Checking Upgrade Eligibility Ahead of Friday's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Pre-Orders

With pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus happening this Friday, many people who hope to get their hands on one of the new devices are going to be scrambling to find out their upgrade options. TUAW has assembled a helpful guide on to help users check their upgrade eligibility and purchasing options.

Users on all four major networks in the United States can type a quick code into their phones to get an immediate report on their upgrade status via text message. The codes are as follows:

- AT&T: *639#
- Sprint: 1311
- T-Mobile: #874
- Verizon: #874

These codes are a good way to get a quick look at upgrade eligibility, but some of them don't exactly tell the whole story. For example, AT&T's text message is pointing users towards a Next plan, even if they may have other upgrade options available. A second option for getting a clear picture of upgrade eligibility on the four major networks is going through Apple's own site.

attupgrademessage
Visiting the iPhone 6 pre-order page and choosing a model, carrier, and color will give an option to "Check your upgrade eligibility" with AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. T-Mobile works somewhat differently as Apple only gives T-Mobile customers the option to buy outright.

Checking upgrade options requires a user to enter a wireless number, billing zip code, and the last four digits of the social security number on the account, after which it displays all of the upgrade options available, including when an account might become eligible for an early or full upgrade.

For example, an AT&T user who purchased an iPhone 5s on release day on a two-year contract would be able to purchase an iPhone 6 for $649 on pre-order day, but would also be eligible for an early upgrade on September 21, which provides a $200 discount. This option also displays what Next monthly fees would be.

upgradeeligibility
Many times, new purchasing fees can be cut by trading a device into an Apple Store, a carrier, or a third party service, all of which offer payouts for old Apple devices.

For those planning to upgrade, it's important to look into options immediately as there are only two days left until the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available for pre-order. Though Apple has not yet confirmed what time the two devices will go on sale, AT&T says that its pre-order sales will begin on September 12 at 12:01 AM Pacific Time, and it's likely Apple's own sales will start at the same time.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
80 months ago
probably should check your savings account for eligibility first.
Score: 78 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
AT&T sucks. I just wanted to get that out in the open. I feel better now.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
I wish I didn't have to choose between the size I want and the camera I want. Life is so hard for me.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago

If I'm already an ATT NEXT customer can I preorder through Apple and get the same contract pricing? I can't tell by the chart (attached).


Okay let's clear some stuff up for everyone who is curious about how the ATT Next system works.


A. IF YOU HAVE A CURRENT 2 YR CONTRACT ON THE LINE YOU WANT TO UPGRADE:

-- If you started the contract ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 18, 2014: You are eligible to upgrade to ATT Next on this line right now. This also applies if your contract is over. This will 1. End the remainder of your 2 year contract for this line, if any exists 2. Have NO ETFs for this line 3. Give you complete ownership of the device on this line that is now OUT of contract. Sell as you please and profit. :)

-- If you started the contract AFTER JANUARY 18, 2014:You cannot upgrade to ATT Next until 20 months have passed on your 2 year contract. That is 1 Year, 8 months for anyone counting. So, if you signed up on January 19, 2014, you're looking at [I]September 20, 2015[/I]. How unfortunate. This is the only real nitpick I have with ATT upgrade eligibility to the Next plan, as this is a long time to wait.


Overview of ATT Next:

-- You can either have the ATT 12 Month Plan or the ATT 18 Month Plan

The way it works for current and future ATT Next lines is this:
The 12 month plan is comprised of 20 payments, and the 18 month plan is comprised of 24 payments This is the cost of the phone (without tax) divided into 20 or 24 even parts over 20 or 24 months, depending on which plan (12 or 18) you have on this line. The 12 or 18 months refers to earliest upgrade period, so after 12 or 18 months, you can upgrade to a new phone without any money down (besides taxes on the new phone).

B. IF YOU HAVE A CURRENT AT&T NEXT PLAN ON THE LINE YOU WANT TO UPGRADE AND HAVE MADE THE ONLY THE MINIMUM PAYMENTS (12 or 18 months' worth)

At this point where you reach 12 or 18 months, you are required to trade in your phone to complete your eligibility for a new ATT Next upgrade. Everyone is whining about how the phone "isn't really yours". This is because you haven't paid it off yet! Remember how the 12 month plan has 20 months of payments and the 18 month plan has 24 months of payments? Well, after 12 months of payments on the former plan, you still have 8 payments left to make, so ATT is saying, "look, we will waive the last 8 payments if you trade the phone in". Say the payment is $32.50 (I will list general pricing per month below). You have paid 12 months * $32.50 = $390 and still owe 8 months * $32.50 = $260. Total cost is *gasp* $649! That sounds familiar! Yes, that is the retail price of a $199 iPhone, ladies and gentlemen. No ripoff here. If you wait until after you make your 20 payments (if you have the 12 month plan) or 24 payments (if you have the 18 month plan, you then own the phone. At this point, if you choose a new ATT Next phone for this line, you do not have to trade in your old device. Understood? Good. Moving on.

