Apple expands iPhone Upgrade Program to UK and China

A year ago, when Apple introduced the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, it also launched the iPhone Upgrade Program. The program is effectively a leasing scheme; buyers pay Apple a single monthly amount to get an unlocked iPhone, which they can use on the mobile network of their choice, including AppleCare+ protection.

Every year, they can then trade in their iPhone for the latest model, and continue paying the monthly fee, giving them annual upgrades to the newest handsets without being burdened by large upfront costs.

Today, Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, priced from $649 and $769 respectively - quite a significant amount to be spending on a new device, especially given the growing number of affordable Android flagships available at far lower prices these days.

Alongside its announcement of the new handsets, Apple revealed that it's expanding the iPhone Upgrade Program beyond the United States for the first time. Customers in the United Kingdom and China will also be able to join the program in the near future.

What we don't yet know is when the program will be made available in those markets - but it seems likely that it will debut at or around the same time that the handsets go on sale. Pre-orders for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will begin on September 9, ahead of their general release on September 16.

However, if you're thinking of getting one of the new iPhones with the new glossy 'Jet Black' color option, you might want to think twice. Apple says that the Jet Black finish is more susceptible to scuffs and scratches, and recommends that buyers use a protective case.

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