How to use the Apple Upgrade Program to get an iPhone XS, and prepare for pre-orders now

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 13
The unveiling of new iPhones on Wednesday means an opportunity to upgrade, and Apple has an easy way to do it with the Apple Upgrade Program. AppleInsider lays out a potentially money-saving option for Apple customers -- especially those that like to upgrade every year.

The iPhone upgrade program, with the new iPhones


On Wednesday, after it unveiled three new iPhones, Apple officially launched the loan pre-approval process for new and existing members looking to purchase an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max and pay on an installment plan with AppleCare+ included. Those interested, as of Wednesday, could start the application process through the Apple Store app before the commencement of pre-orders.

This could save time, and could get you the device you want faster, versus waiting to get it done when orders open. However, AppleInsider has learned that the bank handling Apple's upgrade program is manually calling most, if not all, of the people preparing for the pre-order period to confirm user data -- so if this is what you're counting on for Friday's pre-order, you'd better start now.

Here's how the program works. The customer, once he or she has passed a credit check and is approved, signs up, and pays installments each month for 24 months.

Applicants must have a valid credit card -- not a debit card -- which is charged monthly as part of the program. Wireless service activation is also required, and the customer's credit can't be frozen at the time that they apply.

the new iPhone Upgrade


After 12 payments, customers are eligible to upgrade to a new iPhone, providing they have made all of the payments, their account is in good standing and their phone remains in good condition.

Upgrading requires applying for and enrolling in a new iPhone Upgrade Program, rather than rolling over the previous one. That means initiating the process again, including a new credit check.

The 12 payments sometimes don't line up to a year after the original signup, because the first payment is due at signing, so customers should be sure they've made 12 payments and not 11. However users, once they've made six payments, can also pay the equivalent of the rest of their 12 payments and upgrade early.

iPhone upgrade image


Those who upgrade after 12 payments must return their old phones to Apple, although customers who pay the full 24 months own their phones free and clear.

There are other specific rules. AppleCare+ for iPhone or AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss is included, but users can only go to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers for repairs.

The iPhone XS and XS Max are priced through the program, at $49.91 per month and $54.08 per month, respectively. Preorders for both open on September 15. The iPhone XR is priced at $37.41 per month under the Upgrade Program, but it won't open for preorder until October 19.

Apple introduced the three new iPhones, as well as a new Apple Watch, at its "Gather Round" event in Cupertino on Wednesday.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    ejieji Posts: 38member
    AppleInsider said:

    Wireless service activation is also required...
    ... and that's why the upgrade program is a complete dud for folks like me. To then use the iPhone on a carrier like Cricket, it takes time and money to cancel the wireless service you're forced to sign up for every single time you upgrade to a newer model.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    That’s crap. Why can’t debit cards be accepted? I mean what’s the difference between actually having the money in the bank and theoretically having the money in the bank that Apple decided the theoretical option is the only way to go?
  • Reply 3 of 11
    I just made my last payment on my iPhone 7 under this program and applied to upgrade to an iPhone Xs.  Told I needed a new application (understandable because I just ended my last one), so I filled out the forms and was rejected for some unknown reason (exact same credit card, address, etc).   So "IF" i purchase a new phone it will not be using this upgrade program.  

    I signed up for the Upgrade program when Apple first introduced it with their world phones and renewed it once.  It never really worked for me (or anyone else that I know that tried it) because Apple changed from a world phone to models with different supported bands (Qualcom litigation) and Apple wouldn't allow purchase of a phone from a different carrier even though both carriers were in the program.   It was and remains a mess....
  • Reply 4 of 11
    That’s crap. Why can’t debit cards be accepted? I mean what’s the difference between actually having the money in the bank and theoretically having the money in the bank that Apple decided the theoretical option is the only way to go?
    Obviously because the money on a debit card could disappear and then the phone seller would be at greater financial risk, whereas with credit there’s a buffer between the phone seller and the customer who still may be a potential deadbeat.
    bshank
  • Reply 5 of 11
    eji said:
    AppleInsider said:

    Wireless service activation is also required...
    ... and that's why the upgrade program is a complete dud for folks like me. To then use the iPhone on a carrier like Cricket, it takes time and money to cancel the wireless service you're forced to sign up for every single time you upgrade to a newer model.
    Are you serious?! It takes like 60 seconds to reapply
  • Reply 6 of 11
    That’s crap. Why can’t debit cards be accepted? I mean what’s the difference between actually having the money in the bank and theoretically having the money in the bank that Apple decided the theoretical option is the only way to go?
    Obviously because the money on a debit card could disappear and then the phone seller would be at greater financial risk, whereas with credit there’s a buffer between the phone seller and the customer who still may be a potential deadbeat.
    Exactly! All those wannabe entrepreneurs who drive for Uber could easily have insufficient funds from their bank accounts
  • Reply 7 of 11
    emoeller said:
    I just made my last payment on my iPhone 7 under this program and applied to upgrade to an iPhone Xs.  Told I needed a new application (understandable because I just ended my last one), so I filled out the forms and was rejected for some unknown reason (exact same credit card, address, etc).   So "IF" i purchase a new phone it will not be using this upgrade program.  

    I signed up for the Upgrade program when Apple first introduced it with their world phones and renewed it once.  It never really worked for me (or anyone else that I know that tried it) because Apple changed from a world phone to models with different supported bands (Qualcom litigation) and Apple wouldn't allow purchase of a phone from a different carrier even though both carriers were in the program.   It was and remains a mess....
    You must have bad bad credit. Mine isn’t great, but I qualified 
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Maybe this is obvious, but is this financing free? Is the AppleCare included free? If not, I'm not sure I see an advantage here at all. Why not just buy the phone outright (add the applecare if you want)? Many credit cards offer 12+ months of financing as a promo. Put it on one of those if you don't have the cash.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    eightzero said:
    Maybe this is obvious, but is this financing free? Is the AppleCare included free? If not, I'm not sure I see an advantage here at all. Why not just buy the phone outright (add the applecare if you want)? Many credit cards offer 12+ months of financing as a promo. Put it on one of those if you don't have the cash.
    Yes and yes. At least on the plan I’m on now. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you will upgrade on time and could use the AppleCare (and don’t 
    care for selling used iphones on Craigslist). 
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Financing is free. AppleCare is not, but is mandatory. I'm looking at my reapply page and see that I can get a Carrier-FREE edition of either XS
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Sigh. October 4th for me. Ah well. Time for my Vaja case to arrive. [smiley face]
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