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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Say Hello To The New Apple iPhone Upgrade Program [Details]

I tend to upgrade my personal iPhone every two years. I've been doing so for quite a while now meaning I never owned an iPhone 5s or 4s or even 3Gs except briefly for work.

If you're like me and caught in the two-year cycle, you've learned to overlook new iPhones for a year. Carrier contracts impose this restriction by not offering discounted pricing unless you're eligible for upgrade to the new devices.

But Apple wants to change that. And today, they've announced their new iPhone Upgrade Program which will allow users to upgrade to a new iPhone every year without breaching your two-year carrier contract.

iPhone Upgrade Program

With the iPhone Upgrade Program, you'll essentially be purchasing a new iPhone on monthly installments. Starting at $32.41 a month, you get a brand new iPhone 6s (in its lowest available configuration), on the carrier of your choosing (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile), and will be available exclusively at Apple Retail Stores.

How it works

The program requires a 24-month installment agreement wherein you are locked in to monthly payments for two years. After the two year period, the iPhone is yours.

After the first 12 months of the agreement, you can upgrade to a new iPhone by trading in your current contract iPhone. At that point, a new 24-month agreement will kick off. Your carrier contract continues and goes hand-in-hand with Apple's agreement.

What's included

With the iPhone Upgrade Program, Apple will give you the option of upgrading to the latest iPhone every year. The iPhones you get through this program will be unlocked, meaning you can use these with any carrier when traveling abroad. Just pop in a sim card and you're good to go.

Additionally, Apple is including AppleCare+ with the program. AppleCare+ gives you up to two years of hardware repairs, software support, and coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage. Coverage includes your iPhone, battery, EarPods and accessories. Software includes iOS, iCloud, Apple-made apps and wi-fi issues.

Accidental damage coverage entails screen damage, accidental drops and liquid damage. Each service is subject to a service fee and applicable tax ($79 plus tax for iPhone 6 or earlier and $99 plus tax for iPhone 6s or 6s Plus). Full details are available here.


Here's a glimpse of the iPhone Upgrade Program pricing model...

The program is financed by Citizens One Personal Loans and is subject to eligibility. Seems like credit checks will be required to get approved. A major credit card is also required.

Apple's iPhone Upgrade program gives users the option to get a new iPhone every year. You can try and crunch the numbers and see if it's worth the trouble. But it looks like if you're happy with upgrading your iPhone every two years, you should steer away from the upgrade program.

Most major carriers now offer similar programs too where you can upgrade every year and are locked in to a contract. Monthly payments mean you can go home with a new iPhone for paying much less upfront but over the course of the contract it works out to be much more expensive.

More details coming soon.

Source: Apple

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