Apple announces new iPhone Upgrade Program, new iPhone every year for $32 / month

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The iPhone Upgrade Program is a new program that gives you a new iPhone every year, with AppleCare+ for just $32 a month for two years. Keeping paying and you keep getting new phones and service coverage. This option is available in US Apple Stores to start with more countries coming soon.

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The service is starting in US but rolling out to other countries soon. You get to pick your carrier and includes AppleCare+ for service repair. From just $32 a month, you get a new iPhone every year. The entire subscription is managed by Apple, not your carrier. You pay Apple and only Apple.

If you are a customer in the US, you’ll be able to get the brand new iPhone 6s on these monthly contract plan. Other regions will have to wait a bit longer — Apple says it is rolling out to more countries soon. Obviously, typical buying options will be available worldwide for the new phones.

Find more details on Apple’s website

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Comments

  1. epicflyingcat - 7 years ago

    STARTING at $32/month. I’m guessing that’s for the iPhone 5S 16GB model or something…

    • Vítor Finato - 7 years ago

      Starting, but this is a program to NEW iPhones, for what I can tell, it would be $32/m to 6s 16gb model and the price raises equally to GB and model (6s plus)

    • Alan Phillips - 7 years ago

      But is it a lease?

      • It sounds like a lease according to their website: “Just trade in your current iPhone for a new one, and your new program begins.”

      • crichton007 - 7 years ago

        Rent to own. Based on the way they described it in the presentation you can pay it off and keep it or return it after a year for a new one. It seems like a pretty steep price to pay to me.

      • Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

        That’s basically how all carrier financing (non-“contract”) works anyway. Considering that AppleCare+ is included, I don’t find it to be a steep price.

    • Jonathan Edwards - 7 years ago

      Nope that is for the 16GB 6S

    • Nah. They show the service in the screen-cap being for the iPhone 6S and 6S+. I don’t think they are offering if for older models. It works out to $768 for the phone, which is only $19 more than buying it outright with Apple Care + over two years. Based on what Phil said, with it being a two-year term, as I understand it: If you don’t upgrade after year one, you can keep paying for an extra year and will own your phone outright.

  2. This will be awesome

  3. This may be a game changer. I am sure the carriers will respond soon with a similar plan.

    • Carriers already have this. Apple is responding to them. i.e. Verizon Edge.

      • Kyle Baity - 7 years ago

        Not with AppleCare included, directly from Apple instead of dealing with Carrier or BestBuy employees, and the ability to switch providers then and there if necessary.

      • would be a godsend here in europe
        german telekom, new Iphone 6+ class phone every 12 months=110€ per month
        and the phone is still not “free” up front
        16GB 60€, 100€ more for each storage upgrade + 30€ for the “hassle” of doing the business with you
        and I don’t even see if you have to pay the 30€ every time you actually trade for a new phone

    • Robert Dupuy - 7 years ago

      Why do you all think you need applecare. If you are trading in the phone every year, the normal warranty never runs out.

      • fistsoffrost123 - 7 years ago

        It’s AppleCare+.. It covers accidental damage like liquid exposure and cracked screens.

  4. Will Irace (@spblat) - 7 years ago

    If you’re on AT&T Next you pay a discounted rate per smartphone on your account. I think it’s $25 per phone per month instead of $40. I feel like the whole purpose of AT&T Next is to confuse us into submission. I hope Apple’s program will save us money and make things crystal clear.

    • The biggest issue i have with these things is that I don’t know what my options are with the current phone when I am done. Do I have to sell it outright after? Do I turn it in? What is going on with the one I am done with?

      • Erol Sansolo - 7 years ago

        You return it to Apple Store to pick ur new iPhone probably.

      • Jonathan Edwards - 7 years ago

        you give it back to apple or who ever your paying for the phone

    • Michael Streubert - 7 years ago

      I assume it’s just for the phone… AT&T is still going to charge me $40 a month per phone, on top of whatever data plan my family is sharing. Already paying something like $33 a month for 16GB 6plus (essentially an interest free, 24-month loan) , with, I believe a $7-8, insurance plan. If I throw the phone off a building I can get a new one for $200 with AT&T. AppleCare only covers hardware defects.

