TECH ISH: @APPLE INTRODUCES 'TRADE UP' PLAN TO EXPAND THE #IPHONE COMMUNITY


Apple has revealed its new Trade Up With Installments plan that lets you hand over an old iPhone (or Android or Windows phone), apply the value of that device to a new iPhone and pay off your new gadget in installments over 24 months. This plan only works in the US, and it's only available in Apple Stores.

If you're trading in an iPhone in good working condition, the payments range from about $15 to $35 a month, depending on how many models you jump up to. If you're switching from the iPhone 4 to the 128GB iPhone 6S Plus, for instance, you'll pay $35.37 a month. But if you're moving from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 6, you'll pay $14.54 a month.

Trade Up With Installments joins two existing plans designed to tempt consumers to pick up new iPhones: Apple's long-running trade-in program and the iPhone Upgrade Program introduced in September with the launch of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

The trade-in program pays you up to $350 for your old iPhone. Apple even started accepting damaged iPhones for trade-in earlier this year.

The iPhone Upgrade program, meanwhile, lets you get the latest iPhone, along with the AppleCare+ service, each year by shelling out a monthly payment for 24 months. The rate starts at $32.41 a month for a 16GB iPhone 6S and goes as high as $44.91 for the 128GB iPhone 6S Plus. When the year is up and a new iPhone is out, you simply take your older device to an Apple Store, trade it in for the new model and resume monthly installments.

There aren't hidden fees or interest charged in the program, Apple said, and it doesn't include AppleCare+. The price equates to the amount of the new phone, minus the value of your trade-in device, all divided by 24. If you want that iPhone AppleCare+ insurance, you'll have to pay $99 to $129 up front when you get your new phone.

The phone you purchase will be unlocked, which means you're not tied to a specific carrier. You'll still need to sign up for wireless service for the iPhone.

Unlike with the iPhone Upgrade program, you can't trade in your phone every year for the latest model. You would have to pay off your remaining installments instead of making a trade as with Apple's upgrade plan.

The maximum trade-in values are the same as for the regular trade-in program. That's $100 for the iPhone 4 and 4S; $200 for the 5, 5C and 5S; $300 for the 6; and $350 for the 6 Plus. The amount doesn't change based on how much storage you have. You'll get as much for the 16GB version of an iPhone as for the 128GB, even though jumping from 16GB to 128GB cost you $200 when you bought the phone. And the values are for phones with regular wear and tear, so don't worry if your device isn't in pristine condition. If you have a cracked screen or other damage, though, you won't get as much money.

If you're trading in a Google Android or Microsoft Windows phone, you'll likely get about $100 to $300 for your trade-in value, Apple said.


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