Apple Stores to Allow Customers to Purchase iPhone Through U.S. Carriers' Early Upgrade Programs

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple Retail Stores will soon allow customers to purchase an iPhone through U.S. carrier early upgrade programs including AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, and T-Mobile Jump, reports 9to5Mac. Apple is aiming to implement the new initiative right before the launch of the iPhone 6 this fall, as both Genius Bar workers and store employees will receive training on the program from Sunday, August 10 to Thursday, August 28.

    Currently, Apple Store customers are only limited to purchasing an iPhone through a regular two-year contract at subsidized pricing or unlocked at full-price. All three early upgrade programs allow customers to upgrade their phones more frequently as the complete cost of a device is split into monthly payments which are rolled into the standard bill each month. Verizon and T-Mobile allow customers to upgrade their phones twice every year after six months of payments, while AT&T customers can upgrade once every 12 months after a year of payments.

    The move also comes after Apple Stores began allowing customers to add pre-paid or month-to-month plans when purchasing full-priced, unlocked iPhones in June. Apple CEO Tim Cook noted last year that 80 percent of iPhones are sold at third-party locations while 20 percent are sold by Apple, adding that it was a figure he would like to improve. Apple has launched a number of other programs in its retail store to boost in-store sales, which included an event this past May encouraging iPhone 4 and 4s owners to update to a newer device.

    Article Link: Apple Stores to Allow Customers to Purchase iPhone Through U.S. Carriers' Early Upgrade Programs
  2. joeshmo2010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Sweet, I was hoping they would implement these options before the iPhone 6 launch so I can buy it via Next through Apple instead of ATT
  3. Mlrollin91 macrumors G3


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    My thoughts exactly! Was debating if I was going to join the next program or do the $250 early upgrade. Only wanted to buy at Apple because its easier to get a replacement new device incase of a DOA or defective unit.
  4. cicton macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2014
    It looks as though the individual roles in the store are slowly becoming one. The idea that anyone in the store can sell or fix a product.
  5. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't know that this is Apple doing anything. But rather the carriers backing off. After all access to prepaid and these programs was the only thing the carriers had to guarantee buyers come to their stores.


    Not really sure where you are getting that from. Techs have always been trained on sales stuff so they know when it's best to fix and best to just have the customer buy something new. That could be all this knowledge of these systems is about
  6. cicton macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2014
    I was at apple when this discussion started about moving the stores to one single role.. Help the customer faster. It may not happen over night but it's coming.
  7. entropy2112 macrumors newbie


    Jul 24, 2014
    Do you have to join the program prior to purchasing a phone? On verizon with 5s. Or can one do this upon getting a new one?
  8. Zadigre macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011
    It does not matter where you buy your iPhone get the same service if you go to the Apple store directly.
  9. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2011
    No, if they're launching the upgrade plans the same as the carriers then they're going to allow new signups for the plan in store as well.
  10. Mlrollin91 macrumors G3


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    But, if you are within 14 days, it is easier to get a brand new replacement in a factory box at Apple than AT&T. I had a defective AT&T iPhone 5 that I purchased at AT&T because I had to. I went back to AT&T to get a replacement and they said because it was after 24 hours of purchase that I had to pay $35 restocking fee even though it was defective and I had the paperwork from Apple showing I took it to the genius bar and it was indeed defective. They wouldn't budge. Paid the stupid $35 took my replacement, went home called customer service (I am a Premier member) and made a complaint. They wouldn't refund me the $35 until I went up like 3 tiers of representatives and finally got an executive rep on the phone. Absolutely BS. Will not purchase from an AT&T store ever again.
  11. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2011
    If you mean service as in "cell service" then yes, it's the same. However, Apple's customer service is above that of a carrier store.
  12. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2006
    I don't think the person you quoted was implying otherwise, just pointing out that no matter where you buy your phone, the customer service at the Apple Store is the same.
  13. freediverdude macrumors 6502a

    Dec 26, 2006
    This will be interesting, because under those programs you must return the old device. So I'm guessing you'll have to purchase at Apple brick and mortar then, not online? Back to huge Apple store launch day lines, lol.
  14. riellllle macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2014
    I wouldn't think so. I know at Best Buy when you upgrade through those programs, you actually have to mail the old phone back to your carrier yourself within 14 days. I would imagine Apple doing something similar so that you could still order online and then ship your old phone to your carrier.
  15. Bobtodd macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2011
    The apple store in Brazil is the only store that all staff are trained on all aspects of the store. All staff can take genius appointments or work BOH. It's just a matter of time before it's implemented across all stores. Also rumors of apple retail business teams disappearing too. As most store staff are trained as extended business team members. Guess lazy business teams shouldn't have trained them so good that they can know do there job better.
  16. bigjnyc macrumors 601


    Apr 10, 2008
    I just hope the full-priced unlocked phones are available from day 1 this time around.... I am optimistic since this makes the most sense with the carriers moving to these no contract models.
  17. bpcookson macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2012
    I'm on AT&T. I recently saved about $30 for switching from a 4GB plan to a 10GB plan that dropped my per-phone fee from $40 to $15 (we have 2 phones). The catch is this: if I buy my next phone at a subsidized cost, the per-phone fee jumps back to $40.

