Other Sucks that iPhone Upgrade Program is limited to postpaid accounts only; 2 possible workarounds

Goldfrapp

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 31, 2005
4,906
5,703
Postpaid accounts are so overrated nowadays. But I guess, according to them, it's the only way to make sure we repay for the phone and not run away.

But then why leave out prepaid accounts when they ask for our SSN anyway?

I was also hoping that this restriction would be lifted for Apple Card holders. Apple would be even better protected from any sort of scam and delinquency.

Sure, there's an elaborate yet stupid workaround, which involves getting a trial postpaid account, joining iUP, then switching back to your prepaid account, and then cancelling the postpaid account. Repeat every year. But then who in their right mind would agree to a hard credit pull every year for this?! Nobody.

I read somewhere that some people would use their relative's or close friend's postpaid account info (with permission, of course) to be able to sign up for iUP and get verified every year. I guess, my question is: whose credit takes the hit upon iUP signup, mine or friend's? I assume mine since I would give my SSN, right? Would love some clarification on this.

Thanks for reading.

/rant
 

Freakonomics101

macrumors 68020
Nov 6, 2014
2,465
1,562
Really?? So what is the difference between financing with a carrier vs the iUP? Any advantages one over the other? A lot are switching to prepaid now because prepaid has better deals. Postpaid, you only get good deals if you have 4 lines and taxes/fees are higher.
 

ke-iron

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2014
1,333
779
Really?? So what is the difference between financing with a carrier vs the iUP? Any advantages one over the other? A lot are switching to prepaid now because prepaid has better deals. Postpaid, you only get good deals if you have 4 lines and taxes/fees are higher.
Post paid has better service with prioritization. People with prepaid are first to notice network limitations such as speed decreasing. For AT&T it’s written in their fine print on some of the prepaid plans. I’m going to assume it’s the same for some of the other carriers.
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,255
468
For those non USA readers on these forums. Prepaid in the USA up to around 4-5 years ago have always been associated with “poor” people who couldn’t “afford” to have their credit check to pay for “post paid att verizon etc”

Even as the stigma has gone away. Prepaid are still treated like second class citizens in USA. There are hardly any great promo deals for even “new” prepaid Customers to a service. But post paid carriers will always bend over backwards for “new lines and new customers”

So I think Apple just has side deals with post paid carriers in USA to keep the iPhone upgrade program to appease their post paid partners att verizon sprint and T-Mobile.

Of note. High demand phones like iPhone 6 (new body style) and the iPhone X. Apple DID NOT MAKE THE UNLOCK version available at launch. So prepaid customers in USA could not buy the new iPhones directly from Apple.
 

SquidRuby

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2016
86
58
For those non USA readers on these forums. Prepaid in the USA up to around 4-5 years ago have always been associated with “poor” people who couldn’t “afford” to have their credit check to pay for “post paid att verizon etc”

Even as the stigma has gone away. Prepaid are still treated like second class citizens in USA. There are hardly any great promo deals for even “new” prepaid Customers to a service. But post paid carriers will always bend over backwards for “new lines and new customers”

So I think Apple just has side deals with post paid carriers in USA to keep the iPhone upgrade program to appease their post paid partners att verizon sprint and T-Mobile.

Of note. High demand phones like iPhone 6 (new body style) and the iPhone X. Apple DID NOT MAKE THE UNLOCK version available at launch. So prepaid customers in USA could not buy the new iPhones directly from Apple.

That’s really interesting. I work for a telco in Aus and it’s hard for us to sell post paid plans because prepaid has much better value generally
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,255
468
That’s really interesting. I work for a telco in Aus and it’s hard for us to sell post paid plans because prepaid has much better value generally
Traditionally in USA “family plans” offered more savings. Vs the rest of the world where every single line add was treated the same.

So from 2000-2012 roughly. Many USA carriers offered a base package. Say $70 for first line. With 700 minutes plus add on like data plans ($30 for data for unlimited)

But the real savings was the “add a line”. It only cost $10/add a line. So a family of 4 would pay $70 for first line plus $10 for each line. So it would cost $100 for 4 lines. Cheaper than prepaid. Plus add on like data.

