A lot of people ask the Macalope “How can I get into the business of complaining about everything Apple does?” It’s easy! Simply take a thing that Apple has done, write up the bad aspects of it and completely ignore the good aspects. It’s just that simple. Here, let’s look at an example.
Writing for The Huffington Post, Damon Beres warns that “Apple Could Trap You Forever With Its New ‘Upgrade Program’” (tip o’ the antlers to Chris Anemone).
It’s not enough that Apple wants us to buy a new phone every year. Now it seems to want a little bit of our soul, too.
No, only the premium souls. The souls with good resale value.
The tech giant—which could sell a potato coated in “rose gold” if it wanted to…
Actually, no! No, it couldn’t. It sells a lot of iPhones because, surprise, people like iPhones. But they cannot sell literally anything. Pity the Macalope’s poor brain at having to read “Apple fans will buy anything!” one minute and “No one’s buying the Apple Watch!” the next. It’s a wonder the poor thing doesn’t crawl out his ear and seek employment somewhere with better working conditions.
Beres’s itch is the iPhone Upgrade Program, which is evil.
Our friends at Re/code have ably broken down the many ways to buy a new iPhone. But allow us to save you the anguish of looking into Apple’s upgrade plan yourself: It’s a bad idea…
That may be Beres’s opinion but it’s not what Re/code said.
Unlike most of the carrier offers, Apple sells the phone unlocked, making it the best deal for consumers looking to shop around for wireless service to see what’s best in their region.
Apple’s plan is more expensive than the carrier options, but it includes AppleCare+ and gives you flexibility. According to Glenn Fleishman, if you want to upgrade frequently and want AppleCare+, it is a good deal.
None of that feeds the manufactured rage machine, though. And if we do not feed the machine, we die. All of us. For we are kept alive inside the rage machine dreaming, ever dreaming, of the real lives we used to lead.
If you opt for the upgrade plan, you’ll have a hard time ever breaking out of Apple’s world.
Which are you more likely to want out of, the iOS world or a carrier contract? Given the relative customer satisfaction ratings between the iPhone and the carriers, the Macalope’s going to go out on a limb and say it’s the latter.
Complete the full 24-month payment cycle, and you’re stuck with an outdated phone.
The logic… it forms a complete circle!
Damn Apple for wanting us to upgrade every year! But, you know, if you don’t upgrade every year, your phone’s a piece of crap. Just sayin’.
An 18-month old phone?! What am I? Amish?
Yeah, so, who exactly is pushing for that upgrade every year?
Upgrade every 12 months, and you’ll never stop owing Apple money for iPhones.
Unless you do stop. In which case you won’t. Seriously, this is functionally no different than any upgrade program the carriers offer. You could go 12 months, sell the phone and probably get enough to pay off the remaining 12, or close to it. This is not indentured servitude we’re talking about. Or, if it is, it’s industry-standard indentured servitude.
The real problem with the upgrade plan has more to do with the temptation to get a new iPhone each year.
Out of one side of his mouth Beres says upgrading every year is some kind of demon created by our hyper-consumerist culture and out of the other side he bemoans 12-month old phones as “outdated”. Which is it?
Beres sets up a scenario where you get an iPhone 6s on Apple’s plan then, after 12 months, you upgrade to an iPhone 7 with more capacity, all so he can make this ridiculous claim:
If you hold on strong and pay down that second phone without upgrading to the iPhone 8 the next year, then, congratulations, you’re the owner of an outdated iPhone that you paid a total of $1,266.84 for.
No! No, no, no! No! You did not pay $1,266.84 just to get the iPhone 7. Who maths like this? You basically rented the iPhone 6S for a year. You don’t just add that in as the cost of the next phone unless you’re just engaging in abject jerkery to artificially inflate the oh, yeah, that’s exactly what he’s doing.
You, the consumer, will not win.
Wrong! Demonstrably wrong! If you want the flexibility to switch carriers and want the coverage of AppleCare+, you will literally win with this plan. If these things aren’t important to you than, yeah, maybe this isn’t the plan for you. But sweet alfalfa in a Tiffany trough, way to do an utter disservice to your readers by going out of your way to throw the actual analysis conducted by others out of the window to make a hackneyed point about consumerism, one that you yourself reinforce.
Or maybe you do wise up one day, but you’re still stuck in the middle of your 24-month contract with Apple. If you’ve paid the existing monthly fee of $32.41 for 14 months, tough luck: You’ll need to pay off the rest. You’re not really “leasing” anything in reality—you’re paying back a loan.
Yeah! Maybe that’s why it says exactly that on the iPhone Upgrade Plan page on Apple’s website:
Requires a 24-month installment loan…
In many cases Apple’s Upgrade Plan isn’t the least expensive option. But it is a valid option in certain cases. Instead of explaining that, Beres cranks up the patented Huffington Post hissy fit generator and drives it around like that one kid at bumper cars who’s just a little too into slamming everyone else.
Make your own choices, but do so wisely.
If consumers do, it’ll be without the help of this article.