Apple Inc. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are recording exceptionally strong pre-orders. The two phones will start shipping on September 25. But things have changed from a year ago, when buying an iPhone was relatively simple. You just had to shell-out $200 and agree to a two-year plan. But with carriers launching attractive financing plans, picking up the latest Apple phones has become that much more complicated.
Dawn Chmielewski at Re/code examined the country’s four largest carriers, and their numerous instalment payment and leasing schemes, to figure out the best way to get your hands on a new iPhone.
T-Mobile, Sprint offer Great Lease Deals
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get Apple Inc. ’s latest smart phone, and don’t intend keeping for long, consider leasing it from T-Mobile US Inc or Sprint Corp . Both these carriers also provide very flexible upgrade terms. T-Mobile users can replace their iPhones up to three times per year. Sprint subscribers can upgrade their phone “anytime” according to company website.
T-Mobile’s “Jump On Demand” lease plan charges $20 per month for a brand new iPhone 6s. After 18 months, you can surrender the phone and stop payment, or pay an additional $164 to out rightly buy the phone at a total cost of $524 – below Apple Inc. ’s retail price of $650.
Sprint is also launching a 22-month lease program. Under “iPhone Forever,” you can bring in your current smart phone and exchange it for an iPhone 6s by paying $15 per month.
Verizon, AT&T are Costlier
However, if you live in a region where these networks are erratic, you will have to get a new phone and service from either of the country’s top 2 carriers – Verizon or AT&T. Both will cost more.
AT&T Inc. ’s “Next” phone plan lets users pay-off their phones on a monthly basis. The contracts can run from 18 to 24 months. Depending on the duration, you can turn in your iPhone as early as after the end of 12 months to upgrade to a newer model. This does not incur any additional cost and you will only need to restart the contract.
Verizon Communication Inc. offers a basic iPhone 6s for $27 a month for 2 years. Once that contract ends, you can switch to a new phone.
Apple Enters the Scene
Apple Inc. is the newest player in the handset financing space. It is offering customers to pay-off their phones on a monthly basis. You will have to pay $32.41 per month for 2 years for the iPhone 6s. This may seem much higher than what the top carriers are charging. But included in that price is the cost of the AppleCare+ extended warranty service.
You are free to jump to a newer model at the end of 12 months and restart the 2-year contract. Another added benefit is that unlike financing offers from carriers, Apple is selling the phones unlocked. This should enable you to test the various wireless services to see what’s best in your area.