Can I Enroll in the iPhone Upgrade program while still under contract with Verizon?

jaybar

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
1,302
265
Hi


I am currently under contract with Verizon. I would like to replace my iPhone 6 with a 6S plus. Can I join the upgrade program or do I need to pay full price?

Also is there any way I can pay off my existing contract? I would gladly pay the remaining ETF, but Verizon says I will loose my number.

Thanks in advance.

Jay
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,356
3,782
I believe you can. It's the same as buying a phone "full price" off contract, except you sign an installment loan agreement with a bank through Apple, rather than through Verizon as you do on one of their plans.
 

noobinator

macrumors 604
Jun 19, 2009
6,617
5,737
Pasadena, CA
You are under a contract with Verizon so there is nothing "to pay off" for the device since you aren't making payments on the device (you are but not in the traditional sense). You simply have an amount of contract left.

You can absolutely purchase under the new iPhone upgrade program through Apple. It is not tied to Verizon. It is the same as purchasing a phone anywhere outside of Verizon. You make payment arrangements with the company you are buying from. Verizon doesn't need to be involved.
 

feeth

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2010
273
27
I called today and they said I have to stick with the same $40/line fee till I'm out of contract, then I can use the $20/line fee.
 

Kate Dessa

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2015
1
0
San Francisco
Hi


I am currently under contract with Verizon. I would like to replace my iPhone 6 with a 6S plus. Can I join the upgrade program or do I need to pay full price?

Also is there any way I can pay off my existing contract? I would gladly pay the remaining ETF, but Verizon says I will loose my number.

Thanks in advance.

Jay
It's actually not as simple as you may think. I'm trying to do the same thing for my terrible Sprint contract. But if you opt for the Apple upgrade program you have to choose a carrier. If you choose Verizon (in your instance) then they will check if you have an upgrade available... if you do, then Verizon will, in fact use that upgrade meaning you will re-up your contract. Be super careful about that when you go into Apple.

If your goal is to get off contract with Verizon than the best option is to purchase a new iphone outright. The Apple upgrade program is very unclear what happens if you want to switch service providers while keeping their program. Since some of their iphone's ship as CDMA and some as GSM (there are two different models, depending on your carrier) than its really unclear what happens if you switch from one to the other. I tried to ask this in-store over the weekend and the guy helping me didn't know. I'm supposed to get a followup call (so I will update if need be).

This blog post details how phone upgrade programs are contracts in disguise.
https://charge.co/blog/phone-upgrade-programs-are-contracts-in-disguise/
 

ScottC7

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2008
171
32
Orbiting Planet Apple
It's actually not as simple as you may think. I'm trying to do the same thing for my terrible Sprint contract. But if you opt for the Apple upgrade program you have to choose a carrier. If you choose Verizon (in your instance) then they will check if you have an upgrade available... if you do, then Verizon will, in fact use that upgrade meaning you will re-up your contract. Be super careful about that when you go into Apple.

If your goal is to get off contract with Verizon than the best option is to purchase a new iphone outright. The Apple upgrade program is very unclear what happens if you want to switch service providers while keeping their program. Since some of their iphone's ship as CDMA and some as GSM (there are two different models, depending on your carrier) than its really unclear what happens if you switch from one to the other. I tried to ask this in-store over the weekend and the guy helping me didn't know. I'm supposed to get a followup call (so I will update if need be).

This blog post details how phone upgrade programs are contracts in disguise.
https://charge.co/blog/phone-upgrade-programs-are-contracts-in-disguise/
Wow, is this really true, and does it go for all carriers? I have less than 2 months left on a 2-year AT&T contract and was thinking of utilizing the iPhone Upgrade Program, prior to my contract expiration date, to get a new iPhone 6S Plus now (before my contract ends). I figured I'd buy it on the Upgrade Program, take the SIM out of my current iPhone, and pop it into my new 6S Plus. I would then ride out the remainder of my contract with AT&T using the new iPhone and then make decisions as to whether to stay on AT&T "month-to-month" or to switch to a new provider after the contract ends. The LAST thing I want is to go through all of this and inadvertently sign up for a new contract with AT&T that binds me to them beyond my current expiration date (early December, 2015)!
 

jaybar

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
1,302
265
What you are saying is simply not true. I am on contract with Verizon. My contract does not end until September of 2016. Even though I financed the phone through the Apple Upgrade Program, Verizon just treated it as if I were purchasing the phone at full price and swapping devices.
 
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brianjsw

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2014
59
22
What you are saying is simply not true. I am on contract with Verizon. My contract does not end until September of 2016. Even though I financed the phone through the Apple Upgrade Program, Verizon just treated it as if I were purchasing the phone at full price and swapping devices.
This is correct. iPhone Upgrade Program does NOT extend your contract and it also does not lock you into a GSM vs CDMA carrier. You can switch carriers at anytime, however if you are still under contract from a previous upgrade you will still have to pay that ETF. Also if your phone is model 1688 (Sprint/Verizon) if you decide to switch to AT&T you won't get their best experience because 1688 lacks support for band 30 which is exclusive to AT&T and supported only by the GSM iPhones. I don't know why Apple didn't install support for Band 30 in all their iPhones. Nor do I understand why they will sell phones with the iPhone Upgrade Program that don't support band 30 just because you started out with Sprint or Verizon. They must be saving pennies by doing this. Oh well.
 
