Yesterday Apple announced its new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus which will be available from September 25th in a dozen countries including the UK, US and Australia. Apple will be taking pre-orders this Saturday.
While it may look exactly the same, the 6S will be packing new improvements such as a 12-megapixel camera with a 5-megapixel front shooter. It has advanced ‘3D Touch’ technology which provides the user with tactile feedback and be used to create shortcuts between menus. This means you’ll be able to open web links from within text messages without the need to exit and open the internet browser. You’ll also be able to record in 4K resolution, a first for iOS devices.
While many will be reluctant to upgrade to the 6S having only been around for a year, plenty of Apple fanboys and first adopters will be wondering the best way to get the new iPhone 6S. Along with the new iPhone 6S, Apple also announced its ‘iPhone Upgrade Program’. This initiative offers frequent upgrades as well as AppleCare+ for a monthly fee.
The iPhone Upgrade Program: is it worth it?
With Apple releasing a new iPhone every year, the new upgrade program announced yesterday is perhaps the easiest way to get a new iPhone with a minimum of fuss.
From $32.41 a month, you’ll be able to get a new, unlocked iPhone every year. This agreement will last 24-months, whereupon making 12 payments you’ll receive a new iPhone. You’re also free to choose which carrier you wish to take your brand new iPhone to, with no contract meaning you’re able to jump from one service provider to another if you wish.
AppleCare+ is also included in the iPhone Upgrade Program to sweeten the deal. You’ll get up to two years of hardware repairs, software support and coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage. Great news if you’re exceptionally clumsy.
The iPhone 6S 16GB model on contract will start at $199 for a period of 2 years. When you include the addition of Applecare+, which extends the warranty of your device to 2 years, it’s a terrific deal. Having done the maths, we’ve estimated that you’d potentially make a saving of around $40 with the iPhone Upgrade Program when you factor in the cost of a contract, Applecare+ and a service fee for one instance of accidental damage to your iPhone.
However, it should be noted that Applecare+ won’t cover you if your iPhone is lost or stolen. Also there’s no word yet on whether or not you face paying a fee should you wish to opt-out of the program.
What about the UK?
Unfortunately, the iPhone Upgrade Program is only available to American users. However, if you’re an O2 customer, you’ll be pleased to hear that they’re offering a similar upgrade policy.
O2’s Refresh 30GB tariff means that after 12 months you’ll be able to upgrade to the latest iPhone for no charge. All you have to do is just trade in your iPhone 6S Plus, and O2 will also pay off the remainder of your contract.
You’ll also get 30GB of data a month, as well as damage and breakdown cover for the first year of your contract, with breakdown cover for the second year.
For those looking to cash in on their iPhone 6, after a quick search we found that Envirofone offered the best trade-in price for a 16GB iPhone 6 (£400.09 correct as of 9/10/15).
In a nutshell…
Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program is a great deal, although the Applecare+ included unfortunately doesn’t cover your phone if it gets lost or stolen. Also it’s annoyingly only applicable to American users. If you’re in the UK and your contract is nearly up, you’ll definitely want to check out O2’s Refresh 30GB tariff.
That being said, the iPhone Upgrade Program provides a cheaper and easier way to upgrade your iPhone, spreading the cost of your new phone over a 12-month period with the added bonus of Applecare+ which lengthens your device’s warranty period. It’s definitely the best option around for Apple first adopters desperately looking to get the latest upgrades as soon as possible.