With the announcement of the new iPhone 7 this past September 7th at Apples annual conference, carriers are offering some deals to sweeten the transition, all you have to do is trade in iPhone 6 for iPhone 7.
Carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint are running promotions allowing you to trade in any iPhone 6 / 6S for a free iPhone 7 32GB. The phones need to meet certain performance and cosmetic requirements, but as long as you have no cracked screen or water damaged battery, you should be ok.
This deal may seem to good to be true, but is it? For some people, this is a great opportunity to upgrade your older device and receive a significantly higher value, while others – not so much.
The deal really works by allowing you to trade in any iPhone 6 or 6S (16GB/32GB/128GB), and receive a $650 credit statement towards your account balance. The iPhone 7 isn’t free, you’ll sign up to a plan charging you $27.08 per month, with an initial $20.00 initiation fee. After your statement credit posts, the $650 is enough credit to carry you through the 24 months worth of $27.08 payments.
The catch – you need to sign a two year deal with the carrier. This plan is only effective if you plan on signing a new 24 month contract with a carrier, or if you can renew your contract at your current carrier (aka, an “upgrade”).
If you prefer a larger option than the iPhone 7 32GB, you can upgrade the device and pay the difference up front. For example: The 128GB iPhone 7 would be an extra $100 up front, on top of the $27.08 per month and $20.00 initial initiation fee.
Trade in iPhone 6 for iPhone 7
With the trade in promotion, the devices need to be owned outright by yourself. If you are enrolled in a monthly program where you are making payments and still hold a current balance on your phone, you will need to buy your device out in full before it becomes eligible for the promotions.
The arbitrage comes in when it’s discovered that the carriers are giving a $650 credit for any iPhone 6 or 6S traded in. From 16Gb, all the way to 128GB, they all evenly give you a $650 credit no matter what you trade in iPhone 6 for iPhone 7.
Below are two charts of data, pulled from the secondhand phone marketplace, Swappa.com. These are averages of each iPhone 6/6S model and carrier and what they’re currently selling for. Assume the lowest price, and the “added value” is extra above market price.
Assuming you own the device outright and are eligible for the promotion. your iPhone 16GB for Sprint that’s worth $290 after-market is now worth $650 to Sprint. You’re gaining a $360 appreciation on your device, just by nature of the promotion. In almost any case, any of these devices are worth less than $650 after-market currently. If you don’t have a payment on your device and are eligible, this is the best way to trade in iPhone 6 for iPhone 7.
iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus Trade In Value
The older iPhone 6 models are netting a few hundred dollars more than current market price. If you trade in iPhone 6 for iPhone 7 under any of these cases, you are getting a great deal.
iPhone 6S / iPhone 6S Plus Trade In Value
The iPhone 6S return value isn’t as high. There are still the cons of having to sign into a 24 month installment plan with a carrier, though. If you’re one to enjoy unlocked phones on plans such as Google Fi, this promotion may not be for you.
This promotion is best suited for people who own the cheaper versions of these devices. Keep in mind you’ll also have to sign into a new 24 month contract for the promotion. Depending on when / how you bought your iPhone 6 / 6S, you may end up making a profit. At minimum – you will break even by trade in your iPhone 6 for iPhone 7.
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