According to a report by Engadget, Apple has added some flexibility to its iPhone Upgrade Program ahead of today’s iPhone X announcement. Just a few days ago, I was wondering if Apple would start pushing this program more, and this is definitely a positive sign.
Since Apple unveiled this program two years ago, owners were required to set up an appointment at an Apple Store to handle phone exchanges for upgrades. This limited the program to those who were close enough to Apple Stores to make an in-person visit. Another issue was that upgraders who did have an Apple Store nearby were limited to the stock at that store to upgrade, while other users could order or upgrade using online or in-store stock.
While Apple was just trying to get this new program off the ground as efficiently as possible, the requirement to upgrade in-Store penalized enrollees, in a sense. Now that we can upgrade from home, those of us in the program should be able to order from online stock, which makes it even more appealing. The fact that potential buyers who live too far from Apple Stores can now upgrade using the mail-in feature should really help to grow the program. Hopefully this is just the first step in Apple aggressively incentivizing users to sign up directly with them.
Will Apple give iPhone Upgrade Program enrollees priority in getting the iPhone X? I still doubt it, but after this move, I have a little more hope. It would certainly be an attractive incentive if the rumors that Apple’s manufacturing partners can only turn out 10,000 iPhone Xs a week right now. That won’t even put a dent in the demand that’s coming. Hopefully we will find out a lot more in a few hours.