Despite all of the different upgrades we’re expecting to see in the next-generation iPhone, probably the biggest change in the handset just might be in how you’ll pay for the device. The way it used to work was that you’d have two choices: buy the device outright or make a $200 or more payment for a carrier-subsidized handset. Those days are gone, though, and the matrix of options for getting your hands on the so-called “iPhone 6s” is more confusing than ever. To try making sense of it all, The Wall Street Journal published an infographic that gives you a flowchart for deciding how you should pay for your next iPhone.
The old-fashioned contract
If you don’t mind entering into a new two-year contract, AT&T and Sprint will still allow new customers to purchase a 16GB iPhone for $200 and a new 24-month commitment. Verizon only allows this for existing customers, and T-Mobile has done away with contracts altogether. With this option, your monthly bill remains the same, but you have to wait until your contract is over to upgrade again.
Buying it outright
If you want to own your phone, you can purchase it outright from any carrier, starting at $650 or $27 per month for the 16GB model. Going this route, you can enjoy a lower bill once your iPhone is paid off, and you can sell your used device for cash when you upgrade again. The downside here is that you have to pay the handset off in order to upgrade again.
Leasing your iPhone
Finally, you can lease your next iPhone. Sprint offers a leasing program for $22 per month, while T-Mobile has a similar plan for $27 monthly. This option tends to allow you to get a new phone more often, but you’re stuck with a device payment for the entire time you have the handset.
That should clear the waters a bit. How will you buy financing your new iPhone 6s? Will you buy it outright, purchase it on a new two-year contract, or lease the device? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for more information about the new devices. If you want a sneak peak into what to expect from the “Hey Siri, give us a hint” event on Sept. 9, take a look at what my colleague, Brent Dirks, has to say. If you’re looking for help on how to watch the event, Bryan Wolfe has the answers for you.