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jaybar

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
1,302
265
This is better, but still slightly wrong. If you are still under contract and purchase through the Apple Upgrade Program and are still under contract, you only have to pay the ETF if you switch carriers. You can still get a phone under AUP AND remain under your existing contract and not pay the ETF. Your contract monthly payments remain in effect until your contract ends PLUS you are paying the monthly payments for purchasing the new phone under AUP. In short AUP is independent of any contract with the carrier.
 
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brianjsw

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2014
59
22
Not really slightly wrong. I specifically stated that the ETF applies if you "switch carriers". By the way, I did exactly what you described. I am with Sprint through May, on IUP, and no ETF since I'm staying with them.
 
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KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
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This is correct. iPhone Upgrade Program does NOT extend your contract and it also does not lock you into a GSM vs CDMA carrier. You can switch carriers at anytime, however if you are still under contract from a previous upgrade you will still have to pay that ETF. Also if your phone is model 1688 (Sprint/Verizon) if you decide to switch to AT&T you won't get their best experience because 1688 lacks support for band 30 which is exclusive to AT&T and supported only by the GSM iPhones. I don't know why Apple didn't install support for Band 30 in all their iPhones. Nor do I understand why they will sell phones with the iPhone Upgrade Program that don't support band 30 just because you started out with Sprint or Verizon. They must be saving pennies by doing this. Oh well.
Band 30 is very new and AT&T is just starting to roll it out. The Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile phones will work as well on AT&T's network as last year's iPhone 6.
 
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ScottC7

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2008
171
32
Orbiting Planet Apple
What you are saying is simply not true. I am on contract with Verizon. My contract does not end until September of 2016. Even though I financed the phone through the Apple Upgrade Program, Verizon just treated it as if I were purchasing the phone at full price and swapping devices.
This is correct. iPhone Upgrade Program does NOT extend your contract and it also does not lock you into a GSM vs CDMA carrier. You can switch carriers at anytime, however if you are still under contract from a previous upgrade you will still have to pay that ETF. Also if your phone is model 1688 (Sprint/Verizon) if you decide to switch to AT&T you won't get their best experience because 1688 lacks support for band 30 which is exclusive to AT&T and supported only by the GSM iPhones. I don't know why Apple didn't install support for Band 30 in all their iPhones. Nor do I understand why they will sell phones with the iPhone Upgrade Program that don't support band 30 just because you started out with Sprint or Verizon. They must be saving pennies by doing this. Oh well.
This is better, but still slightly wrong. If you are still under contract and purchase through the Apple Upgrade Program and are still under contract, you only have to pay the ETF if you switch carriers. You can still get a phone under AUP AND remain under your existing contract and not pay the ETF. Your contract monthly payments remain in effect until your contract ends PLUS you are paying the monthly payments for purchasing the new phone under AUP. In short AUP is independent of any contract with the carrier.
Not really slightly wrong. I specifically stated that the ETF applies if you "switch carriers". By the way, I did exactly what you described. I am with Sprint through May, on IUP, and no ETF since I'm staying with them.
I think I may (finally) have the clarity I need to move forward, and for that I thank you. This whole AUP has been a bewildering mess to me. I spent yet more time yesterday, trying to understand the nuances of it all, and i went to bed last night thinking I'd just buy a SIM-free phone outright and disregard the whole upgrade program. However, I think I'm back in the camp of feeling like the AUP is the way I want to go. I'll just buy the AT&T model, finish out my contract, and then make decisions on whether to switch providers. I'm fine with continuing to pay my contract payment as well as the monthly AUP fee, since my contract ends in early December of this year.

If I should decide to switch, do I have to contact AT&T to unlock the phone? Or, can I just stick in a SIM from another provider and go on with my life?
 

brianjsw

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2014
59
22
Once you are on the upgrade program the phone is already unlocked. There will be no need to contact AT&T other than to close your account with them. Just pop the SIM in and go. You may need to contact the carrier if it's Verizon or Sprint though so they can add your phone into their system.
 
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ScottC7

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2008
171
32
Orbiting Planet Apple
Once you are on the upgrade program the phone is already unlocked. There will be no need to contact AT&T other than to close your account with them. Just pop the SIM in and go. You may need to contact the carrier if it's Verizon or Sprint though so they can add your phone into their system.
Thank you! Excellent. Looking forward to getting the new iPhone. I really appreciate the info in this thread.
 

SisterBlue22

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2015
676
469
Arizona
It's actually not as simple as you may think. I'm trying to do the same thing for my terrible Sprint contract. But if you opt for the Apple upgrade program you have to choose a carrier. If you choose Verizon (in your instance) then they will check if you have an upgrade available... if you do, then Verizon will, in fact use that upgrade meaning you will re-up your contract. Be super careful about that when you go into Apple.
No, they will not. The Apple Upgrade program has NOTHING to do with your upgrade or contract status.
 
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