September 15, 2015

Apple's New iPhone Upgrade Program

Shawn Blanc on Apple’s iPhone upgrade pricing

Here’s another way to think of it: a base-model iPhone 6 costs $649 unsubsidized. If you buy it, keep it in pristine condition, and then sell it one year later, you’ll get as much as $450 on eBay or Craigslist, or as little as $320 on Gazelle.

In that scenario, you’ve spent between $200 – $330 to use your iPhone for a year.

If you were to use that same iPhone for a year, except this time go through the Apple Upgrade plan, it would cost you $389 ($32.41 x 12).

This is the exact math I was trying to figure out as they were announcing this payment plan. As many others have noted, this seems like it will be marginally more expensive than the carrier programs, like AT&T Next, but it will include Apple Care and offer you the ability to get a new phone every year. I am tempted.

Apple is essentially leasing a brand new phone to people for $400 a year. They will happily collect that phone from you at the end of the year and turn around and sell it as a lower priced device in emerging markets. Pretty smart.