So, Apple Upgrade Program Costs More than Buying and Selling Each Year... Still Worth It?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MICHAELSD, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #1
    Frankly I am extremely tempted to move over to the Apple Upgrade Program. It significantly simplifies the process of owning the latest and greatest. Boom, just easy monthly payments and a trade every 12 months. I definitely get the enjoyment out of upgrading each year that would make it worthwhile. Simply, I love the program. Never having to think about the upgrade process again at a reasonable cost is a major plus.

    But... through my experience purchasing an iPhone yearly I have found a way to do so cheaply. Stay with me for a second as I explain: I purchase a new iPhone, take the SIM card out, and place a tablet on the line to make an otherwise $40/month line cost only $10/month (then use the iPhone on my main line, removing my previous iPhone at no cost). Verizon allows customers to do this, and reps even have recommended it. With the new changes, to my surprise Verizon still allows this for customers on the older plans.

    Thus, the cost of purchasing an iPhone on a contract then transferring the contracted line to a $10/month tablet line is quite a bit less than the upgrade program.

    Let's do some math:

    Buy 64GB iPhone 6s Plus for $430 (with tax) + $40 activation fee + switch line to $257 ($24 * $10.70) tablet plan = $727, net $500 after fees selling phone = $227 cost per year

    If we want to compare apples-to-apples we can factor in the cost of AppleCare+ although I don't personally purchase it. Since the AppleCare+ cost is $129 for two years of coverage let's say that's $65/year so the cost is really $292 if we perfectly compare it.

    Apple Upgrade Program: simply purchase for $42.45/month * 12 = $509 cost per year.

    Frankly I have a way to save an additional $150 on buying a new iPhone yearly through promos by creating a new line so the cost disparity is even higher.

    Now, if Verizon closed the tablet contract loophole then the Upgrade Program would be a no-brainer but I am giving up my ability to upgrade cheaply each year to upgrade more conveniently. Although, another plus of the Upgrade Program is that it would allow me to forgo my upgrade date of December 2016 on my main line for the iPhone 7 (Plus) but I could simply begin the program next year.

    Hopefully my math helps those out there on Verizon on older plans deciding whether to use the Upgrade Program, and this thread can help me decide ;). I'm paying a lot more for convenience but if I do it another way I probably won't have my 6s Plus until October/November.
     
  2. Christian 5G macrumors 6502a

    Christian 5G

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    Orange County, CA
    #2
    I was actually just looking at it also after i placed the order for 6s (paid full)

    Therefore I see no reason doing that for those reasons.

    But that's awesome for people who are a little short on money and/or want the latest.

    I have no problem selling my iPhone at all.
     
  3. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    NJ
    #3
    Compared to paying in full with no discounts, I do think the Upgrade Program favorably compares.

    Since I'm most familiar with the numbers for a 64GB 6S Plus, let's do the math for that:

    Initial cost: $849 +$60 tax + AppleCare+ year at $65 =$974

    Sale price on eBay (comparing to iPhone 6 Plus 64GB selling at $600 on average + fees) = $500

    $974 - $500 = $474 annual cost

    Whereas, the Upgrade Program is simply $42.45/month * 12 = $509 cost per year.

    That's a no-brainer to avoid the complications of private sale.
     
  4. Christian 5G macrumors 6502a

    Christian 5G

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    #4
    I don't like having bills anyway. Was raised like that. Everything I buy is cash only.

    You don't really OWN the phone which sounds silly but it is kind of different still.
     
  5. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    NJ
    #5
    Understandable; a lot of people are strongly against leasing of any kind.

    It's a bit depressing to think I'll be going from breaking even each year to paying over $30,000 if I stick with the program and iPhone till I die.
     
  6. sevimli macrumors 6502a

    sevimli

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    ChiTown
    #6
    What is "switch line to tablet plan" ? Can u explain please?
     
  7. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #7
    Take the new iPhone off of the line and replace it with a tablet. This reduces the monthly cost from $40/month to $10/month as the line switches to a tablet line. Then just pay off $10/month over 24 months and the contract is fulfilled.
     
  8. birnando macrumors regular

    birnando

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #8
    Agreed!

    I decide when I want something new, and what carrier I wanna use, not some corp.
    So, I've always bought my phones, and basically anything else, without any contracts or bindings of any sort.
    That leaves me free to do whatever I want at any given time.
    That freedom is important to me.
     
  9. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    Pennsylvania
    #9
    In the US it's more or less an illusion of choice, but I still feel the same way
     
  10. Bala0509 macrumors member

    Bala0509

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    Aug 15, 2011
    #10
    -
    its early and so maybe I am just not following.. Don't I still have to buy a tablet and then add it? when you add the cost of the tablet, I am not how much money i save.
     
  11. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #11
    Well yes but you could use a friend or family member's tablet, or purchase a cheapo tablet. Then you or a friend/family member gets free access and you get a discounted phone. Win-win.
     
