Apple is now selling iPhones on installment plans, giving customers the ability to pay a monthly charge for a phone and upgrade to a new one every year. The four major carriers in the US already offer phones on installment plans, but Apple’s new “iPhone Upgrade Program” provides yet another option that might be better for certain customers.
Here are the basics: Instead of paying hundreds of dollars up front for a new iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, a customer gives Apple anywhere from $32.41 to $44.91 per month, depending on the model and storage amount. Such customers are eligible to upgrade to a new phone after making 12 months of payments.
So if you buy an iPhone 6S with 16GB of storage, the cheapest model, you’d pay $388.92 to essentially rent the phone over the course of a year, instead of $649 to own the phone outright. If you prefer keeping a phone for at least two years, it’s cheaper to buy it outright.
The announcement says a phone purchased with an installment plan must be activated on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless, but the phone purchased from Apple is unlocked and customers aren’t required to sign a contract with the carrier. That means it’s easier to switch carriers later.
Customers can pre-order iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus beginning on Saturday, September 12 at the U.S. Cellular site.
In the United Kingdom, the 16GB iPhone 6S is priced at £539, while the 64GB goes for £619, and the 128GB model sells for £699. Then customers can learn the iPhone pricing available to them, so there are no surprises once 3:01 a.m. hits.
The new 3D Touch display on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus makes a plethora of features possible, some of which we will break out into sections.
In a new twist, Apple introduced its own stylus called “Apple Pencil” that can detect how hard you’re pressing and at what angle.
Given that a typical 16GB iPhone likely has around 12GB of usable space or so (give or take), you’re already limited in the number of total photos you can stash on your device.
That protection program mainly offers up to two years of hardware repairs and coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage. Apple last month redesigned its website to remove the standalone “Store” tab, instead integrating the option to buy its devices on the product information pages. The issues mirrored past iPhone launches, including a year ago when eager shoppers couldn’t access the store for about two hours.
The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus also have new 12MP iSight cameras and will be able to take 4K video. With this new program, Apple is directly trying to remove the middle man from its business, particularly the wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon.