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Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program is a great way to get a new handset without having to pay the entirety of the cost upfront.
The iPhone Upgrade Program, launched back in 2015, allows customers to get a new Apple handset every year for a single monthly fee. It’s basically an in-house alternative to similar carrier lease agreements and is currently available to subscribers of AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile.
While prices vary depending on the device, the subscription also includes AppleCare+. While the cost of an iPhone is covered over 24 months, subscribers get the option of upgrading to a new device after 12.
With an iPhone announcement event looming on the horizon, many users may be curious to see if they’re eligible for an upgrade through the program.
But, of course, there’s some fine print you might want to check up on first.
- You’ll need to have paid the full 12 months of payments before you can get a new handset via the iPhone Upgrade Program. If you haven’t, you’ll need to pay off the remaining balance on the device.
- If that’s not an issue, you’ll also need to double-check when you signed up for the iPhone Upgrade Program. Per the details of the program, customers need to be subscribed for six full months before being eligible for an upgrade (which, again, requires paying the additional fee).
- You can check your plan’s eligibility through this page on Apple’s online storefront. You’ll just need an Apple ID connected to your iPhone Upgrade Program subscription or the actual iPhone’s serial number and IMEI.
Once you get the finer details of the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program worked out, you can actually trade-in your device and get a new one. You can do so at a brick-and-mortar Apple Store location, or online.
You’ll likely need to provide a valid credit card, your Social Security user and your date of birth for a credit check. When upgrading in-store, at least two separate forms of identification are required.
Then, you’ll need to trade-in your old device. This is an easy process in-store and will happen on the same day you receive your device. If you’re upgrading online, Apple will send you a trade-in kit to send the old iPhone back.
Be sure to fully back up your device and wipe off any data on it before trading it in or sending it back to Apple.
If you want to get the handset on launch day, you may want to check if Apple will offer a loan pre-approval process for iPhone Upgrade Program subscribers. While we haven’t heard any details about such an offering for this year, Apple did offer the pre-approval prior to the release of the iPhone X.