Sorry Canada, Apple Confirms iPhone Upgrade Program U.S. Only for Now

Apple today announced a new iPhone Upgrade Program for customers in the United States, which allows them to pay a monthly fee and get a new iPhone every year, plus AppleCare+. The program starts at $32.41 USD per month for the entry iPhone 6s, up to $44.91 per month for the top iPhone 6s Plus.

Iphone upgrade program

Screenshot 2015 09 09 16 20 52

Apple says after 12 instalments, users can get a new iPhone without having to deal with carriers, as they can just trade in their current phone for the next year’s model. Apple’s new pricing strategy is most likely a response to carriers like T-Mobile offering similar upgrade programs. We’ve seen similar strategies tested here in Canada with TELUS and their T-UP! program for the iPhone and Rogers Next.

For Canadians looking to jump on this program, it remains US-only at launch. An Apple spokesperson confirmed to iPhone in Canada via email “as of now it’s not offered in Canada”. For those asking, there’s your answer.

The entry iPhone 6s starts at $899 CAD unlocked, with pre-orders set for this Saturday and a launch two weeks later on September 25. Older iPhone 5s and iPhone 6/6 Plus models saw a minor price drop, if that’s what you’re still looking for (except gold and 128GB are no longer offered)

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Lakh Jhajj

    Gary, what u personally think of this. Will this program be any good if and when launched in Canada?

  • Riddlemethis

    Bwahaha. Canadians don’t mind waiting for the iphone. They already have delayed availability compared to the USA, they don’t need an equal payment plan because they live in some of the most expensive places in North America, like Vancouver.

  • Tom

    Wasn’t it made clear enough? Apple website and as mentioned in the presentation, it’s US only.

  • Lots of people had inquired whether Canada would get this. So no, I guess it wasn’t clear enough. Heck, there is no Apple TV pricing up yet for Canada.

  • Tim

    Carriers will love this because their byod plans won’t pass on the full savings to the customer, but give still them the sense that their cell plan is lower even though the cumulative bill is higher than a subsidized cell plan.

  • ????Dennis

    Hey Tom, some of us were working all day and didn’t have a chance to watch the presentation or visit Apple’s site. Lucky I got Gary and his team to give me all the info in one spot and how it pertains to us Canadians. How about a thanks, instead of complaining…

  • ????Dennis

    Thanks for the info as always Gary 😉

  • BeaveVillage

    Basically paying a subscription for a phone that needs a subscription to use with your carrier. Apple’s going to be making a ton of money with this, eventually it will come to Canada.

  • Cheers, Dennis!

  • Nigleet

    Same goes for the iPad Pro. Hopefully they stick to the pricing practices they did with the iPad Mini 4. 10% up form 400USD to 440 CDN. We would see the iPad Pro at ~880 approximately. If they go with the iPhone route for pricing, we are looking at prices upwards of 1120 (40% up from the USD pricing at 800USD Just the 32GB).

  • rjb

    I read it was supposed to launch in 11 markets, including China.

    Personally, I am getting sick of Apple ignoring Canada. true, Canada is not their biggest market, not even close but the level of iPhone penetration here is very high.

    If you are i downtown, you will see that 7 out of 10 people that have a smartphone have an iPhone, and at least half of them are iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 +.

    Which also should tell something, I believe the market for the iPhone 6S is already saturated in Canada. I got an unlocked iPhone 6 and there is no way on this earth I would pay $1,000 just to get a faster processor and the 3D touch, or a better camera and I believe a lot of people jumped to the iPhone 6 and very, very few of them will upgrade. With a program like this, I would definitely upgrade because I am not ever going on a contract again. I don’t know how this works financially for Apple but if it does in the US (or China) it should here.

    Same with Apple pay, we are far better prepared than the US and it made a lot of sense to have it here since there is so much border crossing but no, the UK got it, and they had to limit it to 20 pounds because most of the equipment is too old. I really feel Apple is neglecting Canada badly.

  • neufsky

    Very acute observation there!

  • JB

    I live close to the US boarder. Can I sign up for the program US and just use the unlocked phone back in Canada?

  • MJIsDaMan

    Apple Pay is not in Canada because the Canadian banks are fighting it. They want their cut of the money and they aren’t giving in to Apple. Also, the upgrade program is only for the U.S. Like everything else, U.S. will get it first and then Apple will roll it out to the rest of the world, just like the Recycle program

  • dingo_egret

    It may have nothing to do with Canada specifically, but CRTC regulators. This type of program will hit carriers in the wallet hard, so in order to maintain fair competition it’s probably something that require negotiations. Not being tied to a carrier with the freedom to choose. Who wants that? (lol)…definitely not Rogers, Bell and Telus. Same thing goes for Apple Pay. It’s the Canadian banks holding things up, not Apple.

  • rjb

    It has everything to do with Canada. We have the most expensive carriers in the world and the government is concerned the poor little thiefs will stop stealing from people with the crtc blessing. If any candidate in the upcoming elections will do anything to hurt the carriers, they will get my vote.

  • Salinger

    The program is actually a 2 year loan through Apple’s financial partner. I doubt they’re set up to accept applications from non-residents. If you have a US address, chequing account and credit history, you might be able to do it.

  • Salinger

    This is strictly a financing arrangement for a product you’re purchasing at retail. There’s just the unique option to turn in your phone at 12 months in exchange for forgiveness of your balance. Not really any different than purchasing a phone outright at Best Buy on their store credit card and earning points towards future merchandise.

    The CRTC would have no jurisdiction to regulate it.