Apple Upgrade Program for the X or Buy it outright?

mbrink12

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2017
77
21
I've got the money to cover buying it outright, but I've never been involved in the Upgrade program. Which would be the best route to go?
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,846
596
Los Angeles
If you can afford to buy it outright I'd get it outright to get an unlocked version of the phone. Upgrade program is only really good for people who can't afford to buy it at once of if you don't plan on keeping the the phone past one year and want to trade in and upgrade... which I feel isn't that great, when you can just sell the unlocked one for more than your loss (which would be 1/2 of what you pay for the device.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: mbrink12

mbrink12

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2017
77
21
If you can afford to buy it outright I'd get it outright to get an unlocked version of the phone. Upgrade program is only really good for people who can't afford to buy it at once of if you don't plan on keeping the the phone past one year and want to trade in and upgrade... which I feel isn't that great, when you can just sell the unlocked one for more than your loss (which would be 1/2 of what you pay for the device.)
That makes sense. I haven't upgraded my phone since the 6, which was my 2nd iPhone ever. I've been having major issues with the service/internal antenna lately, causing my service to drop. Holding out for the X as long as I can. I have friends who swear by the Upgrade Program. But your last tidbit makes a ton of sense. I can imagine that the X will have good value on the used marketplace, about 12-18 months from now.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,222
3,357
If you upgrade phones yearly, buying outright makes no sense. At best you will pay the exact same in the end (buying out right and then resale) as the person on the IUP. However, then you have to deal with selling it.

The only reason, IMO, to buy outright is if you will keep the phone at least 2 years or if you are on a prepaid carrier. Going with a prepaid carrier vs the big 4 can save around $50 a month on your phone bill.
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,846
596
Los Angeles
I don't see any down side to doing the AUP it is an unlocked device and you can pay it off whenever you want.

I guess the only cons are the hit on credit and then the required applecare if you weren't already going to get it.
Are Upgrade Program models unlocked? I didn't think they were.
[doublepost=1505687753][/doublepost]
If you upgrade phones yearly, buying outright makes no sense. At best you will pay the exact same in the end (buying out right and then resale) as the person on the IUP. However, then you have to deal with selling it.

The only reason, IMO, to buy outright is if you will keep the phone at least 2 years or if you are on a prepaid carrier. Going with a prepaid carrier vs the big 4 can save around $50 a month on your phone bill.
I think you could definitely sell the base iPhone X for more than $500 in a year's time. Paying 50% and then giving it back to Apple is at very least walking away from $250. I can't imagine a used X selling for less than $750
 
  • Like
Reactions: mbrink12

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
11,671
10,707
In the middle of several books.
I don't see any down side to doing the AUP it is an unlocked device and you can pay it off whenever you want.

I guess the only cons are the hit on credit and then the required applecare if you weren't already going to get it.
If someone doesn't mind taking a hard pull on their credit every year, and paying for AppleCare upfront, and then having to get their money back from Citizens, then it might be ok for some.

Carrier financing is also interest free, doesn't require AppleCare, and doesn't have a hard credit pull every year. One can also pay off the phone in total (early) or pay off 50% to upgrade again.

If one is hung up on upgrading every year, the carrier financing is a better option.
 
Last edited:

AJsAWiz

macrumors 68040
Jun 28, 2007
3,251
342
Ohio
If you can afford to buy it outright I'd get it outright to get an unlocked version of the phone. Upgrade program is only really good for people who can't afford to buy it at once of if you don't plan on keeping the the phone past one year and want to trade in and upgrade... which I feel isn't that great, when you can just sell the unlocked one for more than your loss (which would be 1/2 of what you pay for the device.)
Yep, that makes sense. Personally I set up my own installment program (got the last of the 2 year subsidized contract with my 6S Plus). Anyway, instead of paying AT&T or Apple in installments, I paid installments to myself. I accumulated enough over 2 years to pay full price for my iPhone this year. I'll continue paying installments to myself for my next phone in 2 years or so. Works for me.
 

s2mike

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2015
757
642
I don’t think they do a hard pull every year.

I enrolled in the upgrade program in 2015 for the iPhone 6S and they did a hard pull, but there was no pull in 2016 when I traded up for the iPhone 7.
 

BeeGood

macrumors 68000
Sep 15, 2013
1,793
4,826
Lot 23E. Somewhere in Georgia.
I've got the money to cover buying it outright, but I've never been involved in the Upgrade program. Which would be the best route to go?
Like others have said, IUP makes you purchase AppleCare, so unless you were planning on doing that anyway, you’re better off paying outright, or using a carrier installment plan if that’s available to you.
 

MrMister111

macrumors 68030
Jan 28, 2009
2,686
173
UK
My dilemma as well....(I'm in UK, so phone is a mammoth £1000)

I normally buy outright but have to say this year if got the X would be more worried on resale as I think this, likes others, was a little rushed and features/technology want ready.

I believe there will be another X or X plus that may hit this year's X resale next year.

However I probably wouldn't get AppleCare+ and I think if I want to pre-order it may take longer on pre-order day than to buy outright?
 

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
11,671
10,707
In the middle of several books.
I don’t think they do a hard pull every year.

