Apple's leasing strategy for its latest smartphones, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, has shaken up the industry, with major handset manufacturers like Samsung expected to follow suit.
Instead of carriers offering heavy subsidies to offer iPhones at low upfront costs, network operators, thanks to Apple, are now offering leasing programs where owners can trade in their old models for the latest version of their smartphone of choice.
T-Mobile, which brands itself as an "un-carrier," is jumping ahead of the pack with an offer of $5 a month for iPhone 6s 16GB and $9 a month for iPhone 6s Plus 16GB through the company's JUMP! On Demand program, with the trade-in of an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
The carrier's new pricing builds on T-Mobile's $20 a month for a new iPhone 6s 16GB with the JUMP! Program without a trade-in.
This allows the trade-in value for any old phone someone own to bring the monthly price down even more -- $10 a month with trade-in of iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, or Galaxy Note Edge, and $15 a month with trade-in of almost any other phone the users owns, like iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, HTC M8, and Motorola Droid Turbo.
"With these incredible $5 and $10 a month deals, we're giving customers just one more reason to come to T-Mobile," John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, wrote in a Sept. 23 statement. "This is a deal that only the Un-carrier could create, let alone make into a reality -- and the crazy demand we're already seeing tells me the carriers' customers just aren't buying their BS anymore. For your new iPhone the choice couldn't be clearer."
An unlocked iPhone 6s will set you back $649 for the base model, with the 128GB model costing $849, while the iPhone 6s Plus starts at $749 for the 16GB version and the flagship storage model priced at a steep $949.
If a customer wants to hang on to their iPhone after the 18 month T-Mobile agreement is up, one will be able to for $125 less than the full retail price, which adds up to $524 for a new iPhone 6s 16GB without trade in.
The iPhone 6s officially becomes available Friday, Sept. 25 across the US. However, the number of devices available for shipping or delivery on Sept. 25 sold out almost immediately.
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Orders placed Monday, Sept. 14, are still showing shipping times a month out. The gold and rose gold colors were most popular with online shoppers.
Mac-centric blog Apple Insider reports the rose gold color option for the new iPhone has been tracking ahead of all other models.
Early word on the street is that the upgrade is worth it, with many reviews singling out the smartphone's improved processing power, updated camera features, and the 3D Touch feature, which recognizes subtle differences in pressure on the display for calling up secondary actions and menus.
The smartphones carry over the screen sizes and resolutions from last year's devices, with a 4.7-inch display for the iPhone 6s, and a 5.5-inch display for the iPhone 6s Plus.