The kicker back than was the subsidies. $199 for new iPhone on contract. As y can see. Lines 2-5 is where the great value since u add a line for $10. And u get iPhone for $199. It was a great deal

Fast forward to 2019. Family lines still present great savings even as carriers remove the subsidies. Say those on verizon 2017 plans $100 base which includes unlimited data and text and minutes plus $20/line . It only cost $20 to add a line. I have families that have 7 lines. So it cost them $240 a month for 7 lines. Or an average of $35/line. Which is a great deal for post paid.

So in the USA. The people with 1 line have traditionally gotten screwed with post paid. The savings are in families plans. So their only savings was prepaid. But prepaid treats them like second class citizens including Apple upgrade program
 

TheIntruder

macrumors 65816
Jul 2, 2008
1,055
611
So I think Apple just has side deals with post paid carriers in USA to keep the iPhone upgrade program to appease their post paid partners att verizon sprint and T-Mobile.
The overwhelming majority of phones (close to 3/4) are still sold through carriers and other channels, so they can still influence what Apple does.

The IUP is in direct competition with carrier financing programs, but only up to a point. Apple makes more money from selling phones directly, so they receive some benefit from drawing some of those sales away from carriers, but it's not going to offer financing and upgrades to everyone off the street and risk upsetting the cart too much, so to speak.

It would be nice if prepaid users who want an unlocked phone were offered the same terms, but there is still an option for financing through Barclay, without the annual upgrade.

Carriers have an interest in keeping the market the way it is, so prepaid has to be put at some disadvantage. Otherwise, who would pay postpaid prices if prepaid service was at the same level?

That may be the case in some markets where there is more competition, or greater regulation, but obviously not in the U.S. If anything, it might get worse if the T-Mo and Sprint merger goes through.
 

nbuubu

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2010
186
35
I wish the 1UP program was expanded to other carriers and programs.

I recently left AT&T in favor of Xfinity Mobile, which is technically post paid and owned by Comcast. It uses Verizon towers and has seamless coverage where we live.

Xfinity offers five lines with unlimited talk and text for effectively free if you have cable or another service with them (internet in my case). Then just $12 per 1GB of shared data between all five lines.

Since my family and I are almost always in range of WiFi at home and work, there’s very little need for large data plans. We are averaging 2-3GB of data a month between us, total, which means our phone bill is $24-$36 total a month. Not per line, all-in.

Am now paying so little for family cell service that I have no problem buying new phones outright, but I do wish the 1UP plan applied outside the big 4 providers in the US.
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,255
468
I wish the 1UP program was expanded to other carriers and programs.

I recently left AT&T in favor of Xfinity Mobile, which is technically post paid and owned by Comcast. It uses Verizon towers and has seamless coverage where we live.

Xfinity offers five lines with unlimited talk and text for effectively free if you have cable or another service with them (internet in my case). Then just $12 per 1GB of shared data between all five lines.

Since my family and I are almost always in range of WiFi at home and work, there’s very little need for large data plans. We are averaging 2-3GB of data a month between us, total, which means our phone bill is $24-$36 total a month. Not per line, all-in.

Am now paying so little for family cell service that I have no problem buying new phones outright, but I do wish the 1UP plan applied outside the big 4 providers in the US.
Wait till u have teenagers who will consume data like crazy.

My nieces were on the add on verizon 2gb data plan per line. Until they switched to unlimited. ....consume 60gb average per line now.
 

Adelphos33

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2012
894
499
Functionally, the Apple iPhone Payments + Trade In is the same as the Apple Upgrade program, and is available even on sim-free devices.
 

jrodmonaco

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2014
29
5
Functionally, the Apple iPhone Payments + Trade In is the same as the Apple Upgrade program, and is available even on sim-free devices.
Yes but apparently you cannot do it if you don't have a postpaid account, same as with the IUP. Is that right?