    Basically, what they did was offer me Next pricing without signing up for the Next service and I had to increase my data plan to get it. Now I have to enroll in Next for my subsequent iPhone or otherwise face a bill that swings from a cost savings to big cost increase. I'm glad Apple will be offering the Next option in-store.

    So I have the following options:
    1. Buy an iPhone 6 at subsidy.
    2. Buy an iPhone 6 unlocked at full price.
    3. Buy an iPhone 6 under a new Next plan.

    I've been debating these loosely in my head ever since switching to the 10GB plan, but never wrote anything down. Doing so here will help me make my decision and hopefully also benefit others in the same boat. So let's do some math. I have a 64GB phone now but will consider getting a 32GB phone next time, and of course there are rumors that 32 will be the new 16, so I might as well crunch numbers for all 3 price tiers.

    * Numbers are for 1 phone.
    * "1 Year" or "2 Years" assumes either selling or turning in your phone as applicable.
    * Resale values are conservative (i.e. $100, $200, $300 for a 2yr old iPhone). YMMV.
    * Purchasing at subsidy and upgrading at 1 Year incurs a $250 upgrade fee.

    1. Subsidy - Includes a $450 discount; raises my monthly bill by $25
    Size - 1 Year - 2 Years
    16GB - 780 - 1060
    32GB - 780 - 1060
    64GB - 780 - 1060

    2. Unlocked - All costs are up front; bill remains the same
    Size - 1 Year - 2 Years
    16GB - 680 - 910
    32GB - 680 - 910
    64GB - 680 - 910

    3. Next - Cost of phone split across 24 payments at 0% interest; bill remains the same
    Size - 1 Year - 2 Years
    16GB - 505 - 910
    32GB - 555 - 910
    64GB - 605 - 910

    If getting a new iPhone every year is important to you, the Next Plan appears to be a no-brainer. If you don't mind waiting two years between phones, well... it seems like the Next Plan is still a no-brainer because free financing is way better than parting with all your cash up front.

    I'm rather surprised by these results, so I feel I must have missed something. By all means, please let me know if you can find that I've done something wrong. Here's a link to the math: Purchase Options.xlsx
  18. Glideslope macrumors 601


    Dec 7, 2007
  19. thefourthpope macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2007
    I haven't bothered searching for it, but somewhere on the interwebs has to have a full comparison of all the permutations (GB, carrier, plan, re-up, etc). Would make a good infographic!
  20. tizeye macrumors member


    Jul 17, 2013
    Actually, this is huge and details on how they return the phone would be great. Apple handles it or walk to the carrier store in the same mall and drop it off? Found out the T-Mobile's international free data plan DOES NOT allow setting phone on hotspot so my non-cellular iPad will be dependent on free Wi-Fi spots and accelerates my jumping from android to iPhone 6 for the iPhone version of the apps using phone data plan to before leaving rather than on return. Leaving first week of Oct, release time is critical and suspect supply will be better at the Apple Store rather than the carriers. If I hadn't run into that hotspot prohibition, I was planning on making the switch after the return when the dust had settled on the release, but this changes everything.

    Last week, before this announcement, was exploring my options and posed the question to T-Mobile if purchased at Apple Store (paying full price) do I simply return the phone? The answer was "No" as I would still - prior to this announcement - have the Jump obligation. To resolve that, he came up with a convoluted solution as most people upgrade, I would downgrade to a zero cost phone, never activate it just keep in the dresser drawer.

    It is a huge difference with this announcement if we can handle the Jump dynamics through the Apple Store. Of course, the devil is in the details.
  21. Bane67 macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2014
    Your math is incorrect, unfortunately it is based on a 12/24 month process that doesn't equal up between plans. Next is a 12/18 month upgrade but you still have months left in financing that you would have to pay to upgrade early, it's 20/26 months on the two options.

    Also, I'm not sure where the financing numbers are coming from. They have set costs dependent on each phone type and the length of the Next upgrade you sign up for, an iPhone 5S is $32.50 at the Next 12(20 months worth) and $25 at the Next 18(26 months worth). This is on top of the $15 a month charge you're looking at which I'm not sure is actually a normal price(this maybe a BYOD price which you won't see when you upgrade your phone).

    Your cost under subsidy becomes harder to figure out, because that $ a month is covering part of the cost of your phone(after your initial cost i.e. $199). If you are looking at just one smartphone that ranges from $40-$30 a month for the smartphone depending on the data plan you choose.

    You should probably go over this with your carrier, I'd recommend going in and actually seeing the numbers for the entire costs over the duration of your plan(even if it is one of the no-contract plans[Next, Edge, et al]). Overall, you may find that after adding everything up, you save money being on contract and getting a subsidy over the "uncarrier crap" that T-mobile started. Phone companies are in business to make money, not necessarily to exploit customers but they are still in it to make money at the end of the day. There is very little they do that is not going to give them a ROI.

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