Everything You Need to Know About Upgrading to iPhone 15

Apple has just unveiled its highly anticipated iPhone 15 lineup, creating a buzz among tech enthusiasts and loyal Apple customers. The new iPhones are set to be available for preorder starting on Friday, September 15, with the official release date scheduled for September 22. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the various options available for upgrading to the latest iPhone 15, discussing not only Apple’s own iPhone Upgrade Program but also the offerings from major US carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

The Standard Approach: Long-Term Leasing and Upgrades

The default method for acquiring an iPhone in the modern smartphone landscape is through long-term leasing plans offered by both Apple and major carriers. These plans typically allow customers to obtain a new iPhone while spreading out the cost over an extended period. One significant advantage is the option to upgrade to a new phone, often after just one year, ensuring you always have the latest technology at your fingertips. However, there are essential requirements to meet for eligibility.

To be eligible for an upgrade, your current iPhone must meet certain conditions. It should be in good working order and, depending on your plan, at least 50 percent paid off. With this foundation in mind, let’s delve into the specific details of each upgrade program.

Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program

Apple offers its own iPhone Upgrade Program, which appeals to individuals seeking an annual iPhone upgrade while also desiring the protection provided by AppleCare+. AppleCare+ covers various forms of damage and is conveniently included in the monthly cost of the program.

To upgrade through Apple’s program, you must meet specific criteria. You need to be at least six months into your plan and have made equivalent payments for at least 12 months. For instance, if you’ve been making payments for eight months, you’ll need to make four more payments to be eligible for an upgrade. Upgrading can be done online, through the Apple Store iOS app, or in person at an Apple Store. In the latter case, be prepared to furnish a valid US credit card, your Social Security number for a credit check, and a photo ID. Apple also mandates that the phone you’re turning in must be in “good physical and operational condition.” If it isn’t, you can take advantage of the AppleCare+ plan, where you’ll pay a deductible for any damage when you turn in your old phone.

AT&T’s Upgrade Options

AT&T offers an upgrade program alongside its installment plan. If you’re on the basic 36-month installment plan, you can choose to add AT&T Next Up for an extra $5 per month. This option allows you to upgrade once you’ve paid off 50 percent of the phone’s cost. However, keep in mind that this extra charge effectively places a $75 premium on your ability to upgrade, assuming you take 15 months to pay off half of the phone’s cost and choose to upgrade every time. Similar to other programs, the phone you return must be “fully functional [and in] good physical condition.” You can either mail your old phone or turn it in at an AT&T store.

T-Mobile’s Go5G Upgrade Plans

T-Mobile offers an ever-evolving phone upgrade program known as Go5G. Within this program, there are two primary options: Go5G Next and Go5G Plus. The Go5G Next plan enables you to upgrade every year, while the Go5G Plus plan allows upgrades every two years.

T-Mobile allows you to upgrade to a new phone after 6+ months if the device is in good condition and 50% paid off. For example, if you purchase an iPhone 15 Pro, which retails for $1,000 before taxes and fees, on the Go5G Next plan, you’d need to make payments totaling $500 for six months to become eligible for next year’s iPhone. You can choose to either print out a label to mail in your old phone or visit a local T-Mobile store for the upgrade process.

Verizon’s Early Upgrade Program

Verizon provides an Early Upgrade Program for iPhone users, allowing upgrades to eligible phones after trading in a leased phone that has been in your possession for at least 30 days and has reached at least 50 percent payment completion. Similar to other carriers, the old phone must be in “good working condition.” Verizon offers a convenient process for returning your old iPhone, providing a protective envelope and a shipping label to mail it back within 14 days of receiving your new device.

iPhone 15 Trade-In Deals

Now that you have a better understanding of the upgrade programs offered by Apple and major carriers, let’s explore the enticing trade-in deals available with the launch of the iPhone 15.

AT&T: AT&T entices both new and current customers with trade-in deals, offering up to $1,000 in credits toward any iPhone 15 model with select unlimited data plans. These credits will be spread out over 36 months, making it a gradual yet substantial discount. To maximize your trade-in value, having a recent iPhone, such as a 256GB 13 Pro Max, is crucial, as it will fetch you the highest credit. An iPhone 12 Pro Max will net you $830 in credits, which is still a considerable amount.

T-Mobile: T-Mobile’s Go5G plans extend attractive trade-in offers to new and existing customers. You can get up to $1,000 off any iPhone 15 model when trading in a select device. Pro models from the iPhone 11 series and onward will provide you with the best trade-in values, while standard models like the iPhone 11 and older will max out at $800 in credits. A noteworthy advantage with T-Mobile’s trade-in deals is that they provide credits over 24 months, as opposed to the standard 36-month duration seen with other carriers.

Verizon: Verizon also joins the trade-in game by offering up to $1,000 in credit. New and existing customers can take advantage of this offer when adding a new line or trading in any iPhone toward their Unlimited Ultimate plan. For current customers, select trade-ins on Unlimited Plus and Unlimited plans can fetch up to $830 off any iPhone 15 model. Similar to AT&T, Verizon’s credits will be applied over 36 months.

Exploring Carrier Deals on Apple’s Website

It’s worth noting that you can explore carrier deals and take advantage of them directly through Apple’s website. After selecting the iPhone model you desire, you can specify your carrier and the iPhone you plan to trade in. This allows you to compare the deal offered on Apple’s platform with the one you might receive by going directly to your carrier.


As the iPhone 15 hits the market, the landscape of smartphone ownership and upgrades continues to evolve. With options ranging from Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program to the offerings of major carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, there are various paths to securing the latest iPhone model. The trade-in deals further sweeten the deal for consumers, making it an exciting time to upgrade your iPhone.

However, it’s essential to stay informed about the specific terms and conditions of the upgrade programs and trade-in offers, as they can change over time. Always check your program’s website for the latest details and keep in mind that additional taxes and fees may apply, including upfront sales tax in some states, even if you’re spreading payments over a year or two. With these considerations in mind, you can confidently navigate the world of iPhone

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