      Basically Apple is leasing me the same phone (I know, newer model), with AppleCare and doesn’t have to share the profits with AT&T. All you’re really saving is the insurance, but you’re losing the ability to own an $800 piece of equipment at the end of two years. The only people who benefit from this are those who trade in their phones every model cycle and view them, more or less, as disposable.

      Unless I’m way off on how the carry is involved in this pricing scheme.

      • Robert MG - 7 years ago

        You can either pay the entire 24 month plan and you own the phone at the end, OR you can trade the phone it half way through for a new one and start the plan over from the beginning.

      • cjvangoey - 7 years ago

        This is wrong, AppleCare for phones covers more than hardware defects. You can destroy your phone twice and get a new one each time for 80$ in the two years that AC+ lasts, as long as you have a phone to return (I.e this does not cover lost or stolen devices)

      • michaelwonders - 7 years ago

        It’s not a lease. It’s a loan. You can pay it off and keep the phone. For your carrier, you’ll be able to switch to the non-contract price if you are off contract, meaning you should only have to pay about $20 per phone on your line (depending on which carrier and your data tier). Generally speaking, this is a pretty good deal and is quite comparable to the Edge and Next programs except that you’re doing it through Apple.

      • fistsoffrost123 - 7 years ago

        AT&T’s plans decrease in cost when there’s no device financing.

  5. From Apple.com…

    iPhone 6s
    16GB $32.41/mo.
    64GB $36.58/mo.
    128GB $40.75/mo.

    iPhone6s Plus
    16GB $36.58/mo.
    64GB $40.75/mo.
    128GB $44.91/mo.

    These also come with AppleCare+

  6. usmansaghir - 7 years ago

    I hope we have something like this in uk. At the moment. 02 network have a program called 02 refresh but prices are ridiculous and whenever you want to change phones you have to pay the remainder of the phone off for you to get a new one. Hope Apple do this quickly for uk customers. Overall satisfied iPad pro was ace and iPhone 6s killed it with 4k video and live photos.

  7. Aaron M. Bielert - 7 years ago

    Wonder if you can do this with prepaid service like T-Mobile, Metro PCS, StraightTalk or Net 10? All you would need is ATT or Tmobile version of phone or Verizon unlocked version?

    • Bryan Lemus - 7 years ago

      It’s a completely unlocked phone, so you can go to ANY carrier because the new iPhone has all the bands for LTE and GSM/CDMA. You can even use this phone outside the US, you just need to buy it from an Apple Store in the US and pay monthly. However, if you need the phone to be serviced for any hardware issue you will need to take it to a US Apple Store.

      • Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

        Actually, I don’t see where it says that service has to be done at a US Apple Store. That’s not how AppleCare works. You can take it to any Apple Store or ASP

  8. I missed the AppleCare+ so it is nice but those prices are terrific and they said a 24-month program. so I’d assume after 24 payments you are an owner of said device.

    • Terrence Newton - 7 years ago

      Unfortunately to do this you need to activate your phone with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. This would be a great option for pre-paid users, but it seems we’ve been left out.

      • Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

        You’re the owner of the device and can move at anytime since you haven’t signed any contract with the carrier for 2 years, just Apple.

      • Michael Holness - 7 years ago

        Help me out here….the small print says that you have to use Sprint TMobile At&T or Verizon as a carrier. Is that the case? its in the terms and conditions,but if Apple does not mind if you switch carrier, are they actually going to monitor who your carrier is? My carrier is Cricket. They use At&T service and I am extremely happy with them.

      • David Carter - 7 years ago

        I double and triple checked with Apple in the days leading up to the pre-order and all the reps I talked to (via phone and chat) assured me that the iPhone Upgrade Program phones were unlocked…to a point and can only be activated on one of the four major networks: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon. I specifically mentioned that I have Cricket (we are EXTREMELY happy with them and won’t be leaving any time soon) and they all said the Upgrade Program phones will not work. Two of the reps said a traditional unlocked phone will be available at a later time and those phones can be used on any carrier that uses the radio frequencies that the new 6s/6s Plus support (which is virtually all).

