If you’re planning on buying Apple’s new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus and hoping to take advantage of a great deal in the process, then your window of opportunity is closing. Ina Fried reports for Re/code that some of the best offers on the new iPhones are starting to go away as carriers end the limited-time offers they made to grab the attention of loyal iPhone fans.
Both Sprint and T-Mobile have been offering deals to sell or lease the new iPhones at a sizable discount. But Fried reports that over the weekend, T-Mobile ended the offer that enabled customers to lease the new iPhone for as low as $20 per month without trading in an older smartphone. However, T-Mobile is still offering a deal that enables customers to get a new iPhone for as low as $5 when they trade in a smartphone, at least for now.
A T-Mobile spokesperson said in a statement, “The introductory pricing for iPhone 6s without trade-in has ended, but customers can still take advantage of our other introductory offer and get a new iPhone 6s for just $5 per month with trade-in of iPhone 6 or other newer model phones or $15 per month with trade-in of iPhone 5, 5c and 5s among others.”
Sprint hasn’t yet ended its leasing deals, including one that enables customers to lease a new iPhone for as little as $1 per month. That deal will be offered for a limited time only, but the carrier hasn’t made it clear when the offer will end. Verizon, on the other hand, has announced that its trade-in promotion, which gives iPhone owners anywhere between $100 and $400 for trading in an older iPhone, has an end date of October 15.
As The Cheat Sheet reported in September, shortly after Apple unveiled its new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, one of the best ways to get the company’s new iPhone is to purchase your new iPhone at the full retail price and offset that cost by selling your old phone. That’s especially true if you want to upgrade to the latest iPhone each year, a situation in which Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program, a new and tempting option that Apple introduced this year, really isn’t your best choice.
The problem with the iPhone Upgrade Program is that frequent upgrades lose the opportunity to recoup some of the value of their year-old or two-year-old iPhones, value that you can recoup by trading your old phone in to your carrier or even selling your old phone to another buyer on eBay. Just as carriers’ promotions are clearly targeted at gaining subscribers by getting iPhone lovers to lease or buy a new iPhone, Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program is an effort to get a bigger proportion of the iPhone’s user base to upgrade to a new iPhone each year.
But even if you aren’t interested in getting a new iPhone each year, or if you’ve waited beyond some of the more headline-grabbing promotions, it pays to research what your carrier (or any other carriers you’d be willing to switch to) are offering. (If you find yourself in need of a refresher on who’s offering what, Cheat Sheet has a basic primer on the pricing offered by different carriers here.)
Not all carriers will subsidize the purchase of a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, but many do offer leasing options and other monthly installment plans to make the purchase of a new phone a little less painful. You just have to do your research to figure out what’s available to you at your current carrier or at other carriers.
AT&T, for instance, still offers subsidized pricing for new subscribers, while T-Mobile completely did away with subsidized pricing, so new or existing T-Mobile subscribers can choose to purchase an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus outright or to lease or buy the phone with monthly payments. Sprint offers subsidized pricing for new and existing customers, as well as one of the cheapest leasing plans for the new iPhones, while Verizon has eliminated subsidies but still offers discounted smartphones to existing subscribers.
Regardless of how you want to lease or purchase your new iPhone, you should do your research to find out where you can get the best deal for your needs, on the model you want, and on the network that offers the best service in your part of the country.