Remember Apple’s claim that it would give iPhone users a new iPhone every year? Well, that announcement was made back in September, and Apple has been silent about it since then (we’ve heard more about Samsung’s plans to create a Galaxy Upgrade Program of its own). All things take time, however, and this week, Apple decided to finally bring the iPhone installment program to fruition.
The new iPhone installment program allows iPhone users to get an iPhone, make payments for 24 months (as is the case with installment programs with carriers), then trade in their iPhone for a new one. The program seems bent on 24 months of payments, but iPhone users will get the option to pay off their entire device in 12 or less, should they choose. Apple intends to promote the iPhone installment program as a way for users to bypass carriers altogether, dealing on with Apple in their payments while giving them the freedom to have service with whatever carrier they choose to — and even switch carriers if they wish, during the time they’re still paying off their iPhone 6s or iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.
The iPhone installment program will allow customers to get their iPhones for $0 down, as is the case with carrier installment programs, but users will need to have a credit check performed by Apple in order to take advantage of this immediately “free” deal. Rumors swirled prior to the fruit company’s announcement that Apple would bring its own wireless carrier to the market (as Google has done with Project Fi). While Apple refused to do so, the new iPhone installment program removes carriers as the middlemen and allows Apple to reap payment for its devices directly — taking away some of the extra costs that come with going through carriers to pick up Apple’s latest devices.