iPhone Upgrade Program Causes Headaches on Launch Day Due to Limited Stock

leesweet

macrumors demi-god
Feb 1, 2009
1,048
242
Northern Virginia, USA
I've read through a lot of the posts on this thread and I feel your pain.

I think the logistical issue is that somebody has to physically verify that the phone you are turning in to be replaced is in sufficiently good condition. That means either a trip to you local Apple Store (which can be far away for some) or mailing in your old phone and waiting to receive some sort of credit once it has been looked over.

Somebody high up at Apple decided:
1 No, we're not shipping out new iPhones before receiving the units being traded in.
2 IUP participants cannot even select 'ship-to-store'; they have to select from store stock.
3 Units to be replaced cannot be mailed in; they have to be physically inspected at an Apple Store.

What's in the contract fine print for IUP?
The actual legal IUP T&C states we have 14 days to turn in the previous phone. I've posted the link above, see the IUP page on store.apple.com (footnotes) for it also. So, at some point, it will be normal for us to mail it back in. They just haven't gotten there yet.

What I *surmise* will be the process is because every new phone is a new loan, the old loan won't be cancelled until they receive the old phone in good condition. Or perhaps they will charge an AC+ 'incident' to it if it's in bad enough condition to need to be replaced.

But in any case, there is nothing in the T&C that prevents us in the IUP from never stepping foot in a store. :) Apple just hasn't gotten the experience with the program to go there yet. More's the pity. I don't want to go to the store again for this (like last year) any more than you do. And the store concept is what broke everything last Friday AM in the first place.
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2011
3,983
595
How do you know?
They don't know. It is the same thing every year. It either the phone is not selling well because Apple had plenty of stock on hand or Apple is purposely shorting the stock on hand to create hype. I find it quite interesting how people can't wait a few days extra to get their new phones under the exchange program. It is like the world is coming to an end the way people are posting.
 
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nrvna76

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2010
1,064
1,073
They don't know. It is the same thing every year. It either the phone is not selling well because Apple had plenty of stock on hand or Apple is purposely shorting the stock on hand to create hype. I find it quite interesting how people can't wait a few days extra to get their new phones under the exchange program. It is like the world is coming to an end the way people are posting.
It's not the few days extra. It's having to continually refresh the page every day to wait for stock.
 
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Markarian421

macrumors member
Jul 10, 2005
98
80
SFBay
I find it quite interesting how people can't wait a few days extra to get their new phones under the exchange program. It is like ...
It is like you haven't actually read the comments. Either that or you're trolling. Probably that, now that Apple has responded most of the trolls faded away, maybe you're just late to the game. But for the moment I'll give you the benefit of doubt and say, for the hundredth(?) time, it's not that we have to wait a few extra days, it's that unlike everyone else we can't place an order at all. All we can do is call Apple, give them our info, and hope they figure something out for us. At least that's an improvement over Friday and Saturday morning, but it still means we have no idea if we'll be able to get a phone before November. So let me fix your post for you:

I find it quite interesting how people can't wait a few months extra to get their new phones under the exchange program that promised an upgrade after 12 months. It's like they expect to get what they paid for.
 

Cat Dancer

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2015
11
2
Update...

Wow ... that was a longer call than I had expected (good thing I'm not hungover). I was on the phone for an hour and 40 minutes. As many people explained, the first line of defense doesn't know that IUP directs you to call 1800MYAPPLE so you have to explain/clarify. Once you've gotten past that phase, they put you in contact with the IUP program.

This is where everything started going downhill. They couldn't find my agreement, and they said I was on an installment plan and choose to purchase Apple Care +. I kept persisting saying I was on the program and someone from the IUP team said I wasn't. Then with the initial Apple Rep we called Citizens One bank to verify how many payments I had made, how many I had left, and if I was eligible or even under the iPhone Upgrade Program. Citizens One confirmed that I was and that I had made 12 payments.

Now we had to circle back to the IUP team again ...... Now we had all the information to prove that I was on the program indeed. Then things started to look better. We jotted down the loan number. Explained the information to the IUP team. They were able to finally validate and see that I was on the IUP program.

