iPhone Upgrade Program Causes Headaches on Launch Day Due to Limited Stock

While the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus became available for pre-order at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time this morning, some customers enrolled in the iPhone Upgrade Program were unable to select the model, carrier, color, or storage capacity they desired due to limited stock seemingly as soon as orders began.

iphone-7-box
MacRumors reader Pbrutto of Allentown, Pennsylvania said that there were no iPhones available for him to pre-order, while many other existing iPhone Upgrade Program members were unable to order the specific model they wanted from Apple retail stores in their local areas, even immediately at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time.

My experience was logging in the moment that the Apple Store app was working only to see no availability and no way to pre order an iPhone. Seriously, Apple did not let their most loyal customers even place a pre order.

MacRumors reader Markarian421 shared a similar experience:

Same experience. Existing iPhone Upgrade Program member, but the only color available the instant the store opened was Rose Gold. My iPhone 6s Plus is Rose Gold, and I love it, but this is a black bezel year for me and I lust for the Jet Black. So, I reserved a Rose Gold for pickup Friday, but also ordered a Jet Black full price. By the time I got around to that, delivery dates had shipped to November.

The underlying reason appears to be that iPhone Upgrade Program members were placed into a separate stream than regular pre-order customers, and forced to reserve a new iPhone from a local Apple retail store -- many of which were sold out. Some customers were not even able to access the reservation system at all, and instead received the following message just minutes after pre-orders began:

We're not taking any more reservations to upgrade your iPhone right now. Reservations will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on September 17. Please come back then to make a reservation.

Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program lets customers upgrade to a new iPhone after just six months, as long as they have made at least 12 payments towards their current smartphone and trade it in upon upgrading. The leasing program is financed through Citizens Bank in the United States.

Today's experience has left many iPhone Upgrade Program members frustrated, and questioning whether they will enroll in the program in the future. In the meantime, Apple's in-store pickup reservation system for regular customers resumes September 17 in the United States, and select other countries, or customers can attempt a walk-in purchase on a first come, first served basis.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
47 months ago

Someone said "most loyal". No, just no. Anyone who buys an iPhone is allowed one as much as the next person. First come, first serve. Get over it.

The problem is those people were not given an equal chance. In fact, they were given worse chance.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
Someone said "most loyal". No, just no. Anyone who buys an iPhone is allowed one as much as the next person. First come, first serve. Get over it.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago

Someone said "most loyal". No, just no. Anyone who buys an iPhone is allowed one as much as the next person. First come, first serve. Get over it.

You are missing the point. These users were "lining up" right with the others during preorder time. They were not allowed the same opportunity to purchase the phone.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
Why can't the upgrade process be done fully online? Mail me the new phone, and take the first payment. Simply keep billing me for the old phone each month until it's returned in a pre-paid envelope sent to me with my upgrade.

Seems like this process definitely could have been streamlined.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
Way to treat your most loyal customers apple. This was a most unmagnificent experience.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
100% of all iPhone lease members will want to get a new iPhone, Why not? they already paid for it.

so it's gonna be messy. Apple should've predicted this and start its production months before.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month

Monday April 6, 2020 2:56 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple will announce a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in May with the codename J223, according to a rumor shared by YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser. Note: it’s a refresh to the current 13” So the bigger 14” display upgrade is a big possibility— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 4, 2020 Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards ...

iOS 14 Could Offer Home Screen Widgets, Wallpaper Customizations

Saturday April 4, 2020 3:30 pm PDT by Frank McShan
iOS 14 could offer home screen widgets and wallpaper customizations for the first time, according to 9to5Mac and Twitter user DongleBookPro. Apple is reportedly working to implement widgets that can be moved freely around like icons on the iPhone and iPad homescreen for the very first time. The feature is reportedly codenamed "Avocado" and no other details are available. It was also...

'Leaked' Images Allegedly Show iPhone 12 With Smaller Notch, Rear Camera Redesign, and Home Screen Widgets

Tuesday April 7, 2020 4:28 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Two images shared on social media this morning are currently stoking speculation about possible hardware redesigns coming to the iPhone 12 and the potential introduction of Home screen widgets in iOS 14. Shared by Twitter user Fudge (choco_bit), the images depict a front and rear graphical representation of a smartphone with interface elements on the screen, suggesting it came out of a...

More References to Apple's Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Appear Online

Monday April 6, 2020 4:38 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Further references to Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone have appeared online, one on a Chinese e-commerce website and another on Verizon's smartphone trade-in page. Spotted by tech blog MySmartPrice, Chinese retailer JD.com has published a placeholder for Apple's so-called "iPhone 9" that includes a teaser image of a veiled smartphone, but other than that it lacks any particularly revealing...

The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and Other Apps Adopt Sign in With Apple Ahead of June 30 Deadline

Sunday April 5, 2020 7:08 pm PDT by Frank McShan
Apps with sign-in functionality, including The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and more, have continued to adopt Apple's secure Sign in with Apple feature ahead of a deadline of June 30. The deadline for these apps to support the feature was recently extended from April 30. Sign in with Apple, first introduced in iOS 13, allows users to create accounts for apps and websites using an Apple ID. ...

Some Users Experiencing System Crashes on macOS 10.15.4, Especially During Large File Transfers

Monday April 6, 2020 8:17 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
A sizeable number of Mac users are experiencing occasional system crashes after updating to macOS Catalina version 10.15.4, released a few weeks ago. The crashing issue appears to be most prominent when users attempt to make large file transfers. In a forum post, SoftRAID described the issue as a bug and said that it is working with Apple engineers on a fix for macOS 10.15.5, or a...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1 With Fix for FaceTime Bug

Tuesday April 7, 2020 10:06 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1, minor updates that come two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.4, major updates that introduced iCloud Folder Sharing, a new Mail toolbar, trackpad support for the iPad, and more. The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General...

Top Stories: Apple Leaks iPhone SE and AirTags, Apple Buys Dark Sky, and More

Saturday April 4, 2020 6:00 am PDT by MacRumors Staff
With the calendar rolling over to April this week, we yet again saw several leaks and rumors, most notably including Apple itself leaking some references to a pair of long-rumored products: a new budget iPhone SE and AirTags item trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also acquired popular weather app Dark Sky, while Amazon's Prime Video app now allows...

Apple Reportedly Targeting WWDC for Over-Ear Headphones Launch, New 'AirPods X' Later in the Year

Tuesday April 7, 2020 7:00 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Rumors of Apple-branded over-ear headphones have been circulating for quite some time, while more recent rumors have mentioned an "AirPods Pro Lite" that could also be in the works, and Twitter leaker Jon Prosser's recent foray into Apple rumors provides a bit more detail on what we might able to expect for these products. Current Beats Studio3 Wireless and BeatsX On the over-ear side,...

Apple Donating Over 20 Million Masks to Healthcare Professionals, Producing Face Shields With Suppliers

Sunday April 5, 2020 2:51 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple CEO Tim Cook today shared a video message with an update on the company's response to the ongoing pandemic. Cook said Apple has now sourced over 20 million masks that it is in the process of donating to healthcare professionals around the world. Apple is working with governments to ensure that the masks are donated to the places of greatest need. Cook added that Apple's design,...