  12. appygirl82 macrumors 6502a

    appygirl82

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    I sort of do the same with AT&T. I have a total of 5 lines on my account. Only 2 of them are needed for my husband and I's smart phones. So the other 3 are non smartphones (old flip phones) so the other 3 lines are only $9.99/mo.

    We just stagger the upgrades and get the phones at the new 2-Yr contract price and sell our old phones to break even or sometimes even profit! Not as much with the Androids but with the iPhone's say the 6plus $399 at new contract price, I could easily get the 6s+ and sell my 6 for atleast the $399. It's worked out well.

    However I have been tempted with the Next program or the new Apple program cuz then I don't have to bother with selling phones each year etc....I could just give it back and be on my way with a new one. Seems not smart in my case, why pay the roughly $500 to "rent" the phone when I can do the buy and sell and atleast break even?!?!

    I want the easy convenience but my gut is telling me don't do it! lol
     
  13. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    Jul 13, 2008
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    NJ
    #13
    Eventually carriers will stop allowing us to do this so I'd highly recommend hanging on to it while you can.

    Thankfully for me I figured out how to purchase on launch day and receive a great deal without having to move over the Apple Upgrade just yet.
     
  14. appygirl82 macrumors 6502a

    appygirl82

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    #14
    My biggest dilemma right now is my upgrade isn't until 10/8! I want to get the phone now!!! Well technically the 25th on release day! Arghh :)
     
  15. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #15
    The Upgrade program is $42.45/month * 12 = $509 cost per year
    And the outright purchase is $974

    But you will have to eventually pay $1018 under the program as you are obligated for 24 months. And if you replace in 1 year your 24 month clock resets to 1.

    If you have a phone to resell you can defray the cost of the outright purchase, but you do need to consider the loss you have incurred by selling a 1yr old phone for way less than you paid. You won't have a phone to sell under the program and you will have to go into the store to get the new phone each year. How else will you turn in the old one. That seems like a hassle to me.

    The only purpose of the program:

    1) Easy yearly replacement
    2) Minimal cash outlay to get going
     
  16. appygirl82 macrumors 6502a

    appygirl82

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    Oct 4, 2012
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    Oregon
    #16

    I am almost tempted to just buy the phone outright and sell it each year to upgrade. It still would be cheaper than "renting" the phone for 12 mos to the tune of $400-500 bucks. You could buy an unlocked 6s+ for the $849 price and I don't doubt you'd easily get $500-600 for it.

    Decisions decisions!
     
  17. ZipZap macrumors 601

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #17
    You are renting for 24 months. Each time you change the phone 24 months starts over.
     
  18. appygirl82 macrumors 6502a

    appygirl82

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    #18
    I upgrade yearly, so I would only "rent" it for 12 mos. I believe the cost for that (6s+ 64g) is like $460
     
  19. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #19
    The plan requires 24 payments. If you upgrade at 1 year, you will have made 12 payments, turn in you phone, get a new one, and be obligated for 24 more payments.

    If you end the program at say 2 years and you've done 1 upgrade you will still owe 12 payments in full.

    This is not a month to month program.
     
  20. Tammster macrumors 6502

    Tammster

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    S Florida USA
    #20
    If you have AT&Ts mobile sharing plan and you buy a phone under a 2 yr contract, you lose either a $25 or $15 discount (depending on your data plan) EACH MONTH for 2 years. You get the discount if you use the next program or bring your own phone to the plan. If you buy a phone under apples payment plan, AT&T considers it your phone and you get the discount.

    I did the math and even after selling my phone back (that I bought under contract) it's still cheaper to purchase using the Apple plan if you plan to upgrade each year.
     
  21. appygirl82 macrumors 6502a

    appygirl82

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Location:
    Oregon
    #21

    I do not have the mobile share plan. I have the old phone plan with the unlimited data.

    On the AT&T website it actually compares my current plan to a comparible mobile share plan and the mobile share plan is about $20 more per month. I don't know :/
     
  22. Bala0509 macrumors member

    Bala0509

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    #22
    i am tempted by the apple plan, however, at the moment i have several devices on my verizon plan that expire in alternating years. I rotate upgrades that way. i normally either pass the phone down to one of my kids or sell it.
     
  23. macduke Suspended

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #23
    Ok, I thought I was going crazy until I found a screenshot. I had already done the math for the iPhone 6S 128GB (same price as your 6S Plus at 64GB) and it was only $40.75/mo when I preordered! When did it go up to $42.45/mo? I see that on their site now too but here is a screenshot of the old pricing. WTH?
     

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  24. macduke Suspended

    macduke

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    Jun 27, 2007
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    Central U.S.
    #24
  25. Minhimalism macrumors 65816

    Minhimalism

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    Those prices do not include the tax that you will pay upfront on the phone. The simplest way of looking at it is that the plan is 0% interest financing on the full price of the phone & AppleCare+ less the taxes on those two.. divided by 24. :D

    The program also serves another purpose- 0% financing if you were already going to get the phone and AppleCare+. Money now is worth more than money later unless you're earning interest on it.. so it actually is a marginally better buy through the program if you were already going for the phone and AppleCare+.
     

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