    • jennabobennathefirst - 7 years ago

      What about the prepaid plans offered by the big carriers? Could I get the unlocked phone and use it on Verizon/AT&T/T-Mobile’s prepaid plans, or no?

  9. ciaphuas - 7 years ago

    Is this a lease like sprint? If you upgrade to the newest iPhone, do you turn your current one in?

  10. sungjinje (@ibeenazz) - 7 years ago

    people are effing stupid as hell.
    for “1 year LEASING” you pay around 400 bucks for 16gb ishit.
    wake up people.

    • Andrew Adair - 7 years ago

      Hm, let’s compare it to a 2 year contract, shall we?

      16gb iPhone 6 with AppleCare would be $298 and no matter your plan, you pay a $40 line access fee for keeping the phone activated,
      With this plan, you pay ~$768 over 2 years, but your bill drops now drops from a $40 line access fee, to $25 or $15 a month (depends on the size of your data plan) because you’re out of contract. So you’re paying ~$768 BUT saving ~$360 or ~$600… total price of $408 or $168

      If you have over 10gb (a lot of family plans do) you get the phone a LOT cheaper than a contracted phone. If not, then yes it’s a $100 more. Upgrading every year is worth paying a bit extra for some people though.

      This is a great option for some people, especially those on big data plans. Before you go around insulting, be careful you have all the information! :)

  11. prashanth - 7 years ago

    Do we have to return the device when we get the new one?

    • prashanth - 7 years ago

      I mean after 12 months?

      • michaelwonders - 7 years ago

        Of course. It’s a 2-year loan so you’d be getting out of half the loan contract by trading in for a new phone (and presumably, a new 2-year loan).

    • Jason Boyce - 7 years ago

      From what I understand yes, you need to return the device in order to upgrade to the newer model unless you decide to pay the remaining balance off first.

  12. Denny Hare - 7 years ago

    I have the 6plus now and it’s $42/mo for 12mos. I rolled Apple Care onto the plan so that’s a nice savings over a year or two.

  13. Ok, so does nobody get that this is just a precursor to Apple starting an MVNO?! Look, Apple is going to start running monthly payments on iPhones, then next year they’ll have cellular service too. People who are on the iPhone Upgrade Program and the MVNO will get a discount. Apple is slowly taking the iPhone back from the carriers.

  14. Richard Flapper - 7 years ago

    Actually, this doesn’t sound like a bad deal. For me personally I buy a new iPhone plus Applecare+ each year and this sets me back a sweet 950euros. Divided by 12 this brings it to almost 80euros each month (not entirely fair because I sell the ‘old’ phone after a year). Now if the program gets launched over here in Europe a 40 euro per month (lets assume a 1 to 1 euro/dollar conversion-rate for conversations sake) sounds like a pretty good deal and saves me the ‘hassle’ of selling the old phone.

  15. Savannah Larkins - 7 years ago

    So can you use this if you have Straight Talk?

    • Aaron M. Bielert - 7 years ago

      Wanna know the same question

    • Jason Boyce - 7 years ago

      Absolutely! The phone is unlocked so all you need to do is take your current sim card from straight talk and pop it in and you’re up and running!

      • David Carter - 7 years ago

        You sure about this? According to Apple, you need to choose one of the four major networks (i.e., Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T).

      • Jason Boyce - 7 years ago

        you can choose a carrier but the phone is unlocked, you’re paying Apple, not the carrier, as far as I’m able to see you just select which carrier version you want and start paying the $32 a month, unless there’s more to it than Apple has already told us it should be as simple as picking a model and popping in a sim card. I certainly could be wrong but the way they’ve described it tells me you can finance the phone just from Apple and use whatever carrier you want.

      • Jason Boyce - 7 years ago

        Well after asking Apple’s support directly, they’ve told me that the phone HAS to be activated on one of the 4 major carriers only and can’t be used with prepaid carriers, that’s really a bummer. If the phone is being financed from Citizens Bank, you’d think you’re just financing the device like an fully unlocked phone and you should be free to choose what carrier you would want to take the phone too. Sorry for the misinformation. You were dead on David Carter. My apologies.

