Apple will reportedly offer potential iPhone buyers a new way of acquiring iPhones in its retail stores, in addition to on-contract, prepaid and full price purchases, 9to5Mac has learned. The company will apparently test drive iPhone purchases via carriers’ early upgrade programs, including AT&T Next, T-Mobile Jump and Verizon Edge. It’s not known whether Sprint’s One Up plan will also be supported.
Following the test phase, the new iPhone purchase option could be rolled out to all Apple retail stores in the U.S., likely in time for the iPhone 6 launch, which is expected to be the biggest iPhone launch in Apple’s history.
With either AT&T’s, T-Mobile’s or Verizon’s early upgrade programs, users will be able to purchase new iPhones at affordable prices – at least, when it comes to down payments. Buyers will still end up paying the full sticker price for iPhones via a carrier-specific monthly installments plan.
Various reports have detailed in the year Apple CEO Tim Cook’s plans to increase the number of iPhone sales originating from retail stores, and this could be one other move to help the company turn more retail store visitors into iPhone buyers, especially with the iPhone 6 on its way.
Apple is expected to launch two new iPhone 6 models this year, including a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch model, and has reportedly ordered from suppliers between 70 million and 80 million mixed iPhone 6 units by the end of the year to meet the expected huge demand for the handset.