A few years ago Apple started the iPhone Upgrade Program. Basically, you sign up to pay for an iPhone over two years– no interest, but monthly payments include the price of AppleCare. At the end of the two year period, you own the iPhone. Or, at the end of the first year, the program will give you a new iPhone, and the 24 monthly payments started again.
Not bad, right?
iPhone customers get a no-interest loan with affordable monthly payments and the only caveat was the price for AppleCare, which is built into the payment plan. Last year I walked into an Apple Store, picked up a new iPhone X, erased my iPhone 7 Plus, stuffed it into a bag to return to Apple, and walked out of the store with a new iPhone. The whole process took about 12 minutes.
What’s not to like?
Well, here we are counting down to iPhone XI– or whatever new naming scheme Apple has planned, and I’m ready to do the whole upgrade shebang over again. Last year Apple made the Apple Store app on my iPhone easier to get through the pre-approval process which should make it easier and faster to order a new iPhone when they arrive this fall.
What about delivery? What about returning the old iPhone?
Apple seems to improve processes every year, too. From the Apple Store, current iPhone owners will have the option for delivery to home, or the option to pick up the new iPhone at a specific Apple Store. Returning the old iPhone is easy, too. Apple sends a box with prepaid delivery to return to Apple.
What’s not to like about that?
Without the iPhone Upgrade Program I would still buy a new iPhone each year and sell last year’s model to a friend, family member, or, last ditch effort, to Gazelle. I buy AppleCare, too. iPhone Upgrade Program lets me do all that, interest free, with a single purchase.
While iPhone Upgrade Program may speed up the purchase and delivery for current program customers this year, new customers to the program will need to be approved first during the purchase process, and that takes a few extra steps. And extra time.
Remember what it was like to buy a new cell phone at carrier stores before AT&T hooked up with Apple for the iPhone in 2007?