Its been 3 years now since Apple unveiled its iPhone Upgrade Program and it still garnering confusion, and misinformation.
The iPhone Upgrade Program allows you to get an iPhone for monthly installments, and upgrade each year to a new model for free. No more being locked for 24 months to a carrier. No more waiting to upgrade to the newest iPhone until your plan is up.
It's actually a decent deal. It's very close to what car dealerships do with their leasing options. You get a new vehicle every few years when you turn in yours, or keep paying until you've paid off the car you currently have.
Same deal with Apple's iPhones.
The way it works is simple really, it's a low payment plan for an iPhone that lets you get a brand new model every year, or keep the one you have by making a total of 24 payments.
Now, lets do some math:
In 2015 a 128GB Rose Gold iPhone 6sPlus would cost you outright (in the U.S.A): $949.00 dollars.
If you went for the Plan, and chose the upgrade at the 12 month mark: You would have payed $44.91 * 12 = $538.92. That's a little over 56% of the iPhone's full retail price. At that point you can get a new one.
But say you chose to not upgrade, then you keep paying the $44.91 for another 12 months. In that case the total cost of the iPhone comes to: $1077.84. So about $128.00 more than retail. Not such a good deal then is it? Or is it?
The Upgrade Plan includes Apple Care +. A $129.00 value. Which ends up making the 24 month deal $1 dollar less, then if you buy it outright.
All in all, the 12 month upgrade option is a pretty good one, if you don't mind paying for your iPhone every month for as long as you keep upgrading.
To get out, you need to complete a 24 month cycle without upgrading. Which itself, is a pretty decent deal.
The added benefit, of Apple's payment plan, is that you can change carriers whenever you want.
If you take this plan, instead of your carriers upgrade option, then, you are no longer tied to your carrier. You should be able to cancel your service with them at any time, and port your number to a different carrier.