Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

iPhone Upgrade Program may allow delivery, trade-in by mail this year

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

I noticed the other day–and a few other sites have also picked have also noted–that Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program page now seems to suggest you can have a new phone delivered and then trade in your old phone via mail.

As a customer of the iPhone Upgrade Program since its inauguration, this is a huge improvement in a system that has gotten better every year. For the last couple years, you’ve had to reserve a new phone online and then go into the Apple Store to swap your old phone out. (Listeners of the Six Colors Secret Subscriber podcast will remember last year’s memorable episode recorded live from an Apple Store while waiting for my new phone to activate.)


Here’s the relevant language (pulled from Google’s cache as the iPhone Upgrade Program page is on the Apple Store section of the site, which is currently down ahead of this afternoon’s event). The one exception appears to be those customers on T-Mobile, who will still have to go to an Apple Store.

Going into the Apple Store on iPhone launch day is often a frustrating experience, involving lines, lots of waiting, and running down the battery on your current iPhone from boredom, so I’m happy to skip it this year if possible. Gazelle and similar service have done trade-ins via mail for years now, so I’m sure Apple can handle that process. We’ll find out the exact details later today, but I am sure looking forward to sitting in the comfort of my home and having a box show up on my doorstep.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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