iPhone upgrade eligibility
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I bought my iPhone 4 back in July last year with a two-year contract for AT&T. Since Apple didn’t announce the iPhone 5/4S last month, what are my options to get the next iPhone? Would I have to cancel my current contract, or what?
A: Regardless of when Apple chooses to release the next iPhone, your options are going to be dictated by your carrier—in this case, AT&T. The iPhone launch date doesn’t really have any bearing on this if you’re still under contract, and it will be up to your carrier whether or not they want to make any deals for existing contract users. Last year, when the iPhone 4 was released, AT&T offered early upgrade eligibility for users who were close to the end of their contract, but it’s impossible to know for certain whether this would be an option again, since the company is of course under no obligation to do this.
Basically, you’re going to have to wait and see what your carrier is willing to offer you when the next iPhone comes out. You may have the option of paying a slightly higher price to upgrade it on the same contract or you may have to wait until your contract is over before getting the best upgrade price. You can of course also simply choose to purchase the iPHone at full price, which has always been an option. As an added incentive to that, Apple is now selling unlocked iPhone 4 models in the U.S. suggesting that the same option may be available for the next model as well.
Note that cancelling your contract outright is rarely a viable option since the cost and inconvenience of doing so often ends up being comparable to the full price of a non-contract iPhone anyway. In situations where you have only a few months left on your contract, the early cancellation fees may be smaller, but in this case it’s also generally possible to work out a deal with your carrier, assuming they’re not already offering a promotional deal anyway.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- More details emerge on Apple Music overhaul
- iPhone tops Time’s list of most influential gadgets
- Kohl’s integrates rewards system with Apple Pay
- Apple hires ex-Nest exec to aid in health initiatives
- Apple loses exclusive ‘iPhone’ trademark in China
- Apple to reveal ‘sweeping changes’ to Apple Music interface at WWDC
- Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, tvOS 9.2.1
- Bowers & Wilkins acquired by EVA Automation
- India rejects Apple’s plan to sell used iPhones
- Rumor: Purported iPhone 7 component photo shows headphone jack intact
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)