They asked me which 2 models I was interested in, and two stores that I would prefer. This has been a nice joyride for a Sunday morning. I think what made my unique situation complicated is my phone was swapped under warranty so at that point do they use the phone purchased serial's #, or the one it was swapped with?

Throughout all of this: both the Apple website and the Apple App Store said I was eligible for an upgrade and under the IUP program

My advice is:
Have the Apple Store receipt ready
Have your Citizens One loan number
Make sure you've made 12 payments (first payment that includes taxes and first month + 11 payments)
Be persistent

Hope I was able to help someone that may run into this by avoiding a longer call and a minor Sunday headache not caused by alcohol :)
Thank you for the UpDate!

It took me longer to track down the information from Citizens One than I was on the phone and I was never asked for it.

When the first Rep answered the phone, it sounded like he could not and/or was not going to be helping me when I requested to speak with the "iPhone Upgrade Specialist".

Then he asked if I wanted to speak with one to which I replied that was the purpose of my call and initial request. I was only on hold with 1 800 MY APPLE for a minute and then the transfer was less than that. I don't think the entire process took more than 6 to 7 minutes.

Same as above for the most part. On Friday, I was able to go through the IUP via the email link and discovered the only store with the 7Plus in California was the Glendale Galleria. I went ahead and did all the the boxes and when the In Store Reservation Confirmation came in, it had switched to the 7, not the 7 Plus.

I explained that today to the IUP guy and he was a bit confused but said he would cancel that reservation and use any of the 6 Apple Stores that range from 3 to 25 miles from me.

Thanks again. I had a feeling this was going to be resolved. Now, we'll just have to wait and see what we learn after the 48 hours. Maybe they planned for this to learn where to place these units for the iPhone Upgrade Program. It does appear we were left dangling on Friday. Since this is the first year for this, I'm certain we've all learned a lesson for next year as Apple has too.
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2011
3,983
595
It is like you haven't actually read the comments. Either that or you're trolling. Probably that, now that Apple has responded most of the trolls faded away, maybe you're just late to the game. But for the moment I'll give you the benefit of doubt and say, for the hundredth(?) time, it's not that we have to wait a few extra days, it's that unlike everyone else we can't place an order at all. All we can do is call Apple, give them our info, and hope they figure something out for us. At least that's an improvement over Friday and Saturday morning, but it still means we have no idea if we'll be able to get a phone before November. So let me fix your post for you:
Oh. My appologies. You are right I did not read the comments well enough I guess. I would also be upset if I could not place an order when others can.
 

mhornback2

macrumors member
Oct 2, 2011
37
30
Vancouver, Washington
Exactly! At this point, all that has happened is that they've promised to try and do something. That's it. Your phone may arrive in November. You have no idea.

Of course, I'm sure now that someone high enough up the food chain is obviously made this an issue that Apple needs to solve you probably won't be waiting until November but the issue is not resolved.

There are an untold number of people in the IUP who tried to upgrade Friday morning and were denied. They haven't reached out to me. Had i seen that message (several times) on Friday morning and wasn't reading MR, how exactly would I know to call?

Until they do a full blown outreach and contact every IUP person and say, "Hey, if you tried to get a phone on Friday and were unable to, here's what you need to do . . . " then the problem is not solved.

By your standards if Citizen's Bank was overcharging IUP $10 a month, and you called them and they said, "Ooops, you're right we messed up, we'll see what we can do," you would consider that case closed? Or do you consider it case closed when they agree to help ONLY the people who heard that if you call up Citizen's Bank they'll help?

No, they need to make good on what they promised and telling you to call an 800 number and being in limbo as to when you'll get your phone is not a solved problem.



And several people reported being on the phone for hours. I'm happy you are satisfied and that your phone call was 10 minutes. But now that everybody else in the IUP knows about it, will the calls be 10 minutes?

Also, given how monumental of a screw up that this was, the fact that the team taking phone calls for IUP people took the weekend off says a lot about how they intend on dealing with the problem.

I work in an industry where we deal with tons of online users and if something messes up on the weekend we don't tell them we'll deal with them on Monday. The whole team works all weekend until the problem is resolved and we've communicated with every user to let them know what happened, how we fixed it, and how we'll be making them whole.

