Three new iPhones were debuted by Apple on Tuesday, and despite how you swore yesterday that you’d be skipping this generation, you’re now considering spending a buttload of money on a fancy new device. This is what the expensive new iPhones will cost you with the Apple Upgrade Program.
If you’re unfamiliar with Apple’s program, the idea is that you pay Apple directly and it’ll give you a no-interest loan for a new unlocked iPhone that you pay back in 24 monthly installments. For iPhone lovers who plan to stay in the Apple universe, this can be convenient because every 12 months you can upgrade to the new phone and the 24 month loan starts over. Before the introduction of the iPhone X, pricing for the new devices was pretty steady but Apple’s kicked it up a notch this year with its top model going for $1,149.
Here’s the monthly price breakdown for the new iPhones:
Those prices also include the AppleCare+ coverage that extends the phone’s warranty to two years and offers damage replacement for a $99 fee.
How do these prices compare to the iPhone 7 under the Apple Upgrade Program? If you think of the iPhone 8 as the new 7, then it’s just a small price bump. That model previously cost $32 a month for the base model and $37 for the 7 Plus. As for the iPhone X, it’ll cost about $18 extra per month.
Is it worth it? Well, we can’t say for sure what wireless carriers will be charging just yet. We can tell you that just a couple of hours ago carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile were charging close to the same rates as Apple and they have offered annual upgrades in the past. Those prices dropped this afternoon because most customers are going to want the hottest new shit soon. Still, it seems likely that mobile carriers will continue to follow Apple’s pricing, and maybe you find it more convenient to just deal with one bill every month.
The biggest downside of Apple’s Upgrade Program is that your locking yourself into the iPhone for two years at minimum. If you own the phone outright and something better comes along, you have the freedom to trade up. Lifehacker has run the numbers before and found that if you keep your phone in good condition and sell it annually, you’ll probably save more money than when you trade it in every year. But you might not have the upfront cash to do that at the moment.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the major carriers are making a lot of changes these days and you don’t know what will be around the corner. Maybe two-year contracts will come back to Verizon and they’ll give you a great deal on a free phone. Maybe Sprint will get crazy desperate and offer a free year of service and a new iPhone just to try them out.
The biggest recommendation for going with Apple’s Upgrade Program is that it’s pretty simple. If you’re lazy, you just want the new iPhone every year, and you don’t have the cash right now, it’s fine.