According to a report by Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, Apple will soon begin selling iPhones through carrier financing and upgrade programs. From late August, customers will be able to walk in to one of several Apple stores and walk out with an iPhone having agreed to pay via AT&T Next, Verizon EDGE or signing up to T-Mobile JUMP!. What that means is – for the first time – you’ll be able to sign up to pay for an iPhone via monthly installments, and also sign up to T-Mobile’s early upgrade JUMP! plan in an Apple Store.
The report claims that store staff will be training extensively for the program between August 10th and August 28th, with the test program to roll out in a select group of stores after that. This test period will allow staff to identify any issues in the system, or plan, and get them ironed out before the pilot program is rolled out to all other stores later in the year. This news comes shortly after Apple started offering T-Mobile prepaid options in its stores.
Tim Cook has made no secret of the fact that he wants Apple to sell more iPhones through its own channels, rather than through other third party stores or carrier partner stores. By offering the same carrier plans and financing deals in its own stores, it’ll give customers a bigger incentive to buy their iPhones from an Apple-branded retail store rather than go elsewhere.
Will any of you guys consider upgrading to the next iPhone from an Apple Store if you can “Jump!” in one? Or will you be keeping your business exclusively for T-Mobile retail?