Verizon just announced a new annual upgrade program for the iPhone that’ll let you upgrade to a new iPhone every year. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are the first devices that are eligible for the program, and if you’ve already pre-ordered one of the new iPhone models and selected the Device Payment option, you’re already enrolled in the annual upgrade program.
The way that the annual upgrade promo works is that you get your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus and make payments on it as you normally would. After you’ve paid off at least half of the device’s cost, you’ll be eligible to upgrade to the next iPhone so long as you turn your old model in. If you’d rather not turn the old phone in, you can continue making payments until you pay off the 24-month finance. “That’s a better option than those ‘lease plans’ offered by other companies,” Verizon says, “which can include surprise balloon payments just 18 months into your agreement, or ask you to turn over your phone without getting anything for it.”
Verizon’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus payment plans start at $27.08 and $31.24, which aren’t close to Sprint and T-Mobile promo plans that start at $1 and $5 with trade-in. Verizon doesn’t offer a lease like Sprint and T-Mo do, though, and the 24-month payment plans across all three carriers are actually pretty similar.
Focusing on Verizon’s annual upgrade program, it seems like a decent option if you’re intent on sticking with Verizon and getting the newest iPhone every year. Sure, you might be a little better off if you buy the phones outright and then sell them each year, but some folks may not want to shell out hundreds of dollars all at once to pay for a new phone. There’s also the fact that trading your old phone in to Verizon and upgrading to the new one is a lot easier than trying to sell the old one on Craigslist or eBay before upgrading.