I enrolled in the upgrade program in 2015 for the iPhone 6S and they did a hard pull, but there was no pull in 2016 when I traded up for the iPhone 7.
What I stated in my post is 100% fact about Citizens. Read the terms and conditions.

https://www.apple.com/legal/sales-support/iphoneupgrade_us/

When you sign up for the program, a credit check is done (hard pull). When you seek to upgrade to a new phone and fulfill your obligations under the current contract, a new contract is drawn up whereby you apply for a new loan with said bank. And if you meet the requirements as you previously did, a new agreement is entered into by you and Citizens. Whether Citizens exercises its right to pull a hard credit check each and every time a new contract is applied for is up to them. The fact remains that they do have the right per the terms of the contract. And it is important that people who are thinking of applying, as well as current members of said program know that. Just because you, bill, Joe, and Mary don't believe it has happened recently doesn't mean anything to someone else and the written terms and conditions.
[doublepost=1505691922][/doublepost]It is not wise to enter into an installment loan with the idea that you will be able to sell the phone afterward and recoup your some of your money. If that idea is something that you have to be able to do to keep participating, that means that you may be living beyond your means and using the program as an excuse to help fund your lifestyle. If you are able to sell the phone later on, fine. Don't factor that into your loan agreement. That mentality is no better than going to the dealership, getting a new car, and having the dealer pay off your current model.

There is another option, save up the cash to pay for a new phone. Purchase the phone on your own terms with no extra bills and requirements.

Be careful not to get caught up in the MacRumors forum hype, lest you find yourself over-extended and not happy with your purchase.
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,846
596
Los Angeles
Like others have said, IUP makes you purchase AppleCare, so unless you were planning on doing that anyway, you’re better off paying outright, or using a carrier installment plan if that’s available to you.
Not this year at least. I’ve checked at Apple.com they have a no Apple care option now.
 

andcool69

macrumors member
Feb 21, 2011
58
37
If someone doesn't mind taking a hard pull on their credit every year, and paying for AppleCare upfront, and then having to get their money back from Citizens, then it might be ok for some.

Carrier financing is also interest free, doesn't require AppleCare, and doesn't have a hard credit pull every year. One can also pay off the phone in total (early) or pay off 50% to upgrade again.

If one is hung up on upgrading every year, the carrier financing is a better option.
No hard pull every year. Just the first time and every time you get a new phone it carries over. Which is why I got it. If it was a hard pull every year a lot of people would not get it.
 

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
11,671
10,707
In the middle of several books.
No hard pull every year. Just the first time and every time you get a new phone it carries over. Which is why I got it. If it was a hard pull every year a lot of people would not get it.
It's in the contract terms. And as I said previously, whether or not that actually happens is up to Citizens. Them not doing it 1 year(s) or more does not remove their right from doing a hard pull.
 

ectospheno

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2005
209
220
I've got the money to cover buying it outright, but I've never been involved in the Upgrade program. Which would be the best route to go?
If you were already going to get Applecare+ then the program is a zero interest loan spread evenly over 24 months. Ignoring other factors a zero interest loan is always in your favor versus spending the same sum today. That they allow you to reset the time period after 12 payments to get a new phone each year is just gravy (unless you believe you would get a higher price selling the phone yourself).

The question of whether or not any human needs a new phone each year is a different discussion. :)
 

mbrink12

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2017
77
21
If you were already going to get Applecare+ then the program is a zero interest loan spread evenly over 24 months. Ignoring other factors a zero interest loan is always in your favor versus spending the same sum today. That they allow you to reset the time period after 12 payments to get a new phone each year is just gravy (unless you believe you would get a higher price selling the phone yourself).

The question of whether or not any human needs a new phone each year is a different discussion. :)
Thats exactly what I was thinking. The upgrade program sounds pretty good and with the X, AppleCare seems like a must. I probably will do the upgrade program at least for 1-2 years, then buy my phone outright and upgrade every 2 years.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,222
3,357
Thats exactly what I was thinking. The upgrade program sounds pretty good and with the X, AppleCare seems like a must. I probably will do the upgrade program at least for 1-2 years, then buy my phone outright and upgrade every 2 years.
Has apple announced what the screen replacement cost on the X will be? That is typically what determines if AC+ is worth it IMO. When apple raised the price of AC+, it made it a much harder buy because two screen replacements were not that much more than the cost of AC+. I feel pretty confident that most AC+ repairs are for the screen and not a total loss.
 

lsh

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2012
602
131
Cincinnati, OH
We always get AppleCare+. I also fund my student children's phones. I'm worried about the credit hit when buying 3 phones. 2 are already on citizens. But if I buy from ATT, then I buy AppleCare+ for a phone that might be replaced every year or so, before the AppleCare+ 2 year expiration.

I'd like to think that anyone reviewing my credit, would recognize the citizens hit. A car in the next year or two would be our only credit check. I see 2 citizen checks on my current report, one from 1.5 years ago.

Btw. My last upgrade I explored paying off the phone to sell, but the market rate was less than the 1 year buyout. I'm guessing these monthly upgrad plans are glutting the market with used phones?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ColoArtist