iPhone Upgrade Program Members, Start Your iPhone 13 Preorder Right Now

By Anthony Karcz, Contributor
Apple iPhone 13 Apple

If you're an iPhone Upgrade Program customer, your dedication to Apple is about to pay off big time. How big? How about being able to purchase the latest iPhone 13 in minutes without ever having to set foot in an Apple store.

If you're current and have paid at least 12 payments on your iPhone Upgrade Program plan, you can get pre-approved right now for your contractually promised upgrade without having to spend an extra cent. This lets you get your loan approval paperwork out of the way early so that you've got a leg up on everyone else that'll be scrambling to pre-order an iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, or iPhone 13 Pro Max on Friday morning.  

You have until 6 PM PDT on Thursday, September 16 to get your pre-approval processed. Once you do, your actual ordering process will be quick and easy, usually, it only takes about 30 seconds. You're allowed to upgrade every year on the iPhone Upgrade Program and the cost of the iPhone 13 hasn't changed from the iPhone 12, so there's no excuse to not get pre-approved today.

Check Your Eligibility

This step is simple. For iPhone Upgrade Program Customers, when you open the Apple Store app, you'll see that Apple has already checked your eligibility for you and determined what you need to pay in order to upgrade. If you don’t see it on the home screen, click the For You icon and then select the Get a head start... tile.

Get Ready

Check over the info listed and make sure that you’ve selected the right phone to get pre-approval for your trade. Keep in mind that if your iPhone has a busted screen or major damage, Apple will charge you the $100 AppleCare+ premium for a replacement iPhone. 

Click Continue.

Choose Your iPhone

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Apple

Select from any of the new iPhone 13 models (unlike last year, everything from the mini to the Pro Max are coming out at the same time). They range in size from the 5.4" mini to the 6.7" Pro Max, with the standard iPhone and iPhone Pro both hanging out in the middle at 6.1". 

There are other differences as well, but mostly between the standard and Pro modes. The Pro modes have fewer fun colors (though the Sierra Blue is a nice change over last year's boring dark blue tone) but sport a more advanced camera kit with 3x telephoto and an additional wide camera. 

Choose either iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro. You're then taken to the standard ordering screen for the iPhone type you selected. Here you'll choose your size, color, and memory options. Thankfully, Apple has finally increased the base memory of the iPhone to 128GB. It's still not quite enough, but it's a start. The Pro models also start at 128GB but go all the way up to 1TB. Then, select your carrier (If it’s not selected already). Your monthly payment will be clearly displayed for each option (minus any AppleCare+ add-ons). 

Before you move on to the next step, make sure that it's exactly the iPhone that you want to pre-order. Unlike last year, you can delete an application and start over if you’d like, but it’s better to get it right on the first try.

AppleCare+ Options

Once you've selected your iPhone of choice, you can opt to either keep standard AppleCare+, which is built into the cost of your purchase agreement. This gives you replacement and repair protection, letting you get screen or glass damage fixed for $29 or a whole new iPhone for $99 if the damage is severe enough.

However, if you'd like additional coverage, you can opt for Theft and Loss coverage at an additional $2.91 a month. It requires you to have the Find My app enabled on your phone at the time of loss (but you should be using that already). Other than that caveat, the Theft and Loss program will let you pick up a replacement device for a $149 premium, about half of what it’s been in previous years.

Whether or not that's worth it is up to you, but if you've ever lost your iPhone or had it stolen, it might be worth considering. When you’re ready, click Get Ready for Pre-Order.

Wrapping Up

Once you confirm your device options, the Apple Store app walks you through confirming your wireless carrier and getting qualified for the loan. Make sure you use your Apple Card if you have one for the payments. Doing so will get you 3% back. When you’ve looked over everything, click Agree and Apply

Once you're done, click the option to add the pre-order event to your calendar! After all, it would be a shame to get this far and then forget to set your alarm. The landing page of the Apple Store app will reflect that you're pre-approved. On Friday at 5 AM PDT (8 AM ET) that will change to a link that you can click to go directly to the pre-order for the iPhone that you chose during pre-approval. 

See you bright and early on Friday morning!

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