      • Savannah Larkins - 7 years ago

        I also spoke directly to Apple Support and they told me I would be able to use the phone on ANY service because it was unlocked. I told them I wanted to double check because the fine print states it has to be activated with any of the 4 national carriers. The rep again told me it could be used with any service because it was unlocked.

    • Savannah Larkins - 7 years ago

      I also spoke directly to an Apple Representative and they told me you could use it on ANY carrier because it was unlocked.

      • Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

        Ok, so what happens is that the phone is /activated/ on a national network. You can then move carriers after the fact because it’s unlocked.

  16. lmjwoww - 7 years ago

    Hope this comes to the uk soon!!

  17. This is actually a good deal. I buy and trade in my phone each year, running the numbers from Gazelle trade in and 64 GB price I only come out to $1.59 more a month using Apple’s plan which also includes Apple Care.

    Might be the best way to go if you upgrade yearly, by contrast ATT Next is actually $45 a month because it’s $25 for the right to upgrade and $20 more per month per phone making it $45 a month (a bad deal if you can just buy the phone and trade it in a year later).

    • Don Foust - 7 years ago

      You would still have the 20.00 more from AT&T even if you went with Apple, correct? That is the connection fee I thought.

      • My understanding is AT&T is not involved in the transaction in anyway so I don’t know how they would know that. AT&T charges $15 per device on their shared plans if you BYOD or $35 if you are doing ATT Next or a 2 year contract through them.

        I could be wrong on whether the $20 extra charge applies or not but given the headlines says it’s between you and Apple I’m assuming/hoping it would be the $15 per device rate not the $35.

  18. Can you use this program with an existing service plan with ATT? I have one of the old unlimited plans so don’t want to give that up. Wondering if it would be worth it for me vs. 2 year contract or pay in full…

    • Jason Boyce - 7 years ago

      I’m sure you can! Since you’re not upgrading through your carrier this would make it so you can keep your old unlimited plan and get a new iPhone every year. Just pop in a sim card and you should be good to go. Same should apply to Verizon customers on the grandfathered unlimited data plan as well.

  19. Jamar Greshh - 7 years ago

    What I want to know is the 32$ a month for a new upgrade every year, is that the price of the program but i also still have to purchase the phone when it comes out, or is the 32$ a month giving me the new phone automatically???

  20. Jason Boyce - 7 years ago

    I think this is great for those who use prepaid carriers. If they’re looking for an option besides paying for the phone outright then this can really work out well. My buddy is an AT&T customer right now and he pays over $195 for 10GB with 3 phones and 2 are completely paid off and off contract, the other is $27 a month, he’s only staying at 10GB because if he goes under that it’d be $25 per line instead of $15. I’ve pointed out to him that if he were to switch to Cricket Wireless which uses AT&T’s network but limits the speed to 8mbps which is plenty for him and his family, they could use this with Cricket where the plan is $35 flat for 2.5GB with autopay, then you get a $10 discount per person so for 3 people getting 2.5GB each it’d be $75 total (all taxes and fees are included in their pricing), now add three phones on this plan which would equal out to $96. Now they could get their bill down to $171 a month and upgrade their iPhones every year, not a bad deal.

  21. SmitPatel (@SMITKUMAR) - 7 years ago

    they could have gone with a name like iUpgrade iPhone

  22. Ely Mantz (@ElyMantz) - 7 years ago

    will the monthly payment be billed to our iTunes account? if so, it would theoretically be possible to load up on 20-25% off iTunes cards and save a bunch that way.

    • michaelwonders - 7 years ago

      Doubtful. You are getting a loan from Citizen’s Bank.

      • Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

        It’s financed through Citizen’s Bank but you’re paying Apple. So we’ll see.

  23. Joshua Glowzinski - 7 years ago

    I like my 6 plus. The only reason I am going to upgrade, is for the fact that I have wanted to move from 64 to 128 gigs. My phone is almost full. I had like 3000 pictures on there. Apple Music downloads are filling the thing. But, if I were to pay the monthly thing, it would come to almost $600. How is that helping me? Verizon may be stopping the upgrade thing. But, I can still turn my 6 plus is. It is in perfect condition. Last time, I got like, $300 for my 5. No clue how in the hell that happened. haha Also, I had a brain injury in 03. I get money from S.S. Thus, credit companies see I get a small amount a year and I never get approved for credit cards to anything like that. My credit score is really good. But, they don’t care about that. They want to see what you make a year.

