Apple users who generally get their iPhones on a carrier contract will know this, but there are a surprisingly huge pool of Apple fans who don’t yet know that they can get a free iPhone 7…sort of.
What you do is take your older iPhone 6 or 6S to a carrier – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T Mobile all have this offer – and sign up for a new two-year contract. Some carriers don’t even insist on the old phone being an Apple product, but you’ll get your free iPhone 7 just the same. If your older phone is a 16GB model you may need to pay out of your pocket to cover the difference – as you know, there won’t be any more 16GB versions coming out from Apple’s stables moving forward. What you’ll get in return for the exchange is a 32GB version of iPhone 7.
Still, that’s better than paying the full amount for a brand new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. However, as most of us already know, if you break the contract you’ll have to pay the remainder of the device’s cost, and the amount you pay is determined by how many months you have left on the contract.
One of the better options is to get on the iPhone Upgrade Program that allows this to get a new iPhone for free every year as long as you keep extending the contract with your carrier. The upgrade program was launched by Apple to make sure that its users have the option to upgrade to the next model as soon as it comes out. The biggest benefit is that you don’t have to pay an upfront amount for the device, but you will be locking yourself in for a further 12 months or so depending on when you get the new device.
So there you have it. As long as you’re willing to get on a fresh two-year contract for the iPhone 7, the device comes to you free of cost. Think carefully before your go to your carrier and trade your iPhone 6 right away because you’ll need to keep making those monthly payments on the contract.
Here’s what various carriers are offering for iPhone 7
If you have an iPhone 6, 6S, 6 Plus or 6S Plus, you can get the 32GB iPhone 7 for free. The 128GB option will cost you an additional $100. For either $120 or $220, you can choose the 32GB or 128GB iPhone 7 Plus.
How it is free? On your monthly bill, you will receive a credit for the device cost. So, if you pay all 24 months your device is essentially free (or whatever you paid to get a higher model.)
Verizon doesn’t give you the device 100% free because there’s an upgrade fee of $40 for a two-year contract, and a $20 activation fee that they may levy depending on how often you’ve switched before. It could be waived if you’re already on one of Verizon’s plans.
The models they accept in exchange for an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus are: Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge/edge+, HTC M9, iPhone 6, LG G4, and LG V10.
Sprint’s offer covers these models: iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S7, or Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. Trade in any one of these phones in good working order and pay a $30 activation fee and get your iPhone 7 for free. Their device credit will appear on your monthly bill, just like the T Mobile offer. But Sprint is only offering this deal until September 17, so you’ll need to decide quickly.
AT&T has an interesting plan that it calls “Next 12.” On this plan you basically commit to 12 months at a time. At month 12 you get the option to upgrade again or just pay the remaining 8 months on the 20-month plan and keep the device. If you upgrade, you trade in your device for a new one and get on another “Next 12” plan. It’s fairly simple, you’re not locked in for two years and you can decide if you want to continue after a year.
I’ve showcased these offers from various carriers, but please visit their respective websites to see the full offer, the devices accepted, any additional costs and the specific terms of their respective contracts. Be sure to read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line because that’s a legal contract you’re entering into, and breaking a contract will end up costing you in more ways than one.
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