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How to Be a Smart iPhone Buyer, Part 2

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Read Time: 6 min

The best way to buy a new iPhone depends, to some extent, on what sort of buyer you are. In these two tutorials, I'll show you how to be a smart iPhone buyer and make how to make an informed decision.

Further Considerations

In the previous tutorial, I explained different ways of purchasing a new iPhone. In this tutorial, I'll explain some further considerations before you make a choice. 

AppleCare+ on the iPhone Upgrade Programme

AppleCare for iPhoneAppleCare for iPhoneAppleCare for iPhone
AppleCare+ for iPhone

If you're considering the iPhone Upgrade Programme, you'll be wondering how it is 0% interest when the deposit and the 20 months instalments add up to more than the cost of the handset.

The astute amongst us will notice that the different is £119 and that sum happens to be the cost of the AppleCare+ contract.

It is mandatory to take out AppleCare+ on any iPhone purchased under the Upgrade Programme. If you're clumsy, it's probably worth it. If you begrudge paying extra for an insurance policy, you may wish to consider the pros and cons of AppleCare+ before deciding whether the Upgrade Programme is really for you.

The AppleCare+ contract lasts for two years and extends the apple Apple warranty from one to two years. Similarly, technical support via telephone is extended from 90 days to two years.

AppleCare+ covers the iPhone against accidental damage, such as drops from height and immersion in water. Apple will replace the iPhone, for these reasons, on up to two occasions. Though there is an excess of £79 to pay for a replacement iPhone. 

Credit Where Credit's Due: Important Considerations

Being able to take out any loan, such as with your bank, with Zopa or with PayPal or Barclays via Apple, is something that you'll want to give careful consideration as it may affect your credit score.

If you're in the United Kingdom, you'll need to be aware that there are three credit agencies:

  1. Equifax
  2. Experian
  3. Call Credit

When applying for the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme, Apple searches all three.

If you're planning on buying a house and are needing a mortgage then now would not be a good time to be taking personal loans or the Apple finance programmes. 

If you're unsure of your current credit standing, you can make enquiries to each of the credit reference agencies in order to check your credit score. Be aware that you'll have a different score with each of the three agencies.

To check your credit score with each, you can sign up to three free services:

  1. Equifax, sign up at ClearScore
  2. Experian, sign up at MoneySavingExpert
  3. CallCredit, sign up at Noddle

Studying your own credit reports will enable you to make a more informed decision before taking any credit.

Buying a New iPhone for the Long Term

Apple offers different financing options including interest-freeApple offers different financing options including interest-freeApple offers different financing options including interest-free
Apple offers different financing options, including interest-free

Buying an iPhone for the long term would be the aim of someone not wanting, necessarily, to be constantly upgrading. You might be looking to get the best value for money by investing in something that is going to last for a long time.

For such people, I'd recommend avoiding any loan or finance deal that incurs interest. That's just going to cost you more.

The next consideration would be whether insurance is required, as that adds to the cost. If you're going to be buying AppleCare anyway, then consider the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme. 

Don't worry too much about the *upgrade* part of that. You can use the programme to spread the cost of the iPhone and AppleCare+ package over 20 months, following the £69 upfront payment. 

This deal is 0%; you only pay for the actual cost of the iPhone and the AppleCare+ meaning that you can keep cash in a savings account and earn some interest whilst paying down the loan.

Alternatively, it's an outright purchase if you're fortunate enough to have that much spare cash. 

Buying to Upgrade iPhone Every Year

If you're intent on having the latest and greatest iPhone every year, the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme has been designed particularly for you. You'll still need to consider whether it's the best deal for you.

Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme

The Apple iPhone Upgrade ProgrammeThe Apple iPhone Upgrade ProgrammeThe Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme
The Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme

To get the best out of it, you'll be needing to upgrade to the new iPhone immediately each year. This is because you return the old iPhone I exchange for the new one plus a new £69 upfront fee and a new 20-month contract.

Buying Outright and Selling Later

Before jumping into Apple's Upgrade Programme, if your budget allows, consider the outright purchase of the iPhone handset with a view to selling it next year.

Use a tool such as Bidvoy that analyses the actual sale prices, of products, on eBay. As a rule of thumb, an iPhone retains around 40 per cent of its value one year later when the new model comes out. 

There's so many variables to each sale that this can only be a rough guide, you'll need to do some research beforehand.

Consider, also, that if your using an old handset to finance the new one, you'll be without a phone between selling one and buying the other. If this is an issue, the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme might start to look attractive for its convenience.

Remember, though, selling on eBay will incur approximately 14% costs on the final sale value. These fees are swallowed up by eBay and PayPal. You might consider, instead, the Apple Recycle Programme that will pay for the old handset. 

There are also many third party companies that will buy old handsets, but prices vary, depend on condition and you're unlikely to get the best value compared to selling it yourself.

Buying to Upgrade iPhone Every Other Year

Many people suggest upgrading an iPhone every other year. It's fairly sound advice as you'll have a very capable phone for the two years and you'll be benefitting from more significant upgrades between models.

You'll also be able to take advantage of the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme to spread the cost of the iPhone into manageable instalments and still have a decent handset at the end of it that you can pass on to a relative or sell on to contribute towards the latest iPhone. 


After more than two decades of people buying phones, and a decade of people buying iPhones, with an airtime contact through their mobile provider, it is now easier than ever to purchase the iPhone and a SIM contract separately. 

This gives you, the customer, greater freedom and flexibility and in this two-part tutorial I have given you some points to consider before purchasing your next iPhone.

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