I'm really not sure whether this is really on-topic, but here goes...

How does the iPhone Upgrade Program work?

I understand the information on the Apple site - I pay them monthly, no interest, with a small upfront payment & after a year I can get a new phone. My contract, however, runs for 20 months.


So, I'm paying say 50 bucks/quid/shekels for 20 months, yet I get a new phone after 12 months.

Where does that leave me?

  1. I continue to pay off my existing contract, another 8 months at 50 'currencies'?
    ...and I also have to start paying for my new phone, so I'm now stumping up 100 'currencies' per month to have the new one & an old one I no longer need?


  1. they take back the old phone & let me off the last 8 months & I just pay a new deal of 50 'currencies' for the new one, with a 20-month contract unless I repeat the same after another year?

or is there a

  1. ?
  • It's 24 months, not 20. See iPhone Upgrade Program – user3439894 Sep 8 '16 at 19:00
  • UK is 20 months - see apple.com/uk/shop/iphone/iphone-upgrade-program Let's assume the contract period is always longer than the 12 months between new iPhone releases, rather than getting caught up on the minutiae ;) – Tetsujin Sep 8 '16 at 19:09
  • I keep forgetting you're in the UK, sorry. That said, it may differ in other ways too then #months in different countries. – user3439894 Sep 8 '16 at 19:18
  • @user3439894 No worries - I guess I would have asked the question a year ago were I in the US ;) [Aside from wanting to provide a nice Q/A for SE, I do actually really want a 'proper' answer, as I'm trying to decide whether to dump my perfectly fine 6S in favour of a 7] I am assuming, that other than the fine-print of the 'exact' contract, the broad details will be the same worldwide... which prompts another part to this question... edit coming... – Tetsujin Sep 8 '16 at 19:22
  • Please keep it at one question per post. – nohillside Sep 9 '16 at 6:31

Option 2 in your question is the correct one. In the "Getting the latest iPhone has never been easier" section of the upgrade program site you posted it says you have to pay 11 monthly payments (you might as well think of it as 12 months because the upfront payment is in essence your first month). So when you have paid the monthly installment 11 times, you have 2 options:

  1. Turn in the phone for an upgrade while restarting both timers (the 11 monthly payments + 1st down payment and the 20 month full contract).
  2. Continue paying for the phone until the 20 month contract is done and the phone is 100% yours.

The important thing here is that you are never paying for your old phone once you upgrade it.

  • Also - you can double dip if you already own an iPhone - turn it in for cash as part of signing up for the upgrade plan and that will get you a gift card for some $$$ to buy down accessories or other store purchases. – bmike Sep 9 '16 at 2:09

One thing to note about whether option 1 or 2 is correct for your initial question, you can only have one iPhone Upgrade Program running at a time under your name. You could never be in the situation described in option 1. In order to not return the old device (iPhone 7), you would have to pay off the remaining balance due on it in order to start a new program (loan) for iPhone 7s/8/10th Anniversary Gold-Plated "Yeah, Sure, Now You Think Dumping the Headphone Jack is a Great Idea Since All the Android Devices Have Done It" Edition.

To answer your related question, you can sell your iPhone to Apple for "up to" £240. You are likely to get more for it elsewhere, though, and selling your current iPhone (which you did not buy under the Upgrade Program) is not required to purchase a phone with the Upgrade Program.

Once you are in the program, though, if you wish to upgrade at this time next year with a new installment plan, you will be required to return the phone you get this month or pay off the remaining balance on it (~8 months of payments) in order to do so.

  • 1
    You are right that Apple takes a cut of the price for their convenience. You can usually get a very slightly better deal to twice the $$ selling your phone locally. But, that takes a lot of time and willingness to walk away from buyers that window shop or haggle once they see the device. – bmike Sep 9 '16 at 2:10
  • @bmike It depends on where you go. In the US, for example, Apple is offering up to $250 for an iPhone 6s which is a similar trade-in price to, say, Amazon. That said, Nextworth (which is also a trade-in service) was offering $413 yesterday (still offering $380 today). I will say, though, that their price is on the very high-end of the trade-in spectrum...I couldn't find any other trade-ins yesterday that were higher than about $350. My point being, though, that you don't have to resort to private sales to make a lot more than the big boys are offering. – tubedogg Sep 9 '16 at 2:16

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