Okay, I've been mulling over this for a long time. I've asked my friends, who are all "OMGZZ get an iPhone nao and lemme play wiz it all da time"... I've asked that facebook group dedicated to AT&T, and they're just as useless.
Let me preface this by saying... I am going to get an iPhone. I current have a blackberry 8520. I am selling my iPod Touch 2g 32gb
My current blackberry is on it's way out. My texts constantly freeze, there are times when the screen doesn't turn on, I have to do multiple hard resets/ battery pulls a day. I've gotten it replaced 4 times now. I now have to file a claim with Asurion.. But they're telling me I need to pay $175.00 bucks to get a new phone. Out of the question.
Heres what my options are:
A. Pay the cancellation fee for one line on my family account. It'll cost me $105. Get a new line and buy a refurbished iPhone 4 for 199.99
B. Keep my line til April (if it lasts that long) and buy a refurbished iPhone 4 for the same price?
I keep hearing rumors that the iPhone 5 is coming out in June. But how much different could it be really? Isn't the 5th generation of all Apple products where things start to level out? Based on some reading I've been doing it's going to be more "evolutionary rather than revolutionary".
Seriously, there's no way we can answer this. There's a lot of speculation, but precious little that's actually known about what's going to come out in the next iPhone. We don't even know IF there's going to be an iPhone 5 this summer; there are multiple scenarios that could play out.
Apple could release both GSM & CDMA iPhones this summer (IMO, unlikely, since all the early VZW adopters would scream bloody murder that they bought a phone and four months later a brighter, shinier new phone comes out).
Apple could release a GSM-only iPhone 5 this summer, and a CDMA iPhone 5 later in the year/early next. Again, VZW subscribers would whine that AT&T's getting the bright & shiny new toy first.
Apple could reset their release schedule and shoot for releasing both GSM & CDMA iPhones late this year/early next. AT&T subscribers would whine that they're getting the short end of the stick because of Apple bringing the iPhone to Verizon.
As far as whether the new iPhone will be revolutionary or evolutionary, nobody can say. If I had to guess, we'd get a better antenna, improved optics in the two cameras, and processor/GPU/memory bumps. We might also get a storage boost to 64GB, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
You should check with AT&T on this, or maybe someone who works for AT&T can verify, but I don't think you can pay an ETF and then open a new line and receive the discounted price on an iPhone. I believe that if an account is closed, it is reopened within a certain frame of time-say six months? That prevents people from closing an account to get the discounted price on a new phone.
You might check with your local corporate AT&T store to see if you can do an early upgrade sooner than you are normally eligible. We were able to upgrade two phones on our family plan before their upgrades dates. The manager allows them, even for an iPhone, within sixty days before the usual date. My son was able to upgrade to an iPhone only fifteen months after his last upgrade-he has the primary line on our family plan. My daughter was able to upgrade to the same only eighteen months after her last upgrade. Check and see if you might be able to do this. Especially with Verizon having the iPhone now, upgrades might be more flexible.
At this date/stage I personally would wait until the Worldwide Developers Conference around June. If Apple is going to release a new iPhone it will be talked about there.
But if the current iPhone 4 meets are your needs and you need a phone now, then I see no issues with going ahead and getting one. There is nothing stating you have to have the newest one when it's released.