Verizon begins offering annual iPhone upgrade plan

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fans brave wet as iPhone 6s and 6s Plus go on sale.

Following new iPhone 6s upgrade/trade-in plans announced this week by both T-Mobile (starting from $5/month) and Sprint (starting from $1/month), it’s now Verizon’s turn to put on the boxing mitts and step into the ring.

With Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 6s set to go on sale tomorrow at retail locations, the battle by carriers to retain and lure customers appears to be down the wire.Crowds were noticeably thinner this year — and so too was broadcast media’s presence — as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus went on sale on Friday at 8am around the country.With wireless carriers fighting over new iPhone deals seemingly every few hours, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is responding to the scrum with Sprint and T-Mobile and now offering customers a program to upgrade their iPhone annually.Sprint Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure, who has vowed to end the carrier’s seven-year streak of subscriber losses, is now willing to almost give away new iPhones to achieve his goal. Verizon Communications (VZ) this evening announced it will provide its own upgrade program, after Apple two weeks ago said it would provide unlocked phones on a leasing basis, and T-Mobile US (TMUS) and Sprint (S) in the last 24 hours unveiled cheaper leasing programs.

So long as users have paid off at least half their device’s cost and turn in their current device, they’ll be eligible to upgrade each year without waiting for their contract to end. “If you’re not interested in upgrading, you still have the option to pay your phone off in 24 low monthly payments,” Verizon says in its release, warning about “surprise balloon payments” with competitors. Apple announced on September 9th at an event in San Francisco unveiling the phone, that it would let customers pay for a new model each year with a monthly installment of $32 and up, depending on the configuration of the device. Earlier, T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) introduced an iPhone lease plan as low as $5/month, and Sprint (NYSE:S) responded with an all-night number crunch to create today’s $1/month lease plan.

The offer beats Bellevue-based T-Mobile US’s $5-a-month iPhone lease, which until now had previously been the lowest-priced deal for consumers. “It’s a desperate move,” says Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics. “You don’t make money on $1 device leasing.” Including the iPhone 6 trade-in value, Entner estimates that Sprint is losing $24 a month on each new $1 lease. Since then, the Street has been mulling whether Apple’s unlocked offer would siphon customers away from their traditional lock-in with carries. the rush by the operators, however, to update their leasing programs, seems to be confirming the other point of view, which is that Apple’s program has been an effective stalking horse to goad the operators to adjust their plans with new incentives.

A first timer for queuing, he said he was there for the experience, before noting the obvious: “It’s very cold at the moment.” As the sun set on Sydney on Thursday night the first person in the queue didn’t even like Apple, the next two wanted to drop the iPhone as soon as it was handed to them and not far behind them was a robot. Photo: Facebook At least 11 people have died this year while trying to take a selfie, according to a Wikipedia page that tracks media reports of selfie-related injuries and deaths. By comparison, just three people were killed in shark attacks last year, according to statistics from the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.

Under the new terms announced tonight, Verizon will let you trade in your existing phone and get a new one once you’ve reached just 50% of the retail value of that existing phone. Most of the bigger-screen iPhone 6 models are less than a year old and still hold a lot of value. “If we get the customer’s iPhone 6 in the trade-in, it has a $400 value when we resell it,” Claure said. “It will be an accretive promotion for Sprint.” Sprint is creating a leasing company for its phone business, which will allow the carrier to separate some of the phone costs and installment financing duties. The figures say as much about shark fatalities as they do about the dangers of not paying attention to your surroundings – or worse, intentionally putting yourself in harm’s way for the sake of a Facebook or Instagram post. This kind of arrangement will require money upfront for Sprint to purchase devices, and SoftBank, which owns more than 82 percent of the Overland Park, Kansas-based carrier, has agreed to be a minority investor to help fund the arrangement.

And although the Wikipedia list is by no means comprehensive (at least three deaths, listed below, have not been recorded) it makes for sobering reading. The shift to leasing — a trend that Apple also jumped on with the introduction of the latest iPhones — provides consumers new phones with payments spread over several months. Falls were the most common cause of death, accounting for eight of the 22 deaths listed over the two years, as well as the death of a 21-year-old Singaporean man, not listed on the Wikipedia page, who fell from a seaside cliff in Bali. Crashes or collisions account for six deaths on the list, including three Indian students who were hit by a train, a plane crash in Colorado that killed both the passenger and pilot, and a Puerto Rican musician who crashed his motorbike in New York.

Weapons were involved in four deaths, including two men in the Urals who died posing with a hand grenade, a Houston teenager and a 21-year old Mexican veterinarian. Drowning killed another teenager who was swept to her death at a seaside birthday celebration in the Philippines while a Spanish man died after being gored by a bull in front of a horrified crowd. Evidence of other near-death incidents and close shaves have been posted online, some – including this Instagram post of a close encounter with a baseball – with much pride. In Russia, the danger has apparently become so acute that in July police launched a campaign urging people to take care after about 100 people were reportedly injured while taking selfies. “A cool selfie could cost you your life,” the Interior Ministry warned in a brochure accompanying a video and website listing risky locations to take selfies.

Other tips from the Russian campaign include: “A selfie on the railway tracks is a bad idea if you value your life” and “A selfie with a weapon kills”.

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