Understanding the fine print on Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program

“For savvy wireless shoppers, Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program offers the freedom to shop for the best deal on wireless service,” Marguerite Reardon reports for CNET. “But before you make any commitments, let me take you through the details.”

“The plan lets customers upgrade to a new iPhone each year by simply turning in their old devices for new ones, similar to what T-Mobile and Sprint offer, but without tying themselves to a single carrier,” Reardon reports. “For consumers who have dreamed of a day when they could buy one iPhone and take it to any wireless operator in the US, the plan sounds brilliant. It finally allows American wireless consumers to shop for the highest-quality and lowest-priced network in their area without the hassle of switching phones.”

“But the plan poses a few questions,” Reardon reports. “Will the program let you choose a prepaid or regional operator? What about older wireless plans? Will you have to give up perks like unlimited data? Will special features like Wi-Fi calling still work with devices offered on these plans?”

Find out the answers in the full article here.


Annual iPhone Upgrade Program could power Apple to become world’s first $1 trillion company – September 16, 2015

Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program may warrant higher earnings multiple – once Wall Street grasps what’s happened – September 15, 2015
Apple shares could rally 50% on new iPhone Upgrade Program – September 14, 2015
iPhone Upgrade Program: Apple’s brilliant strategy to turn carriers into ‘dumb pipes’ – September 11, 2015
Apple takes aim at the carriers with annual iPhone Upgrade Program – September 10, 2015
How Apple’s annual iPhone Upgrade Program works and how much it costs – September 9, 2015


  1. I skipped it this time around because you couldn’t finalize an order at 12:01 AM. All you could do was schedule an in-store appointment. This means you may end up waiting quite a while longer than September 25th for your new iPhone. Maybe next year I’ll do it if they change that, but I don’t foresee them making that aspect any different, aside from possibly saying “if you schedule an appointment, you’ll be guaranteed a September 25th delivery.”

      1. Yes, selling privately is a better deal if you get $600 after having paid $949, but what Apple offers is convenience.

        Some would prefer to get a better deal by selling their old iPhone privately for the best price possible, while others would prefer to have a simple life and receive a little less for their old iPhone.

        Neither is right or wrong, it’s just that one arrangement suits some better than it does others.

        1. Very true! And I love Apple’s deal, especially considering it includes Apple Care. But as I pointed out, the main concern I have is that it’s unclear if people booking an appointment to go this route will end up having to wait for their iPhone. If anyone is doing this and has any more information please let us know. I’d be willing to go with Apple’s route all the way as long as I always get a day-1 iPhone.

          1. It is not just an appointment… it is an inshore pickup… I set my reservation the night pressed started and have in store pickup scheduled for 8:30 AM Friday… Very convenient 🙂
            Bought my iPhone 6 outright last year, love the 0% interest payment option this year!

            1. Nice! Thanks for the tip. I may do this next year. When I sell the iPhone 6s Plus for $600 next year and only have a small payment to make toward the iPhone 7 Plus, I can put the rest of the 600 toward an iPad Pro 2. And if I sell my iPad Air 2 as well it should come close to breaking even.

      1. Lets be accurate here. You OWN it after the first payment. Just like you own your car or house after your first payment. It’s not a lease where you NEVER own it.

        Naturally it’s not free and clear until you pay off the installment plan.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.