4 Unconventional Ways to Upgrade to the iPhone 5S

Upgrade to iPhone 5S

Have you heard? Apple is getting ready to introduce a shiny new iPhone or two this fall. It’s iPhone season, which means we all start lusting for the latest and greatest iPhone. While our current iPhones have served us well, in one fell swoop, it instantly becomes the old iPhone or worse yet, the really old iPhone. But you’re under contract, so what’s a person to do? You can follow the conventional method of selling your old iPhone or maybe you enjoy the convenience of Apple’s new iPhone trade-in program, allowing you to walk-in with old and leave with new. All viable options, but not the only options available to those of you looking to upgrade to the iPhone 5S.

Upgrade to iPhone 5S

  1. Borrow a family member’s upgrade
    You crave the latest in technology and who can blame you. You need that fingerprint scanner, even though you manage to make it through life without it. Lucky for you, your son, daughter or *gasp* wife, is not as keen on upgrading. That crusty iPhone 4 they’ve used since the summer of 2010 has served them well and who needs to spend $200 on a new iPhone. It does everything I need it to do. This is where you swoop in and do some SIM-swapping magic. You might be rocking the iPhone 5, but you’re also in contract, while your sibling is eligible for an upgrade. If you are the account holder, you can upgrade the iPhone 4 and enjoy subsidized pricing on the iPhone 5S. This move is best if done at an AT&T store, since you’ll need them to perform some adjustments to your account. Being a good family member, you do the right thing, offering up your iPhone 5 as an in-kind gesture. Everybody wins, especially you.
  2. It’s time to cash in those reward points
    Do you have a credit card that offers rewards? Shop at Best Buy often? It might be time to check-in and see if you can cash out. Many credit card companies will send out gift cards to stores like Radio Shack, Best Buy and even Apple. It might not be a huge amount, but in some ways, it’s found money. Either way, it’s one step closer to your goal.
  3. Seek out an iPhone contest or two (or three)
    New devices, new giveaways. We’ve done them here in the past and come across them at other fine web establishments. (pssst, we’ll be doing one very soon) Some are pure scams, so make sure you’re dealing with a reputable outfit before jumping through the necessary hoops. Also beware of the requirements. In most cases, it’s not terribly difficult. Sites want followers and visits. You agree to share, follow or post for a chance to win. If this contest is of the random variety, this becomes your Powerball, but on a slightly smaller scale.
  4. Sell a kidney
    Okay, we’re only half kidding about that last idea. Seriously, don’t sell your kidney for an iPhone 5S. Now if Apple releases a big screen with the iPhone 6 next year, well that might be a different story.

Are you planning to upgrade to the iPhone 5S? Are you eligible for the full subsidy, doing the trade-in or going with an unconventional upgrade?



  1. Mike Baturin

    August 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I think a good #5 (and what i’ve always done) is to sell your current phone to get the funds to pay for the new phone. I just sold my 64GB AT&T iPhone 5 on eBay for $600 Buy it Now.

    Maybe even another – #6 Switch carriers and payoff the old carrier’s cancellation fee. The Fee+Contracted price might be less than the full price under your current contract.

    • Christopher Meinck

      August 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Both good ways to upgrade, but tend to be more traditional way of upgrading. Eat the ETF, sell and enjoy a new subsidy. $600 is a good price. I was literally just on eBay and a similar iPhone (unlocked) went unsold. I’m already scouting prices for my iPhone 5 16GB unlocked.

      • Mike Baturin

        August 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm

        Ah yes, I should have read the title a little closer.

        Starting to get a little nervous though – I’ve have a bad history with eBay and people not paying me or trying to scam me. This buyer has an address in FL and a positive feedback under his/her belt. Still hasn’t paid though and has already asked me how to pay using PayPal. Holding my breathe. I have a HTC 8X for work that i’ll forward my iPhone number to until i get the new one 🙂

        • Christopher Meinck

          August 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm

          Good luck. I had little luck selling my Nexus 4. Two customers flaked out. It’s hit or miss with eBay. I may try my hand at Craigslist, but that involves the awkward in-person transaction. When I sold my Nikon D90, the buyer asked for everything but a Geek Squad 4-year warranty. Took an hour to sell a camera, that should have taken 5 minutes. The kicker, he didn’t come with cash. My strategy of meeting at Starbucks paid off. “You go get cash. I’ll be here drinking coffee.” ( ;

  2. Steve

    September 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I love the iphone, but wanted a bigger screen. I decided to get an HTC One when it was released and give up my iphone 5 to the wife. With the aluminum build, it feels like something apple would put out with an amazing display. I really hope 2014 will bring at least a 4.7″ display to the iPhone with 1080p so I can get back to iOS. I miss the functionality with my iMac, iPads and other apple devises. It just works so much better than android.

  3. Ed Walters

    September 3, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Christopher, I actually might sell a kidney- probably not mine- for a bigger screen! And you sold your Nikon D90?? Did you upgrade to something else?

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