Apple expands iPhone Upgrade Program to include online purchases

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2016
As of Monday, customers looking to purchase a new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus through Apple's website can take advantage of the company's iPhone Upgrade Program, an interest-free, two-year payment plan that lets buyers trade up to a new handset each year.




The change in availability comes more than seven months after Apple debuted the annual retail price plan alongside iPhone 6s last year, which weeks later launched in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores as a way to soften iPhone's comparatively high device cost.

Under the plan's terms, buyers can pay as little as $32.41 per month in return for a brand new, unlocked iPhone 6s with AppleCare+ warranty coverage. After completing 12 monthly installments, customers have the option of trading in their handset for a next-generation model at no additional fee. Pricing is dependent on model and storage capacity. The iPhone Upgrade Program is limited to Apple's flagship iPhones, currently the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

In January, preliminary data suggested the upgrade initiative helped spur some 250,000 iPhone unit sales during the busy holiday quarter. Citizen's Financial Group, the loan partner backing Apple's program, in December announced financing of $220 million in iPhone purchases, which Piper Jaffray estimated to be worth a quarter-million handsets. At the time, analyst Gene Munster said the figure likely accounted for between 3 to 5 percent of all iPhone 6s units purchased through Apple Stores.

AppleInsider broke down the numbers and found Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program to be an exceedingly good deal for customers who protect their device through AppleCare+ and need the latest-and-greatest smartphone hardware.

The in-house upgrade program was introduced to give a bump to slowing iPhone demand. When Apple announces earnings for the second quarter of 2016 on Tuesday, the company is expected to post its first ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales, due in part to international economic headwinds and particularly tough compares.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member

    After completing 12 monthly installments, customers have the option of trading in their handset for a next-generation model at no additional fee.

    Unless you are with AT&T or Verizon. These assholes will charge you $20 activation fee. 

    nolamacguy
  • Reply 2 of 13
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    This's right way to do it. Just forget about carrier upgrade, but buy unlocked iPhone directly from Apple to avoid carrier activation fees. I did it on my wife's 6S directly from Apple and paid it off.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    This is US only, right?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 13
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    fallenjt said:
    This's right way to do it. Just forget about carrier upgrade, but buy unlocked iPhone directly from Apple to avoid carrier activation fees. I did it on my wife's 6S directly from Apple and paid it off.
    Didn't you get the memo?!

    http://arstechnica.com/business/2016/04/att-and-verizon-wireless-now-charging-20-device-upgrade-fees/
  • Reply 5 of 13
    planktonplankton Posts: 105member
    US only.  Apple still treats rest of world as second-class citizens in this and other regards.
    josha
  • Reply 6 of 13
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,010member
    plankton said:
    US only.  Apple still treats rest of world as second-class citizens in this and other regards.
    Rest assured Apple has solid business reasons for doing so.
    joshanolamacguy
  • Reply 7 of 13
    djkfisherdjkfisher Posts: 112member
    nasserae said:

    After completing 12 monthly installments, customers have the option of trading in their handset for a next-generation model at no additional fee.

    Unless you are with AT&T or Verizon. These assholes will charge you $20 activation fee. 

    Yep, it sucks, they want another $20 or more from their most loyal customers. After 14 years I am moving on to something else.
    josha
  • Reply 8 of 13
    joshajosha Posts: 901member
    fallenjt said:
    This's right way to do it. Just forget about carrier upgrade, but buy unlocked iPhone directly from Apple to avoid carrier activation fees. I did it on my wife's 6S directly from Apple and paid it off.
    Good idea if the price is right.
    Currently in Canada the iPhone6s & 6s+ at the base 16GB sell for a far too high C$899 & C$1029.

    In the USA they are $649 & $749, for a  1.38 & 1.37 exchange rate to CDA.
    The exchange rate was at it's maximum of 1.45 very peaked in Jan2016, it's is now 1.27 and dropping.
    Since they aren't made in the USA, Apple is winning on the high US$ both ways.


    jbishop1039
  • Reply 9 of 13
    apple will make a killing bringing this to the UK, we have stupidly cheap sim-only deals here, rolling 1-month contracts too so you're never tied in.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    nasserae said:

    After completing 12 monthly installments, customers have the option of trading in their handset for a next-generation model at no additional fee.

    Unless you are with AT&T or Verizon. These assholes will charge you $20 activation fee. 

    You could of course just take your SIM card out of your existing phone and insert into your new phone like everyone else does with AT&T and not need to pay the $20 fee. 
  • Reply 11 of 13
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    josha said:
    fallenjt said:
    This's right way to do it. Just forget about carrier upgrade, but buy unlocked iPhone directly from Apple to avoid carrier activation fees. I did it on my wife's 6S directly from Apple and paid it off.
    Good idea if the price is right.
    Currently in Canada the iPhone6s & 6s+ at the base 16GB sell for a far too high C$899 & C$1029.

    In the USA they are $649 & $749, for a  1.38 & 1.37 exchange rate to CDA.
    The exchange rate was at it's maximum of 1.45 very peaked in Jan2016, it's is now 1.27 and dropping.
    Since they aren't made in the USA, Apple is winning on the high US$ both ways.
    I completely agree that the Apple CAD$ prices are now well out of whack with the actual exchange rate.  The iPhone 6s series is the worst of course (set when exchange rate was near bottom), but even the more recent iPad Pro 9.7" and SE are well above current exchange rate.  

    I don't agree that they are really "winning" - while they may make a better margin per purchase, less people will be purchasing at the higher rates - either delaying the upgrade, or going with something cheaper.
    jbishop1039
  • Reply 12 of 13
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    nasserae said:

    Unless you are with AT&T or Verizon. These assholes will charge you $20 activation fee. 

    You could of course just take your SIM card out of your existing phone and insert into your new phone like everyone else does with AT&T and not need to pay the $20 fee. 
    When you buy new iPhone from Apple using iPhone upgrade program it will need to be activated at the time of purchase. When this happens AT&T and Verizon will charge you activation fee of $20 per line. Your old SIM will stop working. 
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