Now that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are official, carriers have come up with a creative way to lure customers into upgrading. AT&T and Verizon have announced free iPhone 7 deals, but are they too good to be true?
Apple just kicked off preorders for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and as expected, the new Jet Black color option, which is exclusive to the 128 GB and 256 GB variants sold out in minutes. Customers placing preorders through Apple's online store for the new hue will not receive their smartphones until November.
All four major US carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are also accepting preorders for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and have come up with some creative ways to offer the 32 GB iPhone 7 for free or make it appear that way.
While the sound of a free 32 GB iPhone 7 may sound like music to your ears, there are a few hoops AT&T and Verizon will make you jump through in order to get a free iPhone 7. The first thing you'll be required to do is trade in your current smartphone, which in most cases has to be an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus.
The smartphone you trade in must also be in good condition and worth the cost of the 32 GB iPhone 7, which means your device must be worth $650 to obtain a free iPhone 7. While trading in your older smartphone for a shiny new iPhone 7 sounds like a good trade, there's another creative caveat Verizon and AT&T have instituted.
Verizon and AT&T are essentially locking you into a two-year contract to get a free iPhone 7, since both will credit your wireless account each month for 24 months to equal $650.
In order to qualify for Verizon's free 32 GB iPhone 7 offer, the carrier has laid out the steps you'll need to follow:
Purchase an iPhone 7 through the carrier's online store and make sure to agree to monthly installment payments. When you get to checkout, click the box to agree to trade in your current qualifying smartphone.
Verizon will send you a box to pack up your current smartphone, which you will have to send back to the carrier. As long as your smartphone is in good and working condition, Verizon will begin to credit your wireless account in about two to three months over the next 24 months, which you'll be required to keep in good standing for two years.
AT&T lists its free iPhone 7 offer as follows:
Purchase an iPhone 7 through AT&T's Next program with a minimum plan of $50 per month and trade in a qualifying iPhone, which must be in good and working condition that has been fully paid off. Like Verizon, AT&T will then credit your wireless account on a monthly basis over 24 months. You'll be required to keep your line in good standing for two years to receive the full $650 credit.
While the idea of a free iPhone 7 sounds tempting, you'll have to decide if it's worth trading in a qualifying iPhone and being tied to Verizon and AT&T for two years. This also means you'll have to jump through more hoops if you want to upgrade to next year's iPhone 8, which is expected to be completely redesigned just in time for Apple's 10-year anniversary iPhone.