Now, let's say -
C. IF YOU HAVE A CURRENT AT&T NEXT PLAN ON THE LINE YOU WANT TO UPGRADE AND HAVE NOT YET MADE THE MINIMUM PAYMENTS (Less than the 12 or 18 months' worth, depending on your plan)
You can log on to your ATT account via their website and use the options available to make some choices:
PAY TO UPGRADE THIS DEVICE option. You will pay the remainder of your minimum monthly payments up to and including the 12th/18th month, which will immediately deem you "upgrade eligible". So, if you paid 10 months out of your 12, you will owe $32.50 * 2 months = $65.00. After that, you trade in your phone and proceed with a new upgrade as normal.

PAY OFF THIS DEVICE option. Self explanatory. This is the remaining amount of money you owe on the phone (so it would be all payments through the 20th/24th month rather than 12th/18th month). If you made 10 payments on a 12 month Next plan and want to keep your current phone but also upgrade, then you will owe 20 months - 10 months = 10 months * $32.50 = $325.00. You will then OWN the phone and can proceed with a new ATT Next upgrade without trading it in.

D. IF YOU HAVE A CURRENT AT&T NEXT PLAN ON THE LINE YOU WANT TO UPGRADE AND HAVE MADE THE MINIMUM PAYMENTS BUT HAVE NOT PAID OFF THE PHONE (More than 12/18 but less than 20/24 months, depending on your plan)
You can either 1. Surrender your phone and upgrade. You made an extra few payments of $32.50 that you won't get back. Oh well.

2. Make the remaining payments via the website with the PAY OFF THIS DEVICE option: If you made 18 payments on a 12 month Next plan and want to keep your current phone but also upgrade, then you will owe 20 months - 18 months = 2 months * $32.50 = $65.00. You will then OWN the phone and can proceed with a new ATT Next upgrade without trading it in.

The $32.50 I keep referencing, again, is for a '$199' phone, i.e. the entry level iPhone 6 with a retail cost of $649.00. Remember 649/32.50 = 19.999 aka 20.

So, here we go with pricing:

ATT Next 12 Month Plan (12 months of payments to trade in, 20 months of payments to own):
16 GB iPhone 6: $32.50/mo
64 GB iPhone 6: $37.50/mo
128 GB iPhone 6: $42.50/mo
16 GB iPhone 6 Plus: $37.50/mo
64 GB iPhone 6 Plus: $42.50/mo
128 GB iPhone 6 Plus: $47.50/mo

The ATT 18 numbers aren't quite as exact a science as the 12, but these are pulled from ATT and are valid:

ATT Next 18 month Plan (18 months of payments to trade in, 24 months of payments to own):
16 GB iPhone 6: $27.09/mo
64 GB iPhone 6: $31.25/mo
128 GB iPhone 6: $35.42/mo
16 GB iPhone 6 Plus: $31.25/mo
64 GB iPhone 6 Plus: $35.42/mo
128 GB iPhone 6 Plus: $39.59/mo

Now, all of this is just for the cost of the phone alone. It does not include service costs, which are separate and are beyond the scope of this discussion. You can save some serious coin with ATT Next and Mobile Share though, (on the tune of $15/month per line for 6-9.99 gb and $25/month per line for 10gb and greater).

Cheers!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
I think this will be the first time I don't preorder a phone online. Going to have to go into the store on the 19th to play with both sizes of the iPhone 6. Can't make up my mind.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
As much as I am looking forward to upgrading my 4S. I'm going to wait until to end of September or start of October. I don't want to risk have any first batch manufacturing defects and I don't like the big rush and back orders.

I'll live until I can casually walk into an Apple Store and pick one up, but I'm glad for all of you who get a launch day device, it must be exciting. :)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

French iPhone Boxes Come Packed in an Outer Box With Separate EarPods

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:52 am PDT by
After the news that France would be the only territory to continue to include EarPods with the iPhone, it seems that Apple is not packing the earbuds within the iPhone's box (via iGeneration). Screenshot from TheiCollection's review video The French iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro does not have a different retail box to accommodate EarPods, meaning that all iPhone boxes are consistent...

Some Defective Apple iPhone 12 Cases Shipping Without Speaker Holes

Wednesday October 21, 2020 12:54 pm PDT by
At least two customers who have purchased iPhone 12 cases have received defective cases that do not have speaker holes, which obscures the sound. Photo by Reddit user zarnold16 There have been two separate threads on Reddit from iPhone 12 customers who purchased a case and received one without speaker holes. One customer was told by an Apple advisor that the case wasn't meant to have...

Watch: New iPad Air Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted on reviews for the new iPad Air ahead of its launch on Friday. In addition to our more detailed review roundup, we've shared a handful of unboxing videos and first impressions of the device below. The new iPad Air via Karl Conrad The new iPad Air features a larger 10.9-inch edge-to-edge display, a faster A14 Bionic chip, and a USB-C port instead of Lightning. It is...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...