Apple will offer its own device upgrade program for customers who want to buy a newand without agreeing to a carrier contract.
The new program will allow customers to upgrade to a new iPhone every year for a monthly fee, the company announced at its event in San Francisco on Wednesday. This is the first time that Apple has offered a device upgrade program.
"You get a new iPhone every year; you choose your carrier; it's an unlocked phone," said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple. "It starts at just $32 a month. It's a 24-month installment, but you can get a new iPhone every single year."
The new program, which was only announced for the US as yet, comes as wireless operators are moving away from traditional two-year contracts and the device subsidies that come with those plans, and instead are requiring customers to pay full price for devices. T-Mobile was the first major US carrier to abandon contracts more than two years ago. VerizonAT&T and Sprint still offer the option to subscribe to a two-year contract, but they also offer device financing and leasing programs.
Because premium phones like the iPhone come with hefty price tags -- starting at $650 for the iPhone -- carriers have offered no-interest payment plans. T-Mobile and Sprint also offer leasing programs. Sprint recentlywith the option to upgrade at any time.
Apple said it will still offer iPhones for customers who still want traditional two-year contracts. The pricing for new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will be the same as last year's model, starting at $650.