Apple this week added T-Mobile to a short list of major U.S. wireless carriers that have online access to the iPhone Upgrade Program, allowing phone company customers to sign up for the service through the online store. Apple line.
The new T-Mobile integration was added earlier this month and noted Tuesday by members of the Reddit online community. To mark the change, Apple’s online storefront and dedicated Apple Store app have been updated to read: “You can join the iPhone upgrade program online with AT&T, Sprint , T-Mobile or Verizon. “
With the now online option, T-Mobile subscribers can now sign up for the iPhone Upgrade Program directly through Apple’s online storefront and Apple Store app. Previously, the wireless operator’s customers wishing to join the annual upgrade program had to register in person at an Apple Store.
Unveiled at Apple’s Annual Meeting IPhone event in 2015, the iPhone Upgrade Program is a first-party service that allows members to access a new iPhone every year for a fixed monthly fee.
Apple initially asked interested customers to sign up for the upgrade path in store, but later registration was opened to online customers in 2016. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon were part of the online store integration, while T-Mobile was left out until this week.
The iPhone Upgrade Program was designed to boost slowing iPhone sales by introducing a new avenue of affordable hardware replacement.
Apple last year offered a loan pre-approval process for iPhone X, giving program members an equal chance to pick up a handset on launch day. The company is expected to repeat the process this year.
The iPhone X pre-order process did not go smoothly for all members of the iPhone Upgrade Program as some were almost refused a first unit due to an apparent problem in the loan application process handled by Apple’s financial partner, Citizens One. Apple has asked customers who woke up early – or stayed awake late – to instruct the iPhone X to wait for a bank check notification, which in some cases resulted in a rejection letter received a few hours later. By that point, the launch day deal had long sold out.