Apple’s iPhone 13 event returned to its rightful spot in mid-September, which means it’s arriving a little earlier than last year. Due to pandemic-related delays, the iPhone 12 launched in October 2020 and hit shelves on October 23, about a month after the iPhone 13 will begin shipping.
Like always, preorders begin on a Friday morning following the event for delivery a week later, on September 24. That means the timeline doesn’t match up for the iPhone Upgrade Program and annual carrier upgrade plans. Most likely you’ve only made 11 payments, so you’ll need to make one additional one before you can qualify for a new iPhone 13.
Of course, Apple and the others will happily take your money, so you don’t need to wait. Your extra payment can be tacked onto your up-front payment, which includes all eligible taxes, the first month’s payment, and the additional month for the iPhone 12. For my iPhone 13 order, the payment due at purchase came to $141.28: $60.20 tax, $39.50 for the first monthly payment, and $41.58 for an early upgrade payment.
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro go on sale Friday morning at 8 a.m. ET at Apple.com and online retailers, including carrier stores. The iPhone 13 starts at $699 and the iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999, and there are various trade-in offers that could save you as much as $1,000 on your new phone.
Of course, if I waited a month, I would be paying the same, but it wouldn’t be all piled into one hefty lump sum. So, if you’re on an upgrade program and looking to get your iPhone 13 on launch day, you’ll end up paying a little more than you might expect for the privilege.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.