Old iPhone for the iPhone 6.

Does Edge Make Sense for Two years? No

Also, they have some new pricing plans like this thing called Edge. I’m not quite sure why anyone wants it, makes the phones super expensive as they charge 24 months a hefty monthly fee. It is complicated, but it is basically add $42.69 for 24 months is $1024 and they knock $10 off your plan if you use less that 10GB, so effectively this is 42.69-10=32.69 x 24 = $784. so it is more than the $399 that it costs under. If you have a big family and get 10GB or more ($100 vs. $60 for 3GB for example), then you get $25 offΒ  so it is $42.69-25=$17.69=$424.64 so basically a push.
The big advantage and after a year, you can trade in your phone for another one. This is harder to estimate. What technically happens is that when you wait two years, you own your phone, so the cost is technically less the resale value of the phone. So a $399 iPhone 6 Plus in two years would be worth (assuming that it follows the same cost curves as an two year old iPhone 5 (on Gazelle) is worth $160, so your net assumed cost is $399-$160=$239. This kind of surprised me, but makes sense since an iPhone 5 back then actually cost about $600.

Does Edge Make Sense for One Year? Slightly if you use 10GB/Month

So with Edge, if you do the same thing, then you end up with your phone and it costs a little more, so it doesn’t matter. What is interesting is if you decide a year later to get a new phone. Then you trade in your phone for free. On the two year plan you are stuck. For two years, here is what happens on the regular plan. First you pay an Early Termination Fee of $350 minus $10 per month of service. So after a year that is $350-(12*10)=$230. There is also a rumble that you lose your phone number so if you do this you want to transfer your number and then terminate so you don’t lose the phone, you own it. And a one year old iPhone 5S for instance is worth $265, so you are about even (which was kind of the point). You can sign up for a new plan and then you are back on the $299 plan and hae the two year. So in some ways except for losing your phone number, this is a wash
The big difference is that you can buy the new phone on Edge, then you have to trade in your phone and then you are back to paying. The good or bad news is that again this is a wash if you have a 10GB per month plan or higher.

Warranties? AppleCare Plus

You really don’t want to lose your phone or have an accident. It is basically a $700 asset sitting in your pocket. There are two things to consider. First is extended warranty and the second is insurance. You certainly want a warranty and Applecare Plus is about the same price as SquareTrade and way more convenient

Insurance? Yes until 18 months of ownership

This is a bit of a complicated question, but actually it does make some sense. Verizon charges $10/month with a $200 deductible. So here is the math. It all has to do with the tradeoff between this and the early termination fee (modulo losing your phone number, but assuming you figure out a way to swap around that, like transferring your phone number to Google Voice or something else I haven’t though enough about). Here goes. The key advantage is that it doesn’t extend your contract. With an early termination fee of $350 (losing $10/month which is nice a symmetrical). At month 12, you would have insurance or $10×12=$120 and you would pay $199 for a new phone. So you are out $320 vs being “naked”. If you are nake then you have and you would have early termination fee of $350-120=$220 which isn’t so bad, but now you have to pay say $299 for a new phone and an extended contract. Net out lay is $520. It makes sense to have insurance through the first year at least.
Checking the same math at 18 months,

I’m Rich & Co.

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