I have a droid eris which I bought in November. Obviously any one of us that purchased one of these phones with a contract is not eligible for an upgrade. If I want to get my hands on the Htc incredible without paying full retail... Any ideas here. I will renew my contract if I have to. Does this mean any one of us that purchased the Droid Eris or the Moto Droid is stuck until 2011? And you know by then the Incridible etc. will be obsolete too. Hmmm......
You will probably be able to get it from Amazon for cheap. For instance, right now at Amazon, the Eris is now selling for an insulting $0.01 (1 cent!) The Moto Droid is $19.99. The HTC HD2 (T-Mobile) is $99. The only drawback is you cannot get insurance through Verizon but you do get a warranty. Now, I'm not exactly sure about the upgrade discount vs just buying the phone outright but you will have to go on there and look. It's still irritating that you can buy it for a penny and now I hear VZW is gonna dump the Eris next month. Jeez!
Those prices on Amazon are for signing up for a new 2 year contract with a new line of service. Not price for just purchasing the phone outright. If you read the item description on Amazon you will clearly see that. You could try ebay or craigslist.
I'm assuming you got the Eris in November with a new contract or a renewal. Assuming this fact, your only option is to buy the Incredible and sell your Eris on eBay to get some of the out of pocket cost back.
However... there is another trick.... prior to Nov 15th, 2009, the termination fee for an Eris contract is only $175 (its $350 now). You could technically cancel your line, pay the cancel fee... sell your Eris on eBay and you'll easily break even. You could then open a new contract with the Incredible. You'll loose your number though.
You could also open a new line or a sub-account, but if your that desperate to get a new phone...
I believe they have put steps in place to prevent people from doing that because they loose so much money on the phone. If you pay over $79.99/month, I believe that is the right amount, you are eligible for yearly upgrades on the primary line.
I added a line to get my Eris. In the end it was cheaper for me to do that than to buy it outright. I was also REALLY wanting to change my phone number anyway. I just leave my other phone at home...and use it kind of as a "home" phone (we have no land line).
It was a little dumb for me I guess to do it this way after all, because since I didn't have a smart phone already I was eligible for an early upgrade. Would have cost me the same, without the additional line, but extended my contract. But, I look at it this way...I am now still eligible to get an upgrade on that line and our other line in August. I will be able to upgrade to the Incredible when/if it finally comes out...my hubby will take my Eris! I am OK with my decision to do it this way!
I suggest you bite the bullet and get a cheap second line. Because, another idea is to switch your Eris to the Loyalty Plan, cut off the data part of the original plan and stick it in a drawer and don't use it (or sell it later). Buy the phone you want, pick out your plan and have VZW switch the main number from the Eris to your new phone and vice-versa. You do get a max of 50 minutes included in the Loyalty Plan. Worse comes to worse, you got a great back-up phone. Since I did this back in November when I bought my Eris, I put my original Krave on Loyalty Plan, eventually sold my Krave on Craigslist, took the buyers old piece of crap LG as part of the deal and put the LG on the loyalty number. Having a second line that doesn't require data is not a bad idea anyway. With all these Androids coming out, they are gonna keep replacing each other every 6 months or so. If you work the plans accordingly and be patient, eventually it becomes an adventure. It's all above board and perfectly legit as far as VZW is concerned.
If you are on a Family Share Plan and one of the other lines is eligible you could use their upgrade. Or you could add another line to your account for 9.99 like others have stated. However, you cant block the data access on the Eris as someone said. You would still need that Unlimited Data feature on there. But if you sold the Eris and replaced it with a Feature phone that does not come with a Data plan then you'd be fine.
Otherwise you would have to wait till this November and do an Annual Upgrade. It would renew another 2 year contract, you'll get the 2yr discount on a new device, but have to pay an extra $20 processing fee for using the early upgrade and it would reset your New Every 2 discount.
My opinion is that everyone should be on a Family Plan, its cheaper for everyone involved, even if its not your family and just your friends splittling the cost. Your best bet is to find someone that is either a VZW customer already to join onto your account, or get someone to port-in from another carrier and offer to give them your Eris as an incentive. I think that'd be a good deal most people wouldnt turn down..