These changes to contracts, payment plans and fees will dictate how much you pay for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and even for a cheaper iPhone 6 or other smartphones that you buy later this year.
Some of the changes are positive and can help you pay less for your smartphone plan, but you will face new choices when you go to buy an iPhone 6s this fall.
We expect an iPhone 6s release date in late September, and carriers are using August as a time to change around plans and options. This will hopefully allow the carriers and employees to iron out any bugs and find the right answers to common questions about new data plans and paying more for your phone.
One of the best reactions if from T-Mobile who offers a way to buy an iPhone 6 now and upgrade to a new iPhone at the same price when you trade the iPhone 6 in by the end of the year.
Here is a look at the changes at the major carriers that are coming ahead of the iPhone 6s release date. Some of these are live now and others will start soon.
Verizon Changes Plans Ahead of iPhone 6s Release Date
Verizon does not mention the iPhone 6s in the new plans that they offer, but as we predicted, they will no longer offer a two-year contract to customers who want to buy a new phone. This starts in August and will be in full play in September when we expect the iPhone 6s release to arrive.
When you buy a new iPhone 6s this fall you will have the option to choose a new data plan, outlined below.
- Small – 1GB – $30 a month
- Medium – 3GB – $45 a month
- Large – 6GB – $60 a month
- XL – 12GB – $80 a month
Each line you use with that plan is an added cost — $20 for a smartphone, $10 for a tablet or hotspot and $5 for a smart watch.
If you are a new Verizon customer you can only choose from these options. If you are a current Verizon customer you can still keep your old plan.
With the change you can buy your new iPhone 6s at full price, likely $649 and up, or you can sign up for a payment plan to split that cost out over 24 months with zero interest. As soon as you pay off your device you can upgrade to a new phone, so there is no need to wait two years. You can also leave Verizon without a penalty as long as your phone is paid off.
AT&T Ups Fees, Changes Contract Options
For AT&T customers there is a reason to skip the Apple Store on the iPhone 6s release date. AT&T no longer allows Apple or Best Buy to sell an AT&T iPhone on a contract, but AT&T stores can still offer this option.
Unless AT&T makes a change there is a significant reason for many customers to go to an AT&T store to buy the iPhone 6s later this year.
We also saw AT&T increase the upgrade fee to $45 per line and $15 for an AT&T Next purchase, so you’ll pay more just to upgrade.
Last week AT&T announced new data plans that offer more data at a lower price for many family users.
T-Mobile’s Amazing iPhone 6s Upgrade Deal
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) July 28, 2015
T-Mobile currently lets customers buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus before labor day and then trade it in by the end of the year for the new iPhone without any change in the monthly payment. This allows customers to get a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus today and then in two months go back to a store and trade that in for the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.
This is an excellent option for users who know that T-Mobile works for them and who want to get out of a iPhone 4s now and still get the latest and greatest in September or whenever the iPhone 6s release date lands.
iPhone 6s Launch Date
Apple hasn't sent out media invites for its inevitable iPhone launch event but it doesn't really need to at this point.
BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski has all but confirmed the iPhone 6s launch event for September 9th. This is the same date that Apple used for the iPhone 6 launch.
Unless disaster strikes, this is when you can expect Apple to talk about the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus for the first time. You can also expect Apple to run down other products including iOS 9 and the new Apple TV.