The fact that Apple, a company many, many, many magnitudes larger than my own sends their reps home for the weekend rather than dealing with this problem says a lot about how much they value people in the IUP program.

What's even more annoying is that they're telling people to call 1-800-MY-APPLE on the website now but if you call you get a regular support rep who then says that the people handling IUP are not in until Monday. What the heck is that? Why tell people to contact you on the weekend if there's nobody there to help them?
Understandable!

However I find it odd that people are saying they're not there today. I called yesterday, a Saturday. And my case manager, if you will, emailed me her schedule. She's working today until 8:00 central.

I think some people got some bad information!

Now as for when, she made it sound like it wouldn't be long. Even made it sound like my wife's gold 128 Plus might be available next week. Said it may take a couple weeks for my Jet Black. Hope to have a more clear answer tomorrow.
 

Fikester

macrumors newbie
Aug 28, 2009
9
4
Columbus, OH
So I just got off the phone with 1-800-MYAPPLE. At first, like most others here, the guy that answered didn't know what the problem was until I explained it to him. He put me on hold while he called someone in "support." He took my information, then came back and led me to believe there is nothing they can do because no 7 Pluses were being allocated to stores :eek:. When I explained to him that as a member of the IUP I had no choice but to go to the store I think the bulb went off and he got me in touch with the right team. The guy I talked to apologized profusely for Apple dropping the ball on this, took all my info regarding what model I wanted, and while he didn't promise anything, said they are working on a solution for it. He said they will CALL me within two business days with more information and sent me his direct contact info should I have questions. The whole call took about 30 minutes.

I agree that this issue is far from resolved, but it seems like they are acutely aware of it now and are scrambling to at least make something work. I don't necessarily care when I get my 7 Plus, but I would like them to somehow make me whole for the one or two payments I may have to make on my old phone.

I hope everyone that is part of this program calls, at the least it puts us on a list, and more importantly it shows that they have a major problem with this program that they need to fix moving forward if they want to continue to sell phones this way.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,306
10,040
California
Oh. My appologies. You are right I did not read the comments well enough I guess. I would also be upset if I could not place an order when others can.
I have to give you props for this comment. All through this thread there have been people who did not read the comments enough to understand what the real complaint was (fair enough it is a long thread). You are the first I have seen to acknowledge the oversight and apologize. Good for you sir/madame. :)
 

Mosi

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2009
146
18
The Nations Capital
Just to add to the testimonials - I called tonight and spoke to some very nice people in the IUP department. The first woman I spoke to was very sympathetic and you could tell she had heard my story several times over the last many days. She was putting in a ticket for me when the phone disconnected. I called back and spoke to another member of the sales team who transferred me immediately over to the IUP department. This time I got the ticket submitted. Nothing promised but hope that something will happen in the next couple of days.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,306
10,040
California
The actual legal IUP T&C states we have 14 days to turn in the previous phone.
I saw that also when I signed up for the first time with this order of my iPhone 7, and was surprised by this thread. I really thought it sounded like you could order and pick up your new phone then have two weeks to drop off the old one.

Hopefully they will have this all ironed out by next year.
 

Alfred Jarry

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2015
8
3
USA
So I just got off the phone with 1-800-MYAPPLE. At first, like most others here, the guy that answered didn't know what the problem was until I explained it to him. He put me on hold while he called someone in "support." He took my information, then came back and led me to believe there is nothing they can do because no 7 Pluses were being allocated to stores :eek:. When I explained to him that as a member of the IUP I had no choice but to go to the store I think the bulb went off and he got me in touch with the right team. The guy I talked to apologized profusely for Apple dropping the ball on this, took all my info regarding what model I wanted, and while he didn't promise anything, said they are working on a solution for it. He said they will CALL me within two business days with more information and sent me his direct contact info should I have questions. The whole call took about 30 minutes.

I agree that this issue is far from resolved, but it seems like they are acutely aware of it now and are scrambling to at least make something work. I don't necessarily care when I get my 7 Plus, but I would like them to somehow make me whole for the one or two payments I may have to make on my old phone.

