Buyer's Guide

Is Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program Worth Using?

Is Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program Worth Using?

If you want to always have the latest and greatest iPhone, you can check out the iPhone Upgrade Program, which aims to provide customers with a new iPhone every year, while also helping you save some money by trading in your old iPhone. So what is iPhone Upgrade Program and is it worth using?


What exactly is the iPhone Upgrade Program?

As early as 2015, Apple launched the "iPhone Upgrade Program" in the US market. After meeting the participation conditions, customers can purchase a new iPhone at a discount of 50% off the original retail price of the iPhone. For example, if you buy an iPhone for $800 and pay extra for AppleCare+, the iPhone Upgrade Program will take effect within 3 to 13 months after the purchase of the iPhone. If you purchase a new phone during this period, you can use your existing iPhone as a $400 discount coupon. According to Apple's regulations, when you upgrade to a new iPhone in the second year, you can freely choose the model, color, memory capacity, and carrier of the new iPhone.

iPhone Upgrade Program

Apple calls the Upgrade Program a finance program, but it is essentially a leasing program. By enticing consumers to participate in annual iPhone upgrades as well as bundling AppleCare and letting them choose which cell phone plans and carriers to participate in. Apple is actually taking a page out of the book of what luxury automakers Mercedes-Benz, BMW and others have done previously. From a sales perspective, Apple's upgrade program has significantly increased the rate at which consumers replace their phones.


Is Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program a good deal?

The program is essentially a trade-in discount, with Apple recycling old devices at 50% of the original price. Generally speaking, when used for 3 to 13 months, the recycling price of an iPhone is probably higher than 50% of the original price, so if you want to sell it for a higher price, the iPhone Upgrade Program is obviously not cost-effective. However, it can provide a stable recycling method that you don't have to worry about buying fake mobile phones, second-hand mobile phones, etc., which is more worry-free.


  • For Apple fans who pursue the latest iPhone every year, Apple's plan to continuously upgrade the iPhone makes sense to users.
  • Spreading the cost of purchasing a mobile phone into the monthly bill can also reduce the financial pressure on users.
  • Users who participate in the iPhone Upgrade Programcan also enjoy Apple Care services, which includes hardware repair, software support, and accidental damage in both cases.



  • The iPhone you use does not entirely belong to you until you complete all payments, which means you cannot resell or give away the new iPhone.
  • Consumers will be able to purchase a new product at a lower price a few months after the product has been released.
  • The cost of participating in iPhone Upgrade Program may be higher than the price of direct purchase or the price of the package provided by the carrier.
iPhone Upgrade Program Pros and Cons


How do I join the iPhone Upgrade Program?

Participation Requirements:

  • Provides AppleCare+ security
  • During the period from the 10th month to the end of the 13th month after purchasing an iPhone (the deadline for user replacement in 2022 has been relaxed, and Apple has updated it to "months 3-13")

When replacing a new iPhone, there are also certain requirements for the old iPhone:

  1. Able to turn on and charge normally;
  1. The display is intact and functional;
  1. No damage or cracks;
  1. The camera functions normally;
  1. Remove the activation lock;
  1. No liquid immersion damage.

If your iPhone is damaged, you need to use AppleCare+ to repair the phone until it meets the above conditions before proceeding with replacement.

iPhone Upgrade Program Participation Requirements


Whether the iPhone Upgrade Program works for consumers depends entirely on consumers' personal preferences, which is like whether it is better to lease or buy a car. As more and more young people become accustomed to paying monthly bills, Apple will certainly find many users who want to participate in the upgrade program. The only thing consumers need to do is decide which one suits them: style or value.

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