    Also, I have the iPad 2. But, I liked what I saw with the new iPad. I have a cartoon I work on. I write the story, then do the art. Also, I have been wanting to do a comic for a while. I realized, about a year ago, that I just could not do it on my iPad. Now, it seems I can. I can not believe I would get a pen for the thing. But, it just makes sense.

    • coreylarue - 7 years ago

      I don’t know if you have tried the ios9 public or developer beta, but they have an option for photos which allows you to optimize iPhone Storage. from the settings: “If you iPhone is low on space, full-resolution photos and videos are automatically replaced with optimized versions. Full-resolutions versions are stored in iCloud”.

      I don’t know what their definition of ‘low on space’, i’ve kept about 10GB of storage open on my 64GB 6+, but they seem to have optimized all photos going back more than 3 months. it isn’t bad, basically you can see it on the year and collections views, and then when you click down to the individual pictures, you get a fuzzy version until it downloads that from iCloud, which on LTE or WiFi doesn’t take very long, generally. my biggest issue is with photos that i took back in like ’06 (pre iPhone days, obviously) that have been through the iPhoto 06, 09, Photos ringer and they seem to have a harder time finding those full-def ones. You may want to wait until you get that new OS and see if that helps with your storage issues before deciding to upgrade.

    • Joshua Glowzinski - 7 years ago

      Also, do you not still have to sign a contract with whatever network you choose? I mean, I would never want to pay month to month. I like a contract. There it is, all in black and white, on a nice piece of paper. So, really, I would pay more for the service through Apple. I would have to pay, I think $533 so I did not pay for my phone thought my provider. Then, I would also have to pay for my monthly cell bill. I have a thing through Verizon. It is called, I think loyalty program. Since I have been a member for years, my bill went from like $110 to $60 a month. That is with unlimited talk and text. When I DO get a phone though them, say I get $250 for my phone and renew my two year contract. Which, I will do anyway, then I would get the phone for like $499. The rest of the money I owe would just show up on my bill and I would pay for it the next month. How can that get any eaiser?

  24. Jacob N. Thomas - 7 years ago

    So what happens after the 24month contract? do i get to keep the iPhone 7? or do i have to return that as well?

  25. Jacob N. Thomas - 7 years ago

    So do you get to keep the phone after 24 months?? (iPhone 7)

  26. Joe Michaels - 7 years ago

    So will Apple give me a trade in credit for my current Iphone 6 Plus? I think they should deduct that from the total cost.

  27. So if I do end up going for the Apple Upgrade Program, would I still be able to keep my grandfathered unlimited data plan with AT&T?
    I don’t have an upgrade until April :(

  28. Savannah Larkins - 7 years ago

    If you make a reservation at midnight tonight, will you be making a reservation for the 12th or the 25th? And will you be getting your phone at that time or will it be shipped to you? I live 2 hours away from an Apple Store and I hope we don’t have to go to a store just to sign up for the program and don’t get a phone that day. I wonder if making a reservation also “preorders” a phone.

  29. Pete Bland - 7 years ago

    So after reading all of the comments posted thus far, I am still to completely 100% clear on the issue of….If we have a Verizon Family Share plan, would this affect our plan? Would we still remain month to month or would we enter into another agreement with Verizon separately? Also….is the monthly fee for the phone added to our bill or is it separate?

  30. Karen DeHaas - 7 years ago

    I have an Apple I-phone 6S and am currently with Verizon. However, my husband and I are just recently divorced and he is taking me off his plan at the end of the year. Will I be able to use my I-phone 6S with Straight talk?

  31. Erwin - 7 years ago

    It’s like buying a phone with a credit card and paying off that credit card for the next two years — only you get your phone AFTER you pay it off and not before. Worse, you have no idea what phone you actually get later on. Do people actually fall for this crap?

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Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.