I hope everyone that is part of this program calls, at the least it puts us on a list, and more importantly it shows that they have a major problem with this program that they need to fix moving forward if they want to continue to sell phones this way.
Yes, the first person kept me online for a whole 1/2 hour asking me for my IMEI and Serial Number, only to repeat over and over that it was first come, first served. Finally, even though I had asked at the very beginning whether I was speaking to IUP, I realized that I was NOT yet speaking to IUP! I had wasted an entire 1/2 hour.
 

jeremyisweary

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2010
74
16
Dallas, TX
We get it. You're angry. You think Apple is a bunch of incompetent jerks taking advantage of their customers. You have every right to feel what you're feeling. I'm sorry to say though at this point you are pretty much alone in your anger. If I were you I'd step away from the forums and get outside into some fresh air and perspective.
No need to be condescending. They're merely sharing their experience on a forum post about the headaches IUP participants are (still) having.
 
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Modernboy

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2015
171
161
Los Angeles, CA
No need to be condescending. They're merely sharing their experience on a forum post about the headaches IUP participants are (still) having.
I was only replying to one person in particular who has been in my option unreasonable. I think you'll find I'm not alone in this opinion. By the way, I'm still waiting for a solution just like everyone else.
 

Iconoclysm

macrumors 68020
May 13, 2010
2,414
1,672
Washington, DC
I would say most everything that happened was mostly calculated. Apple wanted to split inventory by AUP, region, new lines and carriers. When you use the Apple Store app the know what phone you are using too. Apple could even offer different phone inventory based on age of current phones, how many phones already own, how fast access the store on launch and so on. They don't want first come first served.
This could be true but we can't prove even that.
 

AirunJae

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2008
149
142
Indianapolis, IN
Same boat here, on at 3:00 and once they FINALLY turned the store back on, I was unable to upgrade as nothing was available at the store down the road from me. Very frustrating experience, and annoying that I'm going to have to either try to show up Friday morning and take time off of work (which seems silly) or constantly check through the Apple Store app.
 

Iconoclysm

macrumors 68020
May 13, 2010
2,414
1,672
Washington, DC
So if you upgrade evey year they make you apply for a new 24 month loan each time? Makes sense, but I don't think being in this program should require a hard credit inquiry every 12 months after the first year, unless you had late payments the previous cycle. If all payments were made on time it should be a soft pull.
Right, I can't confirm that's how the upgrade works either - nobody's tried it yet as far as I'm aware. Unless there are people who upgraded after 6 months for the SE.
[doublepost=1473644022][/doublepost]
Not true they make less than demand to make it seem highly sought after. Smart marketing tool to have less than demand.
You cannot declare something as not true unless you have actual proof. You could disagree, but you don't have much to stand on.

[doublepost=1473644435][/doublepost]
But you are going to get an iPhone 7 within the standard framework of the program, correct?
Yes, have an appt at 10 AM on Friday to do the "exchange".
 

TheMacDaddy1

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2016
233
402
Merica!
I love reading this thread. All this DRAMA!!!! People practically frothing at the mouth over this stuff. Oh the FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS we have.

At 12:01 am I was sleeping....soundly.

You know if you just wait 30-60 days you can walk into any Apple store and probably get what you want in a very short time. Especially if this phone is not going to be a big seller as many predict.

Waiting 4-6 weeks also lets the millions of other find any big problems before you buy. Imagine if being a Note 7 owner right now.
[doublepost=1473646106][/doublepost]
Same boat here, on at 3:00 and once they FINALLY turned the store back on, I was unable to upgrade as nothing was available at the store down the road from me. Very frustrating experience, and annoying that I'm going to have to either try to show up Friday morning and take time off of work (which seems silly) or constantly check through the Apple Store app.
It is silly. Up at 3am to order a smartphone? Going to the store on launch day and taking off time in hopes of getting a phone, probably not the one you really want? Yeah step back, take a breath and really think about all of that time and energy you are putting into this. Is your current iPhone (or whatever) flat out dead or can it work for another 30-60 days?
 

kjotwani

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2014
221
68
I love reading this thread. All this DRAMA!!!! People practically frothing at the mouth over this stuff. Oh the FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS we have.

