What you need to know
- England is currently in its second lockdown.
- That means that Apple Stores can't open as they normally would.
- Some click & collect purchases are available, but the iPhone Upgrade Program is a non-starter.
England went into its second lockdown today and that has quite the knock-on impact for those who wanted to pick up a new iPhone on the iPhone Upgrade Program. Namely, they can't.
With the lockdown in effect, Apple is offering some click & collect services from its English Apple Stores. But with the iPhone Upgrade Program requiring in-store application that isn't an option – leaving buyers in the lurch.
Apple started warning customers of the news earlier today.
Oh, good: rather than just automatically mail me a device for my iPhone upgrade program, I just keep paying for the old phone I have? Nice. (Not nice at all.) pic.twitter.com/c4g5uqxwZoOh, good: rather than just automatically mail me a device for my iPhone upgrade program, I just keep paying for the old phone I have? Nice. (Not nice at all.) pic.twitter.com/c4g5uqxwZo— Paul Hudson (@twostraws) November 5, 2020November 5, 2020
Calling Apple Support isn't much help either, with the only options being pretty predictable – buy a new iPhone outright, or don't.
Almost 33 minutes later, I’ve spoken to someone. To save you the hassle, the options they gave me are: wait a month and upgrade then if they reopen, exit the program and buy the phone outright, or exit the program and return the phone. pic.twitter.com/jiJhTQH0LjAlmost 33 minutes later, I’ve spoken to someone. To save you the hassle, the options they gave me are: wait a month and upgrade then if they reopen, exit the program and buy the phone outright, or exit the program and return the phone. pic.twitter.com/jiJhTQH0Lj— Paul Hudson (@twostraws) November 5, 2020November 5, 2020
The only option for anyone wanting to use the iPhone Upgrade Program is to wait for the lockdown to end – currently set for December 2. Whether that will happen, however, is a matter for debate.
Ultimately, Apple is in a tough spot here. It can't offer anyone a way to take a new iPhone on via the upgrade program and it's as simple as that. But that won't stop people complaining about it. One common argument is that people are now paying for an iPhone that they can't upgrade, for example. Conveniently forgetting that the iPhone Upgrade Program is essentially a two-year loan – they're still paying for the iPhone they're using today.
But hey. Don't let that stop you from venting at people who can't do anything about it because of a global pandemic, folks.
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.