Apple Stores to offer carrier financing -- report
Apple retail stores will begin offering the financing plans starting on August 20, according to employee training materials seen by 9to5 Mac.
Apple's brick-and-mortar stores will soon offer access to carriers' financing plans, a new report claims.
Starting August 20, many US-based Apple stores will give customers the option to buy iPhones through financing plans offered by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, 9to5 Mac reported Tuesday. The Apple-focused site viewed what appear to be employee training materials outlining how the programs work and clearly showing that if the program is rolled out, Sprint's financing services won't be included.
All major carriers offer financing plans to help customers upgrade to new phones more quickly. Historically, customers would upgrade to new devices after a two-year agreement is completed, allowing them to receive subsidized pricing. The iPhone 5S, for example, costs $200 when it's fully subsidized. But unlocked, it will cost customers $649. To defray that hefty price tag, carriers offer programs to amortize the cost over a period of time.
According to 9to5 Mac, Apple will offer AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, and T-Mobile Jump plans to customers. Both Verizon and AT&T offer 20-month plans to pay off a device. AT&T also offers a 24-month deal to match T-Mobile's own 24-month plan. While Verizon offers a voluntary down-payment option, the other two carriers require some payment down. All carriers require the payment of sales tax on the full price of the iPhone.
While the carriers have been offering the deals for quite some time, Apple has seemingly been loath to get into the minutiae of the company's plans. Apple uses its retail stores to sell its own hardware, along with some other products from third-parties. When the company sells iPhones, it helps customers get set up with carriers. Now it appears it's going a bit further in finding the right plan for customers.
CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.