What's new

iPhone Upgrade Program: Worth It? (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
60,172
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
I wasn't even thinking of getting a new iPhone next month. I am very happy with my current XS Max with 512GB ram.

Nothing really looks innovative about the upcoming phone, that is, unless something we don't know about it is announced.

I paid about $1449 for this phone when it was released.

Today I saw this:

https://www.imore.com/how-get-loan-...feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheIphoneBlog+(iMore)


Now, I knew there was an upgrade program. I never really put thought into it because I hate monthly payments.

However, it occured to me that I would actually paying less for an iPhone, paying monthly, if I joined the upgrade program.

According to Apple, I would be paying $61 per month for this phone. That's $732 a year. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Am I correct on this? Am I going to save that much money? Is there a catch?
 

TonyD

Who do we think I am?
Premium
Ambassador
Joined
Dec 1, 1999
Messages
22,187
Location
Gulf Coast
Real Name
Tony D.
I’ve been doing the once a year program for the last few years.

I don’t think there there’s a catch in the typical sense of the word.
If you want out I think you can simply pay off the difference or just keep the phone for longer then the year.
I think.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
26,282
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
I paid about $1449 for this phone when it was released.
...
According to Apple, I would be paying $61 per month for this phone. That's $732 a year. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Am I correct on this? Am I going to save that much money? Is there a catch?
Check your pricing. Apple says a 512GB XS MAX is $68.66/mo on the upgrade plan and $60.99 on a two year contract. The ~$8/mo difference ($184 over two years) presumably pays for AppleCare, which I don't know if that's a bargain or straight cost.

DIY annual upgrade:
  1. Buy iPhone at $1449 on two year contract: $60/mo
  2. Keep for a year
  3. Upgrade to new iPhone at $1449 on two year contract: $60/mo
  4. Sell previous iPhone for $724.50 (50%) and pay off previous contract
iPhone upgrade plan
  1. Buy iPhone at $1449 on upgrade plan: $68.66/mo
  2. Keep for a year
  3. Upgrade to new iPhone and keep paying: $68.66/mo

Apple's iPhone upgrade program looks like an easier and more certain "resell" option than doing it yourself, and trying to get the best price from Gazelle or Swappa or your carrier or etc. And if you already upgrade annually, and normally buy AppleCare, then it appears to be a fair to good effective trade-in price. And you don't have to deal with any nonsense of selling an iPhone a month before new models are released to get the best deal, and suffer with a four year old spare iPhone to tide you over.

But if you don't already upgrade annually and don't normally buy AppleCare, then it's more expensive than upgrading every two or three years and using resale or trade-in offers.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
60,172
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Dave,

Thanks for a very informative breakdown.

In the long run, I guess I am better just buying a new iPhone outright when I need it.

I don't use Apple Care.

I always sell the old phone to help subsidize the price of the new one.
 

Thomas Newton

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 16, 1999
Messages
2,216
Real Name
Thomas Newton

That link is about how to get pre-approved for the upgrade program, not about the program itself.

As far as I can tell by skimming other articles, the upgrade program works something like this: You take out a 24-month contract with Apple to buy an iPhone. The phone is unlocked as far as carriers are concerned. If you do nothing else, the phone is yours after 24 months of payments.

After 12 months, you can trade in the iPhone for a new iPhone. (I don't know the details of how they match models, prices, etc.) This resets the contract and you now have a 24 month contract from that point (i.e., a 36 month contract from when you got the iPhone you just traded in.)

Now, I knew there was an upgrade program. I never really put thought into it because I hate monthly payments.

However, it occured to me that I would actually paying less for an iPhone, paying monthly, if I joined the upgrade program.

According to Apple, I would be paying $61 per month for this phone. That's $732 a year. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Am I correct on this? Am I going to save that much money? Is there a catch?

I think it depends on how often you upgrade. If you're the type of person who would keep your iPhone for more than two years as long as it is giving you good service, then getting on a yearly upgrade treadmill is not going to save you money. You will always have a recent iPhone, but you will never own it, and you will have payments every month, forever and ever. (When you choose to get off the treadmill, the final phone will cost you 24 months of payments, same as regular non-upgrade financing.)

If, on the other hand, you were going to put yourself onto an upgrade treadmill anyway, then you'd want to compare this plan against the alternative of buying new iPhones at full price, but also owning them and being able to resell them.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
60,172
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Thomas,

Thanks to you and Dave (who responded as well), I have a much better understanding of the program. It's basically putting you in a 2-year contract to pay off one phone. If you buy another within a year, the contract resets itself to two years.

