T-Mobile’s $0 iPhone 5 trade-in: is it worth it? [PRICING UPDATE]

Apr 10, 2013
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T-Mobile’s $0 iPhone 5 trade-in: is it worth it? [PRICING UPDATE]

As T-Mobile begins their push for the iPhone 5 as they finally have the device available for sale directly, they've created a trade-in offer where you'll toss them your old iPhone for a deal. When you do trade in your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S (no other device will do) right up until June 16th (Father's Day), you'll get a $0 down deal on the iPhone 5 - plus monthly payments. This will knock out $99.99 USD from your final bill - and you've got the potential to knock out a whole lot more than that!

When you get an iPhone 5 from T-Mobile normally, you'll be paying $99.99 up front and $20 per month for 24 months. That's $480 + $99.99 = $579.99 USD. This compares to two other prices you could potentially pay for the iPhone 5, both of them available both here and in our iPhone 5 T-Mobile pricing breakdown.

1. On-contract from non-T-Mobile carriers: $199 with subsidy costs built-in to your data/voice/text plan (you can’t see it, but it’s there).
2. Off-contract straight from Apple: $649 (we’ll stick to the 16GB version since T-Mobile is advertising that model as their hero with $99.99 down and so forth)
3. T-Mobile payment plan: $579.99 ($99.99 down with $20 per month for 24 months)

According to T-Mobile you'll get the first $99.99 knocked off of your bill, bringing you back to the payments of $20 USD per month for 24 months, this ending up at $480 USD. T-Mobile also notes that your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S might be worth more than that base $99.99 trade-in value:

"Depending on the trade-in value of their device, customers will also receive a credit of up to $120, which can be used toward monthly payments, an existing T-Mobile bill, or the purchase of accessories or another device." - T-Mobile

We've reached out to T-Mobile to get clarification on what this added value might be: more than likely it'll depend on how mint your device is and/or if you've got a device with more internal storage than the basic 16GB model. UPDATE: Below you'll now find details on which device will get you the most from T-Mobile and what your minimum requirements will be as well.

Customer trades-in an iPhone 5
• $0 Down on new iPhone 5
• Monthly EIP payments are $13/mo for 24 months
• –OR- Customer receives up to $164 bill credit, which can be applied toward monthly payments, a T-Mobile bill or the purchase of accessories or another device

Customer trades-in an iPhone 4S
• $0 Down on new iPhone 5
• Monthly EIP payments are $15/mo for 24 months
• –OR- Customer receives up to $120 bill credit, which can be applied toward monthly payments, a T-Mobile bill or the purchase of accessories or another device

Customer trades-in an iPhone 4
• $0 Down on new iPhone 5
• Monthly EIP payments are $19/mo for 24 months
• –OR- Customer receives up to $24 bill credit, which can be applied toward monthly payments, a T-Mobile bill or the purchase of accessories or another device

"The used device must meet minimal criteria including being in good condition, having an intact and working display and being free of liquid damage or corrosion and also goes through security checks to ensure it is not a device that has been reported lost or stolen." - T-Mobile Representative

NOTE: If you need convincing that the iPhone 5 is a device you need to own, have a peek at our full iPhone 5 review, now!

So is this trade-in worth it? You simply must see how much your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S is worth on the open market to decide. If you sell your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S on ebay, for instance, you might get more than $500 USD for it - but you'll also have to make absolutely sure you know how to wipe out your device before you sell it, unlock it so the person you're selling it to can use it, and have a basic knowledge of how to sell and ship items with ebay in the first place.

If these sorts of must-haves scare the living daylights out of you, you have three options, each of them better than the last:

1. Just keep your iPhone and buy a new iPhone 5 from T-Mobile so you've got 2 iPhones, the older one just as awesome as an iPod.
2. Trade your iPhone in with T-Mobile and get that new iPhone 5 - they'll take care of the details.
3. Ask your nephew or niece how to make ebay sell your stuff - and don't forget to give them a few bucks for the effort!

Stay tuned as we get the final details from T-Mobile on what they'll be looking for in regards to the above-and-beyond $99.99 value of your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S. Seeya then!


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