Help me find a cheap, reliable, standard phone for use on AT&T. I need to find something cheap so I can sell my iPhone.
January 15, 2009 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a cheap, reliable, standard phone for use on AT&T. I need to find something cheap so I can sell my iPhone.

I think I want to sell my iPhone. I feel that I don't love it enough to warrant its $300 price. I bet I can recoup most of that price since it's barely a month old.

I'd like to get a new smartphone, but I can't figure out which to get, so I'm probably just going to wait for something new to come out in a few months or I finally figure out what I want.

What type of phone should I get to tide me over? I don't need internet or email. I just want to be able to make calls and text. I also want it to be cheap and reliable.
posted by decrescendo to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If it's less than 30 days old, you can return it.
posted by Oktober at 9:57 AM on January 15, 2009

Response by poster: It's past 30 days. And I'm pretty sure I could get more money for it by selling it than by giving it back to ATT and having to pay a restocking fee.
posted by decrescendo at 10:01 AM on January 15, 2009

Is AT&T going to let you downgrade your plan? That's where you're really spending the big money. If they won't, you're going to be paying off the iPhone's price subsidy anyhow, as well as paying for data services you're not using.

In order to really break even, you'd need to unlock the phone and sell it for something in the neighborhood of its unsubsidized price—perhaps $600. Which is a taller order.

If you can't downgrade your plan, or unlock and sell the phone for its unsubsidized price, you might as well keep it and enjoy it, unless you find that you actively dislike it.
posted by adamrice at 10:11 AM on January 15, 2009

Something from the AT&T prepaid GoPhone line, such as the Motorola C168i or the Nokia 2610? You can swap out your iPhone SIM and keep your number.
posted by holgate at 10:15 AM on January 15, 2009

Response by poster: I would assume I'd be able to change my AT&T plan however I wanted.

Or is that a tall order?
posted by decrescendo at 10:22 AM on January 15, 2009

I don't know whether you can downgrade the plan or not—I suspect that you might not be able to. I'm just recommending that you check and make sure before you do anything else.
posted by adamrice at 10:58 AM on January 15, 2009

Response by poster: Ok. Thanks for raising that flag before I do something stupid.
posted by decrescendo at 11:08 AM on January 15, 2009

If you bought the phone outright, you may be able to drop or change your plan. If you got the phone at a discount through AT&T in exchange for signing yourself up for a two-year contract, you're locked in and would probably be subject to a fee if you changed anything (they'll always let you go to a more expensive plan, but may not let you go to a cheaper one!)
posted by caution live frogs at 11:10 AM on January 15, 2009

Response by poster: Damn.

That's going to piss me off.
posted by decrescendo at 11:42 AM on January 15, 2009

Before the 3G I'm pretty sure you could drop your iPhone dataplan and use another phone as long as you kept the voice plan without getting hit with fees. That may have changed since Apple's financial arrangement with the phone companies changed with the 3G.
posted by Good Brain at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2009

A possible get-out (outside paying the early termination fee) is to see if you can get whoever buys the iPhone to take over your contract.
posted by holgate at 1:07 PM on January 15, 2009

AT&T will always let you modify your plan without penalty, whether it's up or down. The only impact to changing to a lower plan will be the loss of rollover minutes above the amount on your new plan (i.e. you have 1200 rollover minutes and change to a 500 minute plan; you'll be bumped down to 500 rollover) which won't apply to you most likely. The only exception to this is if you bought your phone through an agent store (some agent contracts require a certain data plan and voice expense). Since agent stores (except for Wal-Mart) are not allowed to sell the iPhone, this also doesn't apply to you.

You are thinking Sprint, who automatically renews contracts after plan changes in some cases, or T-Mobile who will sometimes not allow downgrades without a renewal.
posted by fireoyster at 4:31 AM on January 16, 2009

Oh, one other thing: You will need to call customer service with the IMEI of your new phone (*#06# on the keypad) so that your account can be updated to non-iPhone status. Once this has been done you can drop the iPhone data plan without penalty. Trying to drop it before changing the IMEI will result in "request denied" as AT&T's system (usually) requires the iPhone plan to be in place.
posted by fireoyster at 4:34 AM on January 16, 2009

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