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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
48 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)
Avatar
48 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)
Avatar
48 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)
Avatar
48 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)
Avatar
48 months ago
This is rediculous!! Can't give them preferential treatment . Apple screwed this whole launch up soooooo bad !
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
48 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)

Top Stories

Apple Doubles the Price of RAM Upgrade on Entry-Level 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Saturday May 30, 2020 4:00 pm PDT by
Apple today doubled the price for upgrading the RAM on the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, with customers in the United States now being charged $200 to move from 8GB to 16GB compared to the previous $100 upgrade price. Similar increases are seen in other countries, such as moving from €125 to €250 in Germany and from £100 to £200 in the United Kingdom. Current pricing on RAM upgrade for ...

8 Mac Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know

Friday May 29, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
There are tons of hidden features and shortcuts for Macs that Apple has built into macOS over the years, ranging from shortcuts to keyboard commands to other little hacks to make Mac usage just a bit simpler. In our latest YouTube video, we highlighted several of these tips and tricks, and some of them might just be new to you. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Tr...

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone XR Models

Thursday May 28, 2020 9:50 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished iPhone XR models in select colors and capacities for the first time in the United States. Refurbished iPhone XR models are priced at a roughly 16 percent discount compared to current pricing on brand-new units, knocking $100–120 off of the regular price. In addition to the 64GB and 128GB capacities matching current brand-new iPhone XR models, ...

Top Stories: macOS 10.15.5, New Powerbeats Pro Colors, iPhone 12 and 13 Rumors, and More

Saturday May 30, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting mix of news and rumors on the Apple front, led by the release of macOS 10.15.5, which brings a new battery health feature to newer Mac notebooks, while we also saw the official announcement of new colors for the Powerbeats Pro earphones. On the rumor front, we heard a few tidbits about not just this year's iPhone 12 but also next year's iPhone, while we saw...

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by
Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options. Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

Apple Making It Harder to Avoid Nagging macOS Update Notifications

Thursday May 28, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 and related security updates for macOS Mojave and High Sierra earlier this week, Apple is making it more difficult for users to ignore available software updates and remain on their current operating system versions. Included in the release notes for macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is the following:- Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when...

Leaker Shares Details on 'iPhone 13' Camera [Updated]

Wednesday May 27, 2020 4:27 pm PDT by
The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn't out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13's camera setup. A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features: 64-megapixel...

More Photos and Video of Apple's Redesigned Leather Loop Watch Band Surface

Thursday May 28, 2020 10:50 am PDT by
Images of a new version of the Leather Loop that Apple appears to have in development surfaced yesterday, and today, Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn has shared additional photos and videos that give us a clearer picture of what to expect from the new band. The bands come in colors that include red, hot pink, blue, black, and brown, with some of the bands featuring different colored accents at the...

Tile Writes to EU Accusing Apple of Abuse of Power

Friday May 29, 2020 4:29 am PDT by
Bluetooth accessory maker Tile has written to the European Union accusing Apple of abuse of power and of illegally favoring its own products. According to a report by Financial Times, in a letter sent on Tuesday to the European Commissioner for Competition, the accessory maker said that Apple is making it harder for users to use Tile products on iPhone because it has its own rival Find My...