Apple today announced the iPhone Upgrade Program, a new initiative that will let consumers buy new, unlocked iPhones from the company and move up to the new flagship model every year. It's similar to the upgrade plans offered by many US carriers, but this is Apple taking control of the entire experience; you're buying an unlocked phone direct from Apple that'll run on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and others. Choose your own carrier, and pay Apple for the phone over time.
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AppleCare+, the extended warranty for iPhone that also covers incidental damage, is included in the iPhone Upgrade Program. The 24-month installment plan starts at $32 per month, which gets you the base level 16GB iPhone 6S.
Apple's Phil Schiller said despite the 24-month payment period, customers will be able to upgrade to the latest iPhone once per year. Apple confirms this on the Upgrade Program's website: "After 12 installments, you can get a new iPhone and start a new iPhone Upgrade Program. No more waiting for your carrier contract to end. Just trade in your current iPhone for a new one, and your new program begins."
The iPhone Upgrade Program will be offered only at Apple Store locations in the United States. Interested customers can make a reservation to participate beginning at 12:01AM PT on September 12th — the same time that new iPhone preorders launch. As usual with financing deals, there's some fine print involved, and here it is:
The iPhone Upgrade Program is available to qualified customers only with a valid U.S. personal credit card. Requires a 24-month installment loan with Citizens Bank, N.A. and iPhone activation with a national carrier — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon.
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