The "Trade Up with Installments" plan from Apple Stores that allows customers to buy new iPhones with built-in yearly upgrade options for set monthly payments saw some minor changes on Tuesday. The new plans offer customers more flexibility in how they use the money they earn from trading in the older smartphone, but lowers the maximum value of a trade-in from $300 to $250. The changes are only for the Trade-Up option, and don't affect the similar iPhone Upgrade Program.
Under the iPhone Upgrade Program, buyers can purchase a new iPhone with the AppleCare+ extended warranty outright without being tied to a carrier, and have the option of upgrading the model and renewing the payment cycle every year. If they choose not to upgrade, the unlocked iPhone is theirs free and clear in 24 months or sooner if they wish to pay off the charges early. The Trade Up with Installments is designed to lure Android switchers and those with older iPhones by reducing the overall cost through a credit for the late-model smartphone they are trading in.
Under the new guidelines, sellers can apply the credit they receive for their trade-in in one of two ways ; previously, the credit was automatically applied towards lowering the monthly cost of the iPhone, but users now have the option of using it to lower the monthly cost of the service provider when they sign up with one. However, the maximum trade-in value has now been lowered from a cap of $300 to $250, in combination with the 24-month loan from the partner bank.
Due to the new option to reduce carrier plan payments, Apple no longer estimates the average monthly cost of potential plans from the big four US carriers. Because the Trade-Up with Installments program requires a loan, the iPhone is locked by the carrier for the 24-month plan. However, the move gets rid of credit checks and minimum financing agreements. Trade-in values range from $250 for an iPhone 6 Plus (or $225 for an iPhone 6) through $125 for an iPhone 5s, $75 for an iPhone 5 or 5c, and $50 for an iPhone 4s.