Selecting a Smartphone is as difficult as leasing a car

iphone 6s plus

The new iPhone 6s plus

2 years ticked off the calendar and it was time to look into replacing the old iPhone 5s with a new and improved iPhone.

We’ve been with AT&T for the past 5 or 6 years and since several of of the family members on our plan wouldn’t be eligible to upgrade their phones for 6 or 7 more decades (kidding) it seemed logical to remain with AT&T

This time I was interested in the larger 6S Plus unit as my old trusty iPad 1.0 was obsolete as was my Garmin GPS so it seemed to make more sense to replace the iPhone, the iPad and the Garmin with a single device even though this phone is extremely large.

Deciding on the model of phone and amount of memory (64 GB) was the easy part.

The difficult part was figuring out the best financial option available. In the past I would just pony up the $300 or $400 and walk out with the phone but doing that now would mean a larger monthly connection bill of $25 as AT&T really wants you to use their NEXT program, which is essentially a lease program.

After having my team of Accountants evaluate every possible financial scenario it worked out to be about $250 cheaper over 24 months to go with the NEXT program but the kicker is that I have to return the phone down the road. So like a leased car, AT&T has factored in some residual value and hopefully they won’t penalize me for excessive road rash.

Now onto the insurance. If you’re like me then you really hate to buy insurance but sadly it is necessary to have some sort of protection on these little devices as it will be 2 years before I am eligible to run through this thrilling process again with what I can only assume will be the iPhone 7s extra plus.

My last experience with AT&T’s insurance at $6.99 month wasn’t a pleasant one as the coverage for the broken screen was pretty terrible and there was an additional cost (deductible) of $120 so after 24 months of the AT&T insurance with 1 broken screen you can expect a bill of $288 plus some major hoops to jump through to file a claim. A better alternative, in my opinion, is Apple Care+, for $129 plus $99 if the screen breaks. That’s a savings of $60 over 2 years but more importantly it is super easy to get service by Apple either over the phone or at one of the Apple stores.  It’s worth noting that the AT&T stores, at least the one that I went to, really want you to buy their insurance and don’t have Apple Care available, which can be obtained at Apple.com or at one of the Apple stores.

All in all, this new iPhone is a great phone that has allowed me to combine 3 devices into 1 and while the cost of the new iPhones are higher than in the past (as the vendor underwriting went away) I was able to save considerably by combining 3 devices into 1.

Still, it shouldn’t be this difficult to buy a cell phone. Thankfully I didn’t have to address the whole data plan issue at this time…..just let it ride this time please.

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