Have an iPhone 4S? No $199 iPhone 5 for you

Don't Waste Your Money

So you love all things Apple, and you were among the first people to buy the iPhone 4S when it came out last fall.

Now, you can't wait to upgrade to the new iPhone 5.

But guess what?  It's going to cost you a LOT of money. As much as $650 for a shiny new iPhone next week.

Under Contract?  Be Prepared to Pay

The problem is that everyone with an iPhone 4S on the AT&T, Verizon or Sprint networks is currently under contract, unless you bought the phone at full price, which hardly anyone did.

To get that 4S for $199, you had to sign a two-year contract.

In the past, AT&T allowed customers to get out of those contracts early if they were upgrading to the next model. But not this time, according to numerous blogs and news reports.

Now, if you own an iPhone 4S that is just one year into a two-year contract:

     -You will have to pay a whopping $649 to upgrade to the iPhone 5 at Verizon or Sprint (full price).

     -You will have to pay $449 to upgrade to the iPhone 5 at AT&T (AT&T is offering a $200 subsidy).

To get the fully subsidized $199 iPhone 5, you will have to wait until May 8 of next year at Verizon, or Aug. 14 of next year at AT&T, according to the blogs.

Check with Apple's iPhone store to learn when you are eligible for the $199 model.

One option: Change Carriers

There is a way around this, according to several blogs.

By paying an early termination fee (they vary, but can be $150 or even less), you can leave AT&T or Verizon and switch to the opposite carrier, and thereby be eligible  for a subsidized $199 iPhone 5.

As always, don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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