What Is The Apple Upgrade Program? (All You Need To Know)

If you have an older Apple device, you’re likely thinking about getting a new one to take advantage of the new system updates. Perhaps you’ve considered using the Apple upgrade program. If so, you may wonder: what is the Apple upgrade program and how does it work?

Well, I’ve been looking into the Apple upgrade program and will answer all of your questions below, so keep reading to learn what I’ve discovered about this topic! 

What Is the Apple Upgrade Program?

The Apple upgrade program allows you to upgrade to a new iPhone once a year after you’ve made 12 payments. First, you’ll need to check your eligibility, and then choose your new iPhone, select the AppleCare coverage you want, and send back your old iPhone in the pre-paid envelope once your new phone arrives in 2024.

Keep reading to learn more facts, including how to qualify for an iPhone upgrade program, how the upgrade system works, along with other useful information!

How Do You Qualify for an iPhone Upgrade Program?

To qualify for the iPhone Upgrade Program, you’ll need to meet the eligibility requirements below, including the following:

  • Paying 12 installments on your device (about a year of payments)
  • You need to have an account in good standing 
  • Maintaining the AppleCare+ plan with your iPhone
  • Your phone must be in good condition and operational, as determined by Apple or the trade-in service provider 
  • You must have had any service or repairs done through either an Apple Authorized Provider, an Apple Store, or through the AppleCare+ loss and theft plan
  • You must have enrolled in the iPhone Upgrade Program before the expiration of your installment loan and agree to enter into a new installment loan 
  • You will need to trade in your old device
  • You must deactivate the Activation Lock 
  • You will also need to remove your SIM card if you upgraded online 

How Does the Apple Upgrade System Work?

The Apple Upgrade system works by first purchasing an iPhone from Apple, whether that’s in-store, online, or through the app. 

After, agree to the 24-month installment plan, and enter into the Apple Upgrade Program after six months of owning that iPhone.

Furthermore, once you’ve become eligible for a new phone after 12 months of paying your bill, you will trade in the old phone, get a new iPhone, and enter into a new installment plan with Apple. 

What Are the Benefits of the Apple Upgrade Program?

What Are the Benefits of the Apple Upgrade Program?

The biggest benefit of the Apple Upgrade Program is that it allows you to trade in your old iPhone once a year and get the newest iPhone paying at least half of what your old device cost.

In contrast, if you just traded in your old iPhone without being a part of this program, you’re not going to get anywhere near the same value, since phones depreciate quickly.  

Also, you can get AppleCare+ coverage included, which means you’ll have additional coverage and two claims of accidental damage each year. 

That being said, you have to enter into a new installment agreement when you upgrade, which means you’re starting the payments all over instead of just using an almost paid-off device.

Does the iPhone Upgrade Program Cost More? 

The iPhone Upgrade Program doesn’t cost more and it’s about the same as purchasing a device outright. Fortunately, you won’t have to pay any additional taxes or fees. 

How Often Should You Upgrade Your iPhone?

How often you should upgrade your iPhone depends on how much you use it and for what purpose, and whether you’re into the latest technology and features. 

For example, if you love being the first to try new features, services, and technology, then a yearly upgrade isn’t a bad idea, especially if you use your phone all the time. 

However, if you’re someone that doesn’t use their phone often and doesn’t care about the latest features, then upgrading every two to five years would be sufficient.

Does the Apple Upgrade Program Affect Credit?

Apple’s Upgrade Program can affect credit, since Apple will check your credit before you are eligible and get approved to enter into a new installment plan, which will likely be a hard inquiry. 

Therefore, if you’re worried about too many inquiries on your credit report, don’t upgrade yearly, since it can slightly lower your score. 

Can You Do the iPhone Upgrade Program Without a Carrier?

You can choose your carrier every time you participate in the iPhone Upgrade Program, which means you can switch from one carrier to another without any extra fees or charges.

To know more, you can also read our posts on Apple Cash, AppleCare, and Apple Pay.


Apple’s Upgrade Program allows you to trade in your iPhone for a new iPhone once every year, provided you’ve made 12 payments and have been enrolled in the program for six months. 

However, when you upgrade, you will need to trade in your old device and be approved for and enter into a new installment plan with the new iPhone, which means your credit will be checked. 

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Mackenzie Jerks

Mackenzie is a freelance writer and editor, published author, and music enthusiast who holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. When she’s not writing, Mackenzie is either wrapped up in a book, discovering new music, or introducing herself to a new fitness regimen.

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