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  • Check To See If You Are Eligible For An iPhone Upgrade


    Everyone already knows that new iPhones are going to be announced on Tuesday October 4th during Appleís ďLetís Talk iPhoneĒ event. For those of you who are on AT&T and Verizon, you may be wondering if you are eligible for an upgrade with your carrier. It is widely known that if you donít buy off contract, early upgrade fees can be extremely expensive for smartphones, especially for an iPhone.

    Instead of wondering if youíll be eligible for the upgrade or calling in and sitting through generally horrendous customer support, there is an easier alternative for both carriers. Check below:



    If you are an AT&T customer, you can check your upgrade eligibility straight from your current iPhone. Dial *639# (from the Phone app) and call the number. AT&T will give you a message that states the following: ďA message will be sent to your phone.Ē Shortly after, you should get an SMS message with the details on your upgrade eligibility and contract commitment.



    As of right now, there isnít any certainty on how AT&T determines early upgrade fees but it has been noted by many that the more you spend on your iPhone, the more likely you are to receive a favorable upgrade price. Regardless of what early upgrade fee youíll have, expect a two-year contract to be tacked on as part of the deal.

    On a side note, going to the retail store and negotiating can sometimes help you cut a deal on the early upgrade fees. In some cases, AT&T retail employees have been able to play around with the early upgrade date to offer an early iPhone purchase at a more reasonable price. This is all purely luck though (or based off connections) so donít complain if you donít succeed.

    If you are a Verizon customer, youíll have to check online for upgrade eligibility. Customers need to login to Verizonís website and navigate to the ďMy VerizonĒ page. Each phone tied to your account will be displayed with its upgrade eligibility date here.

    Remember, regardless of what happens, you can always pay the extra $200 for an early iPhone upgrade if you really want to. As for your old iPhone(s), you can keep them for backup, give them to your parents, siblings, children, or friends, or sell them! If you plan to sell your old iPhone(s), you can use a variety of different services such as NextWorth, but in reality you are probably better off selling the device(s) on CraigsList or something similar to it instead.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Check To See If You Are Eligible For An iPhone Upgrade started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 38 Comments
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      I bought a 4 in february, but it says that I am eligible for an upgrade. Sweet.
    1. matrixhunter's Avatar
      matrixhunter -
      I can upgrade my iphone 11/17/2011 i have bought the phone in june preordered it online. But i have a question me and my cousin both bought the iphone 4 in june how come his upgrade is in feb 2012 when mines is in nov if we both bought the phone in june?? he waited in line and received his phone a day after me
    1. spider_romeo's Avatar
      spider_romeo -


      Not eligible

      So I will get it from Hongkong, get the unlocked one
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      To each his own, but you are still paying way less than retail on the phone, even at that $467 pricetag. FWIW, pretty sure the person you were replying to said he has JUST the $18 upgrade fee message. This means it's contact price of phone (likely $199.99) plus the $18 = $217.99
      What do u mean $467? My message says $250.00+$18.00=$268.00 in order for me to get the new iPhone. My only issue is do I really want to go thru this for an A5 chip upgrade or is there going to really be a redesigned teardrop iPhone 5 that I can justify upgrading too? Got to wait until Tuesday lol
    1. whodatfan's Avatar
      whodatfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by moon#pie View Post
      I bought a 4 in february, but it says that I am eligible for an upgrade. Sweet.
      How is this possible? ATT seems to be very inconsistent with the whole upgrading policy. I preordered my iphone4 when they first dropped and it is saying I'm not eligible till 2/2012. How the hell can you be eligible in less than a year? Doesn't make a damn bit of sense.
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Quote Originally Posted by whodatfan View Post
      How is this possible? ATT seems to be very inconsistent with the whole upgrading policy. I preordered my iphone4 when they first dropped and it is saying I'm not eligible till 2/2012. How the hell can you be eligible in less than a year? Doesn't make a damn bit of sense.
      Honestly, I have had my phone 4 exactly 10 months and I got the $268 phone upgrade text but my actual phone upgrade is June 2012. So 50 bucks just to get the new iPhone is good deal I think.
    1. MrNewbdude's Avatar
      MrNewbdude -
      Quote Originally Posted by luvmytj View Post
      I am eligible but my wife is not till February. The weird thing is we both got our iPhone4 a day before the official release, June 2010... why aren't we both eligible? We have had the same family plan contract since the days of Cingular.
      Hope this will clear some things up, I work for AT&T in a wireless store. AT&T now does not differentiate between primary and secondary lines EXCEPT when it comes to upgrades. The primary line on the acct becomes eligible every 12 months. That means new customer pricing +$18 upgrade fee and new 2yr contract. ($199.99 16GB and $299.99 32GB) plus tax of course.
      A note on sales tax: normally you are charged tax on the full retail value of the device NOT the sale price. You can avoid this if you upgrade at Walmart or Target, they choose to eat the tax and only charge make you pay tax based on the sale price. If you get the message that says upgrade pricing plus $250 plus $18 upgrade fee, then you would pay $199 or $299, 16 or 32GB, plus $250, this is called an exception upgrade. As long as it has been 6 months since your last upgrade you will be eligible for this. It has always been $200 extra for the exception upgrade not $250 but I got the same msg when checking so apparently it has changed, at least for us iphone customers.

      So primary is 12 months.
      The rest are 20 months.
      Also most people don't know that changing your rate plan can affect eligibility for upgrades.

      And please whoever it was who was recommending to go to a retail store and complain to try and get a deal. DONT! 1. It's not gonna make us want to help you get what you want by taking an ear-raping from you. 2. We can pull strings sometimes, BUT NEVER FOR IPHONES. AT&T has an agreement with Apple that prevents and price adjustments on Apple devices. I could give away ANY phone for free if I had to, BUT couldn't give you $5 off an iphone.

