Apple's iPhone upgrade programme not available in UK but....

Posted on by Mike Evans

One of the most interesting developments at last week's Apple event was the introduction of the iPhone subscription or rental plan which provides an automatic upgrade every two years and includes Apple Care.

On the face of things, this looks to be a viable alternative to buying phones outright. Apple already enjoys unrivalled customer loyalty, largely because of the excellent supporting eco-system, but the new subscription programme will extend that advantage. This could be one of the most important financial initiatives by Apple in the current decade and will certainly lead to increased customer retention. But what of the upgrade programme in the UK?

Nothing has been said and, while it is possible that a similar scheme could be rolled out here in the next few months, the British market is a minefield. Carriers offer rates, including upgrades, that appear to be competitive with Apple's US pricing (after taking into account the technology premium we appear to suffer from over here, plus VAT) so nothing is very clear.

To help us decide, has produced a comparison table which estimates how much Apple's programme would cost, including usage contracts, if it were adopted here. As they say, there isn't a lot in it between Apple upgrade and carrier upgrade once everything is factored in. On balance, though, users of the Apple programme would benefit from being able to negotiate SIM-only contracts for larger amounts of data.

Read the full details here