iPhone 11 Upgrade Program PSA: If you have an iPhone XR, you'll need to make a payment first Credit: AppleSupplied Art
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iPhone 11 Upgrade Program PSA: If you have an iPhone XR, you'll need to make a payment first

In just a few hours, iPhone 11 preorders will open across the world, and millions of people are already setting their alarm clocks, favoriting their preferred color and storage combinations, and checking their upgrade eligibility. But before you can start tracking your shipment, there are a few things you need to know.

You need to use the Apple Store app

While you’ll be able to check your eligibility for an upgrade using Apple.com, if you want to complete the process, you’ll need to download the Apple Store app to do it since Apple doesn’t have a web interface for upgraders.

Use your iPhone to upgrade

Apple probably sent you an email if you’re using an iPhone that was bought under the iPhone Upgrade program, but if you open the link in that email using anything other than an iPhone, you won’t be able to complete the process. Even if you have the Apple Store app on your iPad, you’ll get a message telling you that you can’t continue the process.

iPhone XR users will need to make at least one more payment first

Since the iPhone XR was released in October of 2018, even those of us who bought it on launch day will need to make one more payment before they can be eligible to trade it in. Apple requires 12 payments to be made before a swap, and if you’ve followed the monthly schedule, you’ve only made 11 so far. You’ll have to remit one more monthly payment before your phone arrives.

Your bill might actually go down

Here’s a bit of good news. Since Apple reduced the price of the iPhone 11 across the board, XR users who upgrade to the same capacity will see a reduction of $2.08 per month in their bill. And if you’re going from an iPhone X or an XS to the iPhone 11, your bill will decrease by at least $12.50. Not too shabby at all.

Preorders are later this year

For the past 12 years, Apple has opened preorder at midnight Pacific time, meaning everyone else in the U.S. and other parts of the world had to wake up in the dead of night to secure their new handset. Apple has finally changed that. iPhone 11 preorders start at 5:00 a.m. PT or 8:00 a.m. ET, which is much friendlier to us east coasters. Thanks, Apple!


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