Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program Moves Online
Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program has gone online.
The program, which allows users to upgrade to a new iPhone each year, is now available to Apple’s online store customers. When a user buys a new iPhone 6s online, they’ll have the option of paying for it in full or paying monthly installments through the program, so they can upgrade to a new handset each year.
Apple (AAPL) announced the iPhone Upgrade Program at a press event last year where it unveiled its iPhone 6s line. Since then, the program has been available in the company’s brick-and-mortar stores, but not available online—until now.
The iPhone Upgrade Program is viewed as a potential shot over the bows of carriers, which have used similar monthly installment plans to attract customers to new devices. Rather than pay a company like AT&T (T) monthly installments for the device, customers can now pay Apple for the hardware and put it on the network of their choosing. Along the way, customers only need to pay for a cell phone provider’s service.
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The iPhone Upgrade Program is built upon a partnership Apple has with Citizen’s Bank and requires a credit check before customers can qualify. Once enrolled in the program, customers agree to pay a monthly fee over a period of 24 months to have the device. After a year, however, they can opt to buy a new iPhone under a new 24-month agreement. All of the iPhones sold through the program are unlocked and come with AppleCare+, the technology company’s warranty program.
“Getting a new iPhone every year is easy,” Apple says on its iPhone Upgrade Program page. “After 12 payments, you can get a new iPhone and start a new iPhone Upgrade Program. No more waiting for your carrier contract to end. Just upgrade your current iPhone to a new one, and your new program begins.”
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The iPhone Upgrade Program is currently only available for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models. Prices start at $32.41 per month for the 16GB iPhone 6s model, and go up to $44.91 per month for the 128GB iPhone 6s Plus. That said, it’s possible that as time goes on, Apple will add new iPhones to the program.