At 12:01 am I was sleeping....soundly.

You know if you just wait 30-60 days you can walk into any Apple store and probably get what you want in a very short time. Especially if this phone is not going to be a big seller as many predict.

Waiting 4-6 weeks also lets the millions of other find any big problems before you buy. Imagine if being a Note 7 owner right now.
Lol one more person who has no clue what this thread is all about.
 

afrat

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2016
7
5
Here's to echo what other users have been reporting about calling in. I spoke with two very nice representatives who took my information, mine and my wife's choices in iPhones, and which preferred store I'd like. The IUP gentleman who was handling it for me said he would call me back within 48 hours to let me know what can be done.

I honestly don't mind waiting, I just didn't like the only way for us to upgrade was to check the website daily for local stock. If they can put me in the queue for a few weeks out I'm happy with that.
 

thefarang

macrumors member
May 12, 2015
66
97
Lol one more person who has no clue what this thread is all about.
Well he does have a point. Unfortunately he's wrong about it :)

Waiting 30 - 60 days is sort of a big deal depending on how you look at it. Technology has a rapid depreciation schedule. And in the case of iPhones that depreciation is tied to their next iPhone release. The shorter the gap between when you purchase and the next version of iPhone the faster the depreciation.

In other words, take a brand new iPhone on Sept 17 and it will sell for almost retail. The closer you get to Sept 17 next year the less you'll get for it. One truly has to pity the people who buy new iPhones in Aug.

Unfortunately the steepness of the depreciation curve isn't dictated by when you purchase but it's a factor of the proximity of the next product release. Notice that none of the sites that buy used iPhones ever ask when you purchased it. All they care about is model, config, and condition.
 
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Pbrutto

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2015
607
1,262
Eastern PA
First I disagree with everyone saying Apple is "doing something about it". There are 1,000s of people on this program that have NO CLUE that the verbiage on the website changed. They woke up at a normal time (like 7AM), tried to order and said "it must have really sold out" and will come back Friday like the good direction followers they are. Most of the people on this program have no idea that not being able to preorder was an actual problem(mistake). Some don't even care or are very patient people. It's the precious few of us that know something was wrong, that there is no way this is how the system should work. As someone else has said, how will everyone know that they need to call if they weren't able to order. In short: I disagree with anyone who thinks Apple has acknowledged ANYTHING. Seriously, where have they made one mention of a problem? Saying "if you can't find what your looking for, just call" is what they say to a customer at Macy's. Simply adding this wording to the page after launch day is not an admission, it COULD simply be an omission that was added after the fact. Explaining it on the phone to an IUP specialist and them saying "I am sorry to hear that, let me help you with that" Is what EVERY store employee is trained to say at Apple. An admission of fault is an email to every single member of the program who was not able to upgrade saying "sorry, you should have been able to order but you couldn't"<<<That is an admission of fault. A press release is an admission of fault. Calling the program and having a specialist say, "yes you got screwed by us and I am going to fix that immediately" is an admission of fault. Until a public admission and assurances of a coming solution is made I refuse to accept this as "progress" as others suggested. This "progress" is 100% not public, common knowledge, and has not proven to be at all helpful (yet).

They may call us all in two days and say, "nothing is available like the website said and we don't know when more is arriving, check back with us Friday morning"

Phew....second: I spoke to IUP specialists this morning and can echo what others have said. He offered to help, took model and store preferences, gave me a phone # and extension as well as a contact email. Said expect to hear back in 48 hours with "options"....I wonder if one of those "options" is to go duck myself
 
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thefarang

macrumors member
May 12, 2015
66
97
First I disagree with everyone saying Apple is "doing something about it". There are 1,000s of people on this program that have NO CLUE that the verbiage on the website changed.
Someone poked fun at me as if I was trying to speak on behalf of those 1,000's (more likely tens or hundreds of thousands based on Apple first week sales) but it's not about that. As you pointed out, most of these people aren't calling in because they don't know about it. Their solution is to oil the squeakiest wheels. That's all.

