Apple now offering iPhone upgrades with AT&T Next through online store, $0 down
The Apple Store has a new offer in place for its fanboys, now allowing interested buyers to purchase an iPhone with AT&T's Next program.
This means that customers can choose their desired iPhone model and make their purchase with no down payment, choosing instead to pay subsequent monthly fees on top of their rate plan, and also upgrade early if they want to.
On the downside, Apple is only offering such an option with AT&T, at least for now. Other carriers such as T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have their pay-as-you-go plans as well, but so far they have not been included in Apple's new iPhone scheme. As 9to5Mac points out, earlier this month Apple has started a pilot of T-Mobile's JUMP and Verizon's EDGE installment/upgrade plans in its retail stores, but the options have yet to become available online.
The AT&T Next program, meanwhile, allows customers to choose a device and pay for it monthly with no upfront cost, and upgrade early if they so prefer. The monthly cost is broken down differently depending on the chosen scheme, which is based on when the customer can upgrade.
While this option may sound enticing to some, there may still be others who prefer a regular subsidized scheme to purchase a new device. In this case, interested buyers can go for the subsidized plan and pay $200 upfront for the iPhone.
At the same time, Apple has also started selling prepaid plans with iPhone purchases, and it's again via AT&T. These prepaid plans are not available with any other carrier either, although both Verizon and T-Mobile have their own prepaid schemes as well. Apple may eventually decide to extend the courtesy of prepaid and early opt-out plans to the other carriers as well, but there's no word in this regards at this point.
For now, it seems that AT&T is the preferred carrier for iPhone purchases, as the schemes are more advantageous. Apple's website has been displaying the AT&T Next $0 down installment plan for existing AT&T customers since earlier this month, allowing them to upgrade to a new iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, or iPhone 4S. Apple has yet to comment on its new plans, but we'll keep you up to date as soon as we hear more.