John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Early Termination Fee Be Damned — I Want My iPhone

How badly do some folks want a new iPhone?

Badly enough to eat an early termination fee to get one.

A survey by newly-founded Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) shows that many consumers were willing to break their wireless service contract to get a new iPhone — even if it meant being slapped with the outsize penalties carriers often charge for doing so.

Of the iPhone purchasers CIRP surveyed between Oct. 31 and Nov. 10, 45 percent said they had broken a contract with their current or previous carrier to buy or upgrade to the device. Of those, more than 70 percent paid an early termination fee greater than $100 to do so.

That’s a stiff penalty and a significant increase in cost, particularly when you add it to the $199 to $399 price of a new iPhone 4S, which 90 percent of CIRP’s respondents opted for. Unless it was mitigated by the high resale value of the late-model iPhones they ultimately replaced. Always a possibility.

Still, no one likes paying ETFs, even if their cost is underwritten by the sale of an older device. The fact that so many consumers are willingly doing so says a lot about the iPhone’s mindshare.

A few other tidbits froms CIRP’s survey:

  • 71 percent of the iPhone purchasers surveyed upgraded from an earlier iPhone; 18 percent switched from another smartphone.
  • 37 percent of respondents switched carriers to purchase an iPhone.
  • 17 percent of respondents purchased a Sprint iPhone, 34 percent a Verizon iPhone, and 49 percent an AT&T iPhone.

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