Despite everyone claiming that they're taking responsibility, they're not doing so publicly. As I asked, if they had misconfigured the store and sold a million units at $1.99 you can bet your last penny that they would have issued a press release and sent an email before close of business on Friday.

And how many people have said they called 1-800-MY-APPLE and the first level support had no clue what they were talking about? They haven't even gotten their act together enough to communicate the seriousness of the problem internally. Unless you really know that you should be talking to the IUP group, most people are being told there's nothing that can be done. How is that fixing the problem!?!?!

I really, really, really hope that everyone who has been told they will get a call back in 48 hours gets a call back and I hope they get their phones on the 16th. But, to me, that does not excuse any of this.

Even if they called me up today and said they would drive a new phone to my house on the 15th, I don't care about when I get the phone and I never did. I want them to publicly accept fault and announce how they're going to make good to EVERYBODY. Why? Because I care about everyone else? Well, kinda. Because next time I might be the guy who doesn't know they're handling complainers via a special process.

That's what ticks me off at all of those who say, "Hey, I got some guy who said he'll call me back in 48 hours. Isn't Apple the best? They totally take care of their customers."

They're not taking care of their customers. They're taking care of the customers who might cause this monumental cluster duck to make it into the mainstream media and it might hurt their IUP signups.

If they cared about their customers they would have already reached out to those who got screwed and told them they were working on a solution. Not wait until you call in and get past a first level support rep who has no idea what you're talking about.

Every product I've purchased from Apple has carried with it a steep price premium over its competitors. And up until now I've been willing to pay that premium because Apple's reputation is that of a company that stands behind its products. What happened Friday and since then is not a company deserving of a price premium.
 
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TheMacDaddy1

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2016
233
402
Merica!
Well he does have a point. Unfortunately he's wrong about it :)

Waiting 30 - 60 days is sort of a big deal depending on how you look at it. Technology has a rapid depreciation schedule. And in the case of iPhones that depreciation is tied to their next iPhone release. The shorter the gap between when you purchase and the next version of iPhone the faster the depreciation.

In other words, take a brand new iPhone on Sept 17 and it will sell for almost retail. The closer you get to Sept 17 next year the less you'll get for it. One truly has to pity the people who buy new iPhones in Aug.

Unfortunately the steepness of the depreciation curve isn't dictated by when you purchase but it's a factor of the proximity of the next product release. Notice that none of the sites that buy used iPhones ever ask when you purchased it. All they care about is model, config, and condition.
Why pity someone that buys in August? What if they always buy in August? Advantages, they always get what they want and they don't have to do it in the middle of the night or wait long at a store and the process is proven.

You wrongly assume that someone who gets their phone on November 1st to avoid all the drama will want as soon as the next one is available.
[doublepost=1473652453][/doublepost]
Lol one more person who has no clue what this thread is all about.
Really what am I missing? It is hard to get a phone, no matter what program/contract you are using, when they launch? Shocking!

This happens every year at launch. What are the usual complaints? Actually does not go on sale at 12:01 because of some delay. Apple website slow or down from demand. ATT or other vendors sites are bogged down at the same time. Stock runs out too fast.

So now we add a new problem, people on the Apple annual upgrade problem are having issues getting a new phone......the day they go on sale. Shocking!

The root cause is the same. People can't wait so the demand is initially crushing, overwhelming Apple and its partners. Again my advice, waiting 30-60 days would get around this issue. You could get what you want, in the middle of the day and any annual upgrade issues would be solved by then.

You would think this was a vaccine for your kids, to stop a killer virus that was going around. Perspective.
 

TigerWoodsIV

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2010
576
415
Actually we are eligible 6 months from
The day we sign the contract if we pay the next 6 months up front. I noticed this months ago: if you were on IUP and ordered and recieved you 6s in September you became eligible just in time for.....anyone?....anyone?.....the iPhone SE. In fact, that's how I guessed the launch date for what became the SE.
True, but you're still paying 6 months of payments for a phone you don't have any longer. With the current timeline, I kept my 6s for 12 months and paid 12 installments. I couldn't justify upgrading 6 months later for the price of 12 months.
 
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