As I understand the iPhone Upgrade Program:

  • A 64GB iPhone 6S bought upfront costs $749, and AppleCare+ costs $129, for a total of $878.
  • A 64GB iPhone 6S bought on the iPhone Upgrade Program (which includes AppleCare+) is $36.58/month for 24 months ($877.92), but you can trade in your iPhone for a new iPhone after 12 months (having paid only $438.96) if you commit to another 24 months of payment for the new iPhone.

Aren't you effectively only paying half price for every iPhone you get under the iPhone Upgrade Program until you decide to get your last iPhone ever? This sounds too good to be true. Is there any downside to this?

  • What's resale value on a year old iPhone 6S 64GB? You're giving up that. Apple can re-sell as a new, full warranty referb for about 15% off retail. And, what's the point of AppleCare if you're trading in while under standard warranty. For Apple that's a freebie. Finally the 24 month committment pays for 2 new iPhones compared to a "bring your own phone" deal like T-Mobile – radarbob Apr 26 '16 at 0:14
  • @radarbob The warranty is 12 months but support is only 90 days, extended to 24 months with AppleCare+. In addition, you're able to pay a small deductible for accidental damage (now $29 or $99, depending whether the issue is a broken screen or some other accidental damage) which would never be covered under the warranty, and would otherwise require you to pay for third-party repairs or to replace the phone outright. – tubedogg Sep 8 '16 at 17:34
  • In addition, after having checked prices on quite a few "sell" sites recently, iPhones are not holding their value in quite the same way as they used to. I managed to get a quote of $413 for a phone in perfect condition, but that was an anomaly at the high end - most places were averaging $250 to $300, and I saw one place offering $180. – tubedogg Sep 8 '16 at 17:35
  • (I should add, that quote was for an unlocked iPhone 6s 128 GB.) – tubedogg Sep 8 '16 at 17:48

The "downside" is that you lose the hardware. That's Apple's entire incentive for offering this exchange feature. If you're ok with the reality that you must exchange the phone you "half-own" in order to receive a new model early, there is nothing further that should stop you.

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