One of the less eye-catching announcements made at Apple’s event this week was the tech giant’s introduction of a new Upgrade Program for iPhone users. This new Upgrade Program offers customers a chance to upgrade their iPhone to the latest model after 12 months, reports CNET.
When customers purchase an iPhone, and they choose to sign up for the iPhone Upgrade Program, they will pay a monthly fee for 24 months. If they wish to upgrade after 12 months having made all of those payments they can do so, with the remaining 12 months being settled by a trade-in of their existing phone.
All iPhone 6S and 6S Plus phones sold as part of the Upgrade Program will be unlocked but can only be used with one of the four major U.S. networks – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon.
An Unlocked iPhone offers customers several advantages, mainly flexibility and greater choice. It allows the option of not committing to a contract, changing between carriers and using different SIM cards when abroad to avoid international service charges.
Pricing with the Upgrade Program starts at $32.41 a month for a 16GB iPhone 6S and peaks at $44.91 for a 128GB iPhone 6S Plus, and this will be paid in addition to any monthly fee for wireless service from a carrier.
Included in the Upgrade Program fee is a subscription to Apple Care+, Apple’s insurance, and extended warranty program which if purchased separately is worth $129. AppleCare+ extends the basic warranty to two years and adds coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage, each subject to a service fee of $99 for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
The four major carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon also offer early upgrade programs for new iPhones, but these plans don’t include insurance or an extended warranty. That wouldn’t leave you totally exposed – Apple iPhones come with a one-year limited warranty and 90 days of support.
Customers who sign up can still choose not to upgrade, but must pay off the 24 months in full, at which point they own the phone and can do as they wish with the device.
Apple’s Upgrade Program is perfect for those who want to upgrade to the latest iPhone every year and don’t want to wait. The Upgrade Program is available in the U.S. for now, and customers will only be able to sign up at Apple retail stores. It will not be accessible online through their official website.
[Image credit: Apple]