iPhone 4S Purchase Options and Unboxing

October 14, 2011

It’s here! The new iPhone 4S. So far, I’m pretty impressed. I’ll report back on the iPhone itself after I have more quality time with it. At a very early hour, I was one of the first people in line at the Burlington Mall in Massachusetts. As we waited outside in the drizzle, the friendly group of iPhone enthusiasts debated the various options: carrier, size, color and Applecare.

Water for the weary at the Burlington Apple store
Ahhh, water for the weary

Applecare: The new Applecare Plus was debated at length. We decided that Applecare Plus is good for folks who need tech support on a regular basis or if you’re someone who tends to break things. If you take good care of your phone and you’re tech saavy, it doesn’t make sense. One of the Apple sales folks told me that you can only buy Applecare Plus at time of purchase (except if you pre-ordered). There’s also another exception: Regardless of whether the phone is in or out of the standard warranty (1 year on parts and labor), if you break your iPhone 4S, you can the pay the $100 for Applecare Plus at that point (and still have the two future replacements covered at a cost of $45 each). If you don’t, you’ll have to pay $150 to swap out your handset. PC Magazine wrote a comprehensive article on Applecare Plus but it contradicts the aforementioned point. We called back the store to make sure we heard it right and they confirmed it.

Size: I thought I was going to go with the 16 GB model. The consensus of the group was that you need at least 32 GB. When you add up all of your music, the growing size of apps, the new camera, (the video camera is 1080P and the still camera is 8 megapixels) and faster downloads, you can quickly exceed 16 GB.

Carrier: It’s amazing how many folks there opted for AT&T. The AT&T iPhone’s ability to handle faster downloads was the driving factor. Also, the ability to talk and surf at the same time was important. Of the 50 or so people who were lined up when the Apple store opened, the first 15 were all opting for AT&T (I don’t know what the rest of the line was doing). See our previous post on selecting a carrier here.

Color: I don’t get the white iPhone but I also have a challenged sense of fashion. If you’re upgrading from an iPhone 4, it does say,”Hey! This is a new phone!” On the other hand, as our friend MAFletch stated, the white iPhone takes away from the brillance of the screen when you’re watching video.

Personally, I went with an AT&T 32 GB black iPhone 4S (sound like a Starbucks order). I was in and out of the store fairly quickly considering I had to have my number ported from Virgin Mobile. Tip: If you port from Virgin Mobile, your account number is your phone number. Also, make sure they also include your Virgin mobile password which is a numeric pin. When I left the store, the line was longer than when I entered. All I can say is that the iPhone 4S was worth the wait.

Burlington Apple Store Opens to sell first iPhone 4S
The store opens!
Click through for unboxing photos

Apple iPhone 4S Packaging
Apple iPhone 4S Box
iPhone 4S Packaging

Apple iPhone 4S unboxed
A pharaoh would be jealous

Contents of iPhone 4S box
Oh, but there is so much more!

Related Posts:
iPhone 4S Launches: How Much Does a Name Matter?
What Steve Jobs Taught Me

Tags: Apple, Applecare, Boston, IPhone, virgin mobile

2 Responses to iPhone 4S Purchase Options and Unboxing

  1. MAFletch on October 16, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Gabe, did you notice we only paid sales tax on the subsidized price, not the unsubsidized price.  My Apple associate said he thought that if you bought the phone directly from the carriers, you would end up paying sales tax on the unsubsidized price.  I don't know if this true or not, but if it is, then it's an obvious reason to buy from Apple.

  2. The Hub on October 19, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I did not realize that happened at the carrier's store. I bet the Apple store was the only one that handed out expensive bottled water too.

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