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iPhone Upgrade Program: Worth It? (1 Viewer)

DaveF

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“You’re buying directly from Apple. Which means no more financing your iPhone through your carrier or committing to a multiyear service contract. We connect your new iPhone to your carrier for you. So you won’t have to make any changes to your rate plan. And if you ever decide to switch carriers after you activate your iPhone with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, you can easily do that, too.”
https://www.apple.com/shop/iphone/iphone-upgrade-program

Looks like upgrade program requires having a carrier. The purchase system only offers the upgrade program if you have selected a carrier.

The design of the upgrade program is you have a recurring monthly payment. There’s no resell process. You just pay for 12 months and then switch to a new phone and keep paying monthly. And then switch and keep paying.
 

DaveF

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9CA08E33-AD17-4AA3-82DA-260C9FB07720.jpeg 2DF05676-FC13-4C66-936B-6F2C8D10941D.jpeg
 

TonyD

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https://www.apple.com/shop/iphone/iphone-upgrade-program

Looks like upgrade program requires having a carrier. The purchase system only offers the upgrade program if you have selected a carrier.

The design of the upgrade program is you have a recurring monthly payment. There’s no resell process. You just pay for 12 months and then switch to a new phone and keep paying monthly. And then switch and keep paying.

Yeah, this is what I’ve been doing for about 5-6 years now.
I skipped one year and kept the iPhone for 2 years but don’t remember which iPhone it was.
Going to be doing that again this time unless my iPhone starts acting totally wonky.
 

Johnny Angell

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https://www.apple.com/shop/iphone/iphone-upgrade-program

Looks like upgrade program requires having a carrier. The purchase system only offers the upgrade program if you have selected a carrier.

The design of the upgrade program is you have a recurring monthly payment. There’s no resell process. You just pay for 12 months and then switch to a new phone and keep paying monthly. And then switch and keep paying.
I was afraid of that.
 

DaveF

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I was afraid of that.
If your goal was to pay in full for a new iPhone every year: you’re in luck! Apple will gladly sell that to you! And you can trade it in with Apple’s new trade in system.

Otherwise, why do you want to pay full price up front if the goal is annual upgrading? I thought the benefit was monthly payments at no financing? :)
 

Thomas Newton

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The design of the upgrade program is you have a recurring monthly payment. There’s no resell process. You just pay for 12 months and then switch to a new phone and keep paying monthly. And then switch and keep paying.

Note that switching to a new phone resets things to a 24 month loan for the new phone.
 

Johnny Angell

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If your goal was to pay in full for a new iPhone every year: you’re in luck! Apple will gladly sell that to you! And you can trade it in with Apple’s new trade in system.

Otherwise, why do you want to pay full price up front if the goal is annual upgrading? I thought the benefit was monthly payments at no financing? :)
How about monthly payments with a carrier besides the 4 listed. Apparently I can’t do that. I was thinking of Consumer Cellular for their rates, which are pretty good.

So with this upgrade program, when the new phones come out, I trade in the old phone and continue the same payments?
 

Thomas Newton

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Looks like upgrade program requires having a carrier. The purchase system only offers the upgrade program if you have selected a carrier.

"We connect your new iPhone to your carrier for you. So you won’t have to make any changes to your rate plan. And if you ever decide to switch carriers after you activate your iPhone with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, you can easily do that, too."
 

Ronald Epstein

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It's amazing what I found after you brought this up, Dave...

I signed up for Apple Payments and NOT the upgrade program.

In fact, I never was offered the upgrade program. I thought I was automatically joining that, but apparently not.

I even went back to Apple.com to order the same phone and the upgrade program isn't even being offered as a choice.

The phone I selected was tied to a carrier as SIM-FREE (my first choice) did not have a Sept. 20 date.

What have I done wrong?


I'll probably pay the phone off in a year's time since I had a $600 trade-in, so I guess in the long run it doesn't matter. However, next year I want to make sure that I get the plan choice.
 

Thomas Newton

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So with this upgrade program, when the new phones come out, I trade in the old phone and continue the same payments?

I believe that the payments for the new contract are based on the price of the new phone.

If they just blindly kept the same payments, what would keep you from buying the most basic phone - to lock in the lowest payment amount - then trading it for the most expensive phone at the first opportunity?
 

Ronald Epstein

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I figured it out...

If you are trading in a phone you don't get the option to join the upgrade program.

Guess it's because the price of the phone is reduced because of the trade-in.
 

Thomas Newton

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In fact, I never was offered the upgrade program. I thought I was automatically joining that, but apparently not.

It looks like Apple is offering the upgrade program through a link on this page, and through the Apple Store app on the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. When you select the link, it takes you to another page where it asks you to choose the iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro.

https://www.apple.com/shop/iphone/iphone-upgrade-program

I guess that nobody at Apple realized that a lot of people would come in through the main iPhone 11 [Pro] pages and expect to see the financing and upgrade options there.
 

Johnny Angell

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I figured it out...

If you are trading in a phone you don't get the option to join the upgrade program.

Guess it's because the price of the phone is reduced because of the trade-in.
Yeah, I’ve just realized that too. So you join the upgrade program the first time, don’t trade in a phone, and pay monthly based on the full price of the phone. What happens in 12 months? Trade in the old phone and (assuming same price phone) get new phone and make payments on full price of phone?
 

Johnny Angell

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Yeah, I’ve just realized that too. So you join the upgrade program the first time, don’t trade in a phone, and pay monthly based on the full price of the phone. What happens in 12 months? Trade in the old phone and (assuming same price phone) get new phone and make payments on full price of phone?
It what I’ve just written is correct, you will always be making payments for a new phone. The buyer is not being granted some special favor allowing them a new phone, it’s coming out of your pocket. Apple gets back your old phone (my X, valued by apple at $400) plus 12 monthly payments. Ok, the first year the buyer doesn’t have a phone in the program, but after that, the buyer returns the old phone?
 

Sam Posten

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Yes. I’m a bit mystified at the confusion but that is right.

There has never been a trade in as part of Upgrade.

Upgrade and Payments programs are two distinct separate ways to finance.

You are not stuck at your ‘level’ of phone in Upgrade plan you can get a cheaper or more expensive model and it will adjust your monthly payments accordingly.

Once you are on Upgrade plan you will always have a payment each month whether you Upgrade each year or not.

If you Upgrade after year one you send the old phone back. If you pay it off, early or after 2 years of payments, you keep it.
 

DaveF

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How about monthly payments with a carrier besides the 4 listed. Apparently I can’t do that. I was thinking of Consumer Cellular for their rates, which are pretty good.

So with this upgrade program, when the new phones come out, I trade in the old phone and continue the same payments?
Yeah, Apple doesn't care about those paygo virtual carriers.
 
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DaveF

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It what I’ve just written is correct, you will always be making payments for a new phone. The buyer is not being granted some special favor allowing them a new phone, it’s coming out of your pocket. Apple gets back your old phone (my X, valued by apple at $400) plus 12 monthly payments. Ok, the first year the buyer doesn’t have a phone in the program, but after that, the buyer returns the old phone?
Yes. Apple's making it more convenient to buy a new iPhone every year. It works thusly:

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.
 
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