Apple Restricts iPhone 7 Reservations to Upgrade Program Members

iphone-7-front-backApple recently updated the confirmation email it sends to customers who reserve an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to clarify that in-store reservations are now limited to iPhone Upgrade Program members in the United States.

Apple allows upgraders to reserve an iPhone through its iPhone Upgrade Program reservation system for pick up in store, but many customers were able to bypass the program and pay in full or with carrier financing instead upon arriving at their local Apple retail store.

Old wording:

Can I change to a different form of payment for the iPhone Upgrade Program?
Yes. You can also upgrade your iPhone to carrier financing or purchase it at full price. Ask a Specialist for more information.

New wording:

Can I change from the iPhone Upgrade Program to a different form of payment?
Yes. You must be currently enrolled in the iPhone Upgrade Program, so that you can upgrade your iPhone to carrier financing, or purchase at full price. Ask a Specialist for more information.

MacRumors reader DSTOFEL was one of many customers previously able to reserve an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus online and pay for it outright at an Apple Store without enrolling in the iPhone Upgrade Program:

I did this last Sunday and it went off without a hitch! I used the iPhone Upgrade Program reservation link to reserve my iPhone 7 at my local Apple Store. I was not a member of the iPhone Upgrade Program at the time and had no plan to join it. I showed up at the store, they had my phone and I just told them I wanted to purchase at full price. Not a problem!

But since the change in wording, it appears that Apple has already turned away some non-upgraders attempting to purchase an iPhone through the Upgrade Program reservation system without signing up for the program.

MacRumors reader vsp attempted to purchase an iPhone 7 for full price last night, for example, but an Apple retail employee allegedly would not let him:

I just tried this earlier today and wasn't able to purchase one I reserved with a different carrier. According to the clerk, they received notice yesterday that some of the iPhones were reserved for people enrolled in the Upgrade Program and they couldn't sell to me outright.

While many other MacRumors and Reddit users have faced the same situation since yesterday or so, some customers have still managed to reserve an iPhone and pay in full or with carrier financing. For that reason, your mileage may vary, and non-upgraders are recommended to call their local Apple retail store and request to speak with a manager before placing a reservation.

For its part, Apple's reservation page has always noted that a 24-month installment loan through Citizens Bank, which finances the iPhone Upgrade Program, is required -- this change just cements it. In other countries where the iPhone Upgrade Program does not exist, such as Canada, all customers are able to use Reserve and Pick Up regardless of their payment method of choice.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

jerry16 Avatar
66 months ago
guys dont buy into the hype. wait another year.

We iphone 8 users are going to laugh at you rocking the old iphones with the big bezels as the new iphone wont have a home button.

so essentially you're paying $400+ to rent the iphone from apple if you upgrade next year.
Thanks for the advice, but I'll spend my $400 as I see fit, not how some random dude on the internet thinks I should spend it.

Plenty to justify the 7+. Keep laughing all you want, I'll have the next iPhone as well.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mlrollin91 Avatar
66 months ago
guys dont buy into the hype. wait another year.

We iphone 8 users are going to laugh at you rocking the old iphones with the big bezels as the new iphone wont have a home button.

so essentially you're paying $400+ to rent the iphone from apple if you upgrade next year.
I think you're missing the idea of the program. Its so you can upgrade EVERY year.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
colbertnation Avatar
66 months ago
so essentially you're paying $400+ to rent the iphone from apple if you upgrade next year.
And what's wrong with paying $400 to rent a phone in order to get a new phone the next year? My work and personal life rely heavily on the iPhone, so yes, I would like to have the latest and greatest phone in order to stay on top of my busy life.

Also, any financial savvy person knows: lease depreciating assets, buy appreciating assets. And don't ever be foolish enough to pay cash when there's a 0% APR option available (assuming no major hit to credit). Or even better, a contractual commitment rather than a loan (carrier plans over iPhone Upgrade Program).

Why would I pay $800 now for something that'll be worth $400 the next year? How about I pay $400 for an $800 device over the course of a year (so 0% APR), and use the $400 I didn't spend on an S&P ETF to earn a 3-5% annual rate with the same risk as the American economy? (Actually, depending on your brokerage, you could even invest $760 that first year, and deduct $40 from that account monthly to pay to lease the phone to eek out even more gain).
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
felixroqu3 Avatar
66 months ago
guys dont buy into the hype. wait another year.

We iphone 8 users are going to laugh at you rocking the old iphones with the big bezels as the new iphone wont have a home button.

so essentially you're paying $400+ to rent the iphone from apple if you upgrade next year.
Im pretty sure most of us who have the 7 are upgrading regardless to next years model. So you won't be laughing at anyone.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gooberton Avatar
66 months ago
This is rediculous!! Can't give them preferential treatment . Apple screwed this whole launch up soooooo bad !
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
66 months ago
So this reservation system is for the Upgrade Program and people are wondering why you can't use it if you're not in the Upgrade Program (or don't want to be)?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
tim cook spring loaded event

Gurman: Apple Planning Multiple Events for the Fall, M1X MacBook Pros to be Available by November

Sunday August 15, 2021 12:07 pm PDT by
Apple is planning to hold multiple events this fall, which will collectively include the launch of new iPhones, Apple Watches, updated AirPods, revamped iPad mini, and the redesigned MacBook Pros, according to respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. In his latest weekly Power On newsletter, Gurman says that much like last year, Apple will hold multiple events this coming fall, with the...
apple screen time screen icons

Persistent Kids Finding Loopholes in Apple's Screen Time Limits

Tuesday October 15, 2019 9:44 am PDT by
Apple is currently engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with persistent kids looking to circumvent Screen Time restrictions, but the company has been receiving some criticism for not moving quickly enough to lock down some of the loopholes, reports The Washington Post. A few of the loopholes and ways for parents to shut them down are documented on the site Protect Young Eyes, while these and...
anker lightning cable mfi

Unwrap a New Apple Device? Stock Up on Extra Certified Lightning Cables for as Little as $6

Monday December 25, 2017 5:45 am PST by
If you unwrapped an Apple product today it likely came with one of the company's first-party Lightning cables, but having an extra on hand is always a good idea, so you can place it in other rooms in your house, in your car, or in a bag when you travel. For that reason, now's a good time to shop for third-party Lightning cables that are cheaper than Apple's own accessory, but still Made For...
personal hotspot 1

Apple Acknowledges Personal Hotspot Issues Affecting Some iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 Users

Saturday March 21, 2020 10:04 am PDT by
In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has acknowledged that some iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 users may experience issues with Personal Hotspot. Apple has told Authorized Service Providers to expect customers who are unable to connect to a Personal Hotspot or experience frequent disconnection from one. Customers may also...
macos monterey safari beta 3

macOS Monterey Beta 3: Apple Redesigns Safari Tab Interface Following Complaints

Wednesday July 14, 2021 11:39 am PDT by
In the third developer beta of macOS Monterey, which came out this morning, Apple has overhauled the design of Safari, making the tab bar more similar to the current tab bar in macOS Big Sur. The prior Safari design did away with the dedicated URL and search interface, instead allowing any individual tab to be used for navigation input. Tabs were also all arranged at the top of the display...