iPhone 6 pre-order begins at midnight

iPhone 6 leak  images present protruding camera

By Nicole Arce

Apple starts accepting pre-orders for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at 12:01 Pacific Time Friday, September 12. This means everyone who wants to get his newest iPhone when Apple starts shipping it out on September 19 will either have to stay up late or get up early to make an order on the Apple website.

However, with Apple CEO Tim Cook predicting that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be the biggest iPhone releases of all time, carriers and retailers have begun to bombard customers with a huge wave of promos and offers to lure them into ordering the iPhone from them. To make sure they get the best deal out of their iPhone purchase, buyers are encouraged to shop around and weigh their options before laying their money down for a new smartphone.

For starters, below are the recommended retail prices for the two iPhones and their variations:

 

iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Plus

Two-Year Contract

Contract-Free

Two-Year Contract

Contract-Free

16GB

$199

$649

$299

$749

64GB

$299

$749

$399

$849

128GB

$399

$849

$499

$949

 

Apple also provides a detailed breakdown of the various plans for each of the four major carriers and lets buyers know if they are eligible for a device upgrade without adding an enormous fee on top of the product price. It also offers a trade-in program where Apple buys back old iPhone devices for their value in exchange for gift cards. For instance, an almost new unlocked 16GB iPhone 5S would probably rack up a $310 gift card, which buyers can use for their iPhone 6 purchase. The downside, however, is it will take a few days for Apple to determine the value of the old device, which means Apple fans on the trade-in program will have to wait after September 19 to get their new device.

Mobile carriers will also start accepting pre-orders on the midnight of September 12, with Sprint opening up its online store at 12:00 A.M., a minute ahead of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile’s 12:01 A.M. schedule.

Over its traditional personal and family plans, AT&T is pushing for its AT&T Next plans, which offers a 20-month or 24-month zero-down contract for the iPhone 6. For the 16GB iPhone 6, for example, customers pay $32.50 every month for the next 20 months or a monthly $27.09 for the next 24 months on top of the access fee AT&T charges. Customers will also receive $100 in bill credit if they activate a new line with AT&T Next. Verizon Edge also offers a similar pricing model, selling the iPhone 6 16GB at $32.49 per month for the next 20 months and the iPhone 6 Plus 16GB at $37.49.

Sprint and T-Mobile are more aggressive. Sprint’s new iPhone for Life plan charges $20 per month with zero down tacked on to the company’s $50 unlimited everything plan. T-Mobile, on the other hand, offers the iPhone 6 16GB for 24 monthly payments of $27.08 and $31.24 for the iPhone 6 Plus. T-Mobile also announced unlimited Wi-Fi calling and messaging for all Simple Choice customers, a feature supported by the new iPhones.

AT&T also offers to pay for customers’ old iPhones, promising to give at least $300 in credit for an iPhone 5S and at least $200 for an iPhone 5, 5C, 4 and 4S. Sprint and T-Mobile are again jacking up the competition, promising to beat any price for a trade-in. A T-Mobile spokesperson said customers can get up to $350 for an iPhone 5S and will receive an additional $50 if the customer can find anyone who can match T-Mobile’s prices.

Other retailers, including Best Buy, Target, Walmart and RadioShack, are also accepting pre-orders on the same day, but ordering through Apple or the mobile carriers is safer for those who want to make sure they get their iPhones on time. For those who are looking to save more, however, Walmart will offer the iPhone 6 at $20 less than Apple’s suggested price. The 16GB iPhone 6, for example, will be available for $179 for a two-year contract with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Walmart’s Sam’s Club warehouse stores will go even two bucks lower, with the entry-level iPhone 6 offered at $177.