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Calendar Quirk Won't Prevent iPhone 4S Upgrades

We heard from a number of iPhone 4S users in recent days that are worried they won’t be able to upgrade to a new device this month without a penalty. For these folks, there is nothing to worry about and here’s why. The iPhone 4S first arrived in stores in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan on Friday, October 14, 2011. By contrast, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are likely to launch on Sept. 20. Technically, this means that iPhone 4S customers won't hit the final month of their contract until October. We’ve checked with the three largest carriers in the U.S., and they each told us that a standard upgrade is possible for early iPhone 4S adopters. In fact, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless will each allow standard upgrades after 20 months. Depending on the number of lines on your account, some will even allow standard upgrades earlier. To see if you quality for a standard upgrade, simply log into your account online, or visit a local retail store. You can also check your status by selecting “Upgrade your iPhone” from the free Apple Store app. Accepting a standard upgrade will mean signing a new contract with a carrier. If you look at your account and don’t qualify, we suggest sticking it out until around Sept. 20 when you can check again.. Sometimes carriers change upgrade options around the date a new iPhone is launched, so you never know. Apple is set to announce new iPhones beginning tomorrow, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. PDT. As usual, we'll provide full coverage and analysis. See also: Your 2013 iPhone Trade In Guide
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