If you’ve ever been curious about what type of content you’d see if a carrier owned a tech site, look no further than this post from The Huffington Post. From the title, it seems as if the writer is trying to start a smear campaign about Apple’s upgrade program which has been met with praise since its announcement a few weeks ago. The article goes from making soft, subtle arguments about all the reasons one shouldn’t buy into the Apple upgrade, to being downright slanderous.
The writer makes several arguments against the Apple upgrade program, but in reality, carrier upgrade options work essentially the same way. He goes on to say “If you opt for the upgrade plan, you’ll have a hard time ever breaking out of Apple’s world. Complete the full 24-month payment cycle, and you’re stuck with an outdated phone. Upgrade every 12 months, and you’ll never stop owing Apple money for iPhones. And on top of this, you also must pay Verizon or AT&T or whomever each month.” All of this is true, but Verizon’s edge program is identical, as is AT&T’s and neither of them is much cheaper. In addition to leasing your phone from your carrier, you still have to pay that carrier for service. So in that example Mr. Beres, what EXACTLY is the difference?
Don’t worry, I’ve done your homework for you. For starters, the Apple program provides you with an unlocked phone which means you can take that device to ANY carrier you see fit. While Verizon’s iPhones are natively unlocked as well, AT&T’s are not, which means you’ll still be stuck with someone, somehow. Apple is also including Apple Care + with the Apple Upgrade Program, while if you buy from a carrier, outside of the standard warranty your phone isn’t covered in the case of physical damage. That means if you break your phone, you’re out of luck, unless you fork over an extra $7 – $10 a month for their insurance options. Here’s another fun tidbit from the original article, “Or maybe you do wise up one day, but you’re still stuck in the middle of your 24-month contract with Apple. If you’ve paid the existing monthly fee of $32.41 for 14 months, tough luck: You’ll need to pay off the rest. You’re not really “leasing” anything in reality — you’re paying back a loan.” Again, this is literally the same thing with carriers, the only advantage is with a carrier, if you’re that tempted to leave Apple you can pay off your remaining installments and jump ship. But let’s face it, if you’re one to jump on the Apple Upgrade program, chances are you’re an Apple lifer, in which case no other phone exists in your world.
At the end of the day, this article is less about being pro-consumer, and more about being a laughable shill for your new employer. I think the Apple Upgrade Program is great, and I’m an Android fan, who’s known this joy for years thanks to my love of Nexus devices. In introducing this option, Apple has increased competition in the wireless space, and we will all benefit from it. Point is, if this program sounds good to you, go for it. If you would rather buy your phone from a carrier, go for it, that’s the beauty of having choices. Unfortunately, I think the author of the Huff Post piece forgot what that feels like.