      Hope it helps
    1. whodatfan's Avatar
      whodatfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikerlx View Post
      Honestly, I have had my phone 4 exactly 10 months and I got the $268 phone upgrade text but my actual phone upgrade is June 2012. So 50 bucks just to get the new iPhone is good deal I think.
      Ahhhhh, I think you misunderstand that text. What it says is you have to pay the upgrade phone price which is 199 for 16gb or 299 for 32gb PLUS an additional 250 dollars AND 18 dollar upgrade fee. So, to upgrade early, it will cost you 468 dollars for a 16gb iphone5 OR 568 dollars for the 32gb. If you are not eligible to upgrade, it is 268 dollars EXTRA on top of the upgrade prices of the phones 199 or 299.
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Striknine View Post
      Even though some people are eligible for an upgrade, it will still cost at least $199.00 plus $18.00 upgrade fee for a new phone. Same offer for new customers.
      Yeah thats what i paid for a new contract when i got my i4...

      Quote Originally Posted by MrNewbdude View Post
      Hope this will clear some things up, I work for AT&T in a wireless store. AT&T now does not differentiate between primary and secondary lines EXCEPT when it comes to upgrades. The primary line on the acct becomes eligible every 12 months. That means new customer pricing +$18 upgrade fee and new 2yr contract. ($199.99 16GB and $299.99 32GB) plus tax of course.
      A note on sales tax: normally you are charged tax on the full retail value of the device NOT the sale price. You can avoid this if you upgrade at Walmart or Target, they choose to eat the tax and only charge make you pay tax based on the sale price. If you get the message that says upgrade pricing plus $250 plus $18 upgrade fee, then you would pay $199 or $299, 16 or 32GB, plus $250, this is called an exception upgrade. As long as it has been 6 months since your last upgrade you will be eligible for this. It has always been $200 extra for the exception upgrade not $250 but I got the same msg when checking so apparently it has changed, at least for us iphone customers.

      So primary is 12 months.
      The rest are 20 months.
      Also most people don't know that changing your rate plan can affect eligibility for upgrades.

      And please whoever it was who was recommending to go to a retail store and complain to try and get a deal. DONT! 1. It's not gonna make us want to help you get what you want by taking an ear-raping from you. 2. We can pull strings sometimes, BUT NEVER FOR IPHONES. AT&T has an agreement with Apple that prevents and price adjustments on Apple devices. I could give away ANY phone for free if I had to, BUT couldn't give you $5 off an iphone.

      Hope it helps
      Thanks for the clarification Helped a lot
    1. Happy363's Avatar
      Happy363 -
      Is there a way to watch apples event live???
    1. Kory569's Avatar
      Kory569 -
      When I try to order the current iPhone 4 it won't let me it keep saying "Unable to complete request. Please try again in a few minutes." I know I have everything entered correctly and I have even tried putting a different phone number from the same account. Could AT&T be moving alot of peoples upgrade date and their servers are overloaded?
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy363 View Post
      Is there a way to watch apples event live???
      There are sometimes sites that play a feed from there. Not always ease to find though and not the best quality. Occasionally Apple streams it but they havent done that the last few times.
    1. Kory569's Avatar
      Kory569 -
      They should have it on their podcast a couple days after the event.
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Quote Originally Posted by whodatfan View Post
      Ahhhhh, I think you misunderstand that text. What it says is you have to pay the upgrade phone price which is 199 for 16gb or 299 for 32gb PLUS an additional 250 dollars AND 18 dollar upgrade fee. So, to upgrade early, it will cost you 468 dollars for a 16gb iphone5 OR 568 dollars for the 32gb. If you are not eligible to upgrade, it is 268 dollars EXTRA on top of the upgrade prices of the phones 199 or 299.
      Ouch, so I understand all the moans and groans checking if your eligible for iPhone upgrade. So, I need at least 400 for selling my iPhone 4 to get iPhone 5 early lol but it would make better sense to pay 600 for unlocked version?
    1. Kory569's Avatar
      Kory569 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikerlx View Post
      Ouch, so I understand all the moans and groans checking if your eligible for iPhone upgrade. So, I need at least 400 for selling my iPhone 4 to get iPhone 5 early lol but it would make better sense to pay 600 for unlocked version?
      Here is AT&T's unlock policy http://www.att.com/esupport/article....id=ifGKTk7wczT
      The next iPhone won't EVER be exclusive because atleast Verizon will be getting it from day one. Here is the settlement from a class-action lawsuit about AT&T unlock policy: http://www.mobileburn.com/chtml/mobi...e=news&Id=9533

      I will consider buying the next iphone if AT&T is forced to unlock it. Also the next iPhone needs to be jailbreakable like my current iPhone 4 is. AT&T needs to let me keep my unlimited data. If one of the requirements are not met I will go to an Android phone.
    1. poorman1700's Avatar
      poorman1700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by luvmytj View Post
      I am eligible but my wife is not till February. The weird thing is we both got our iPhone4 a day before the official release, June 2010... why aren't we both eligible? We have had the same family plan contract since the days of Cingular.
      I've had this problem in the past. If you are on AT&T then the primary account holder is eligible for the 1 year upgrade on the iPhone, not all accounts. Therefor, the main number gets the upgrade benefits and the others have to wait the two years.
    1. trill85's Avatar
      trill85 -
      YES!!! I'm eligible. Been gettin iPhones every year since the 3G. Android that!!
    1. Brucebiggs's Avatar
      Brucebiggs -
      I checked and I'm eligible. I got my 4 on a second line in march but I put it on my primary....my primary is eligible I'm on at&t so I'll see what happens in the next few days