The contract also includes Apple Care so I could be paying more than I want.

Got it!

And, yes, I understand the link only tells you how to qualify, but it was the link that brought the program to my full alertness. I just happened to be browsing the Internet, saw that article and started thinking about the upgrade program.

Thanks again for the explanation.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
60,172
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
It's worth it to -ME-. It's probably not worth it for regular iPhone buyers.


I will apply. If the new iPhone has anything enticing that hasn't already been leaked, I may bite.

Sam, if I may ask, did you get the XS MAX and are you paying about $61+ a month for it?
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
26,282
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
It's worth it to -ME-. It's probably not worth it for regular iPhone buyers.
Yep, that's the way to look at it. If you're an annual upgrader, the Apple iPhone Upgrade program is a good combo of simplicity and value.

But if you don't upgrade annually then you're paying extra money for new hardware that you wouldn't have otherwise bought.

It doesn't suit me, but I see how it's a good idea for gadget fans that want annual updates. :)
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
56,813
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
It's worth it to -ME-. It's probably not worth it for regular iPhone buyers.
Yeah, I'm going to wait until next year as I hardly use my iPhone much since my retirement. My former job was materials and supply chain management so I was constantly on the phone. I hate being on the phone and avoid doing so as much as I can now.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
60,172
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
I am 99.9% certain I am going to abstain from buying a new phone this year.

The only thing that would move me towards a new phone would be if the rumored iPhone pencil comes to fruition.

During my brief stint as a Galaxy Note owner, I loved the S-Pen and the fact I could quickly write down thoughts and have them transposed to text.

There is a leak of an iPhone case with a stylus holder in it. Nobody's certain how legit it is.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
56,813
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
People use the phone app on their iPhones? Weird. That’s like my least favorite app. :)
By the way, I hate texting too! My iPhone has greater use when I'm away from home and I need some web information. Otherwise, I use my iPad more at home.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
26,282
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
By the way, I hate texting too! My iPhone has greater use when I'm away from home and I need some web information. Otherwise, I use my iPad more at home.
:laugh: I love texting! My wife and i use Messages when we're both in the house instead of yelling up the stairs! I spent half an hour this morning looking for the perfect gifs to send a happy birthday note to her!
 

JediFonger

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2006
Messages
4,163
Real Name
YiFeng You
it really depends on your how long you intent to hold on to your phone.

my wife and i will hold on the phone until the SW updates are no longer supported. so right now IOS 12.x is the last SW that will support iphone 6 which is the generation we are on. that's when we upgrade.

for us iphone6 came out in 2014-ish and we both got it sometime in 2015. 2019-2015=4yrs

i can't remember how much we paid for it, i think we had traded in iphone4s whcih further reduced the price, but let's say we paid full price $650 for it. 650/4 and then divide that by 12=$13.5/month.

so for us... it would not make sense to pay $60+/mo. for continuous iphone upgrade programs.

now let's say for the sake of argument we paid for $1500 per phone back in 2015...
1500/4 then divide taht by 12=$31-ish.

you still ahead of the curve by buyinng it outright vs. being on upgrade plan.

the only 'benefit' is the applecare plan, if you factor that in.

this presupposes of course that you intend to keep the phone until the SW updates are gone.

for many people they will keep it for even longer than that. i think we kept our iphone4 way past the original SW out of date maybe.
 

Johnny Angell

Played With Dinosaurs Member
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 13, 1998
Messages
14,442
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Johnny Angell
:laugh: I love texting! My wife and i use Messages when we're both in the house instead of yelling up the stairs! I spent half an hour this morning looking for the perfect gifs to send a happy birthday note to her!
Where do you find your gifs?
 

Sam Posten

Moderator
Premium
HW Reviewer
Joined
Oct 30, 1997
Messages
31,432
Location
Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
Real Name
Sam Posten
My order is locked in ready to go for 8am. I’m having slight buyers remorse over black Vice midnight green. Someone called it Boba Fett Green and that’s got me spinning :)
 

TonyD

Who do we think I am?
Premium
Ambassador
Joined
Dec 1, 1999
Messages
22,187
Location
Gulf Coast
Real Name
Tony D.
Midnight green is going to be huge in the Philly area.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
349,606
Messages
4,885,739
Members
142,631
Latest member
dennisgordan
Recent bookmarks
0
Top