Most consumers still buy their iPhones through their cell-phone carrier. But carriers no longer subsidize the price of the phone, eliminating a major incentive for buying through them. So with the price of a new iPhone basically the same no matter where you buy it, consumers need to weigh other factors in deciding where to buy their phone.
With that in mind, here are some of pros and cons of buying an iPhone directly from Apple.
The Advantages of Buying an iPhone directly from Apple
- iPhone Upgrade Program
If you want the latest iPhone model as soon as it’s launched, you should look at Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program. Apple will allow you to trade in your phone as soon as 6 months after signing up, as long as you’re willing to make 12 months’ worth of payments to cover the cost of the phone in that time frame.
- You can switch carriers
Another pros of buying iPhone directly from Apple is that if you buy an unlocked phone through Apple, you can switch cell-phone providers at will even if you haven’t yet paid off your phone in full.
If you buy your phone through a carrier, though, you’ll have to pay off your entire remaining balance for the phone before canceling your service to change to a new carrier.
- Availability of Tech support
Baked into the iPhone Upgrade Program is AppleCare, which is a good advantage and one of the few extended-warranty programs recommended by Consumer Reports for certain consumers.
That means if your phone gets damaged, you can take it straight to Apple to have it fixed rather than having to go through your carrier for any repairs.
- Cost of insurance
Although you have the option to purchase cell-phone insurance through your service provider, those plans usually have a higher price than
AppleCare and offer fewer benefits, says Marsha Barnes, a financial coach. The cost of AppleCare for an iPhone 7 is $129 for two years or about $5 per month.
The cost of cell-phone insurance from Verizon or AT&T is about $9 per month. (AT&T is $7.99 now but is likely go up to $8.99 effective April 21.)
- Interest-free loan from Apple
Another good side is about the iPhone Upgrade Program that lets you pay for your newly purchased iPhone by making interest-free monthly payments for up to 24 months (2 years). But, Only consumers with good credit will qualify for this method of payment, however. If your score is low, it’s a good idea to improve it before you’re due for a new phone.
The Disadvantages of Buying an iPhone directly from Apple
- If your iPhone is lost or stolen, What happens?
This is the number one pros of buying any iPhone version directly from Apple. iPhone Tech support, AppleCare doesn’t cover a lost or stolen phone, like your carrier insurance will. But if you have homeowners or renters insurance, your iPhone should be included as personal property, and you can be covered that way.
Your credit card issuer may also provide protection against theft.
Make sure to include your iPhone in your inventory for your insurance provider, and update the list whenever you get a new phone. Your reimbursement amount will
depend on the type of coverage you have as well as your deductible, but at least you have some recourse if your phone is stolen.
- You could miss special discounts
Certain carrier-sponsored discounts are available only when you purchase your iPhone through a carrier directly. Buying your next iPhone at the
Apple store could mean you miss out on opportunities of getting a special discount to save on your monthly service. So check with the carrier you’re interested in using.
Disclaimer: The Cons of this device highlighted above is not to discourage anyone who is interested and willing to acquire the device. Just like we said in our review disclaimer, Our review is based on research, experience and personal opinion.