New iPhone on sale

Apple is preparing to enhance its Apple Store-based iPhone sales operations in the United States around pre-paid and month-to-month plans in order boost sales, according to a source briefed on the upcoming initiatives. For the first time in U.S. Apple Stores, customers will be able to purchase an iPhone at full-price and then connect the phone to a pre-paid plan or a month-to-month plan within the store. Previously, iPhone customers could only buy full-priced iPhones as unlocked devices then connect the devices to pre-paid plans or month-to-month plans via a previously purchased SIM-card or through a carrier store…

Now that these plans will be available through Apple Stores, customers will be hooked into the store which exposes them to Apple’s other products. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Apple Retail Store managers that bolstered iPhone sales numbers in stores are critical as the iPhone is Apple’s “gateway” product to other devices. Later this year, Apple will debut a wrist-worn wearable device that interacts with an iPhone, so increasing iPhone sales in Apple’s own stores is critical to the growth of that new product category. Cook previously said that only 20% of iPhones are sold in Apple Stores, but recent initiatives have boosted that number considerably over the past 12 months.

Apple is said to be partnering with AT&T and T-Mobile for the new push.

Apple Stores will soon stock up on AT&T GoPhone pre-paid activation kits and SIM cards, and stores will use the existing T-Mobile SIM cards for customers that will choose T-Mobile pre-paid plans. Apple will begin training its store employees on the new pre-paid and month-to-month iPhone sales practices in the coming weeks. Sales staff will promote AT&T’s $60 per month pre-paid plan (with 2.5GB of internet data and unlimited talk and text) to those seeking AT&T plans, while the stores will offer $50/month (1GB LTE data) and $70/month (5GB LTE data) unlimited data plans to customers seeking T-Mobile devices. The activations must be done at the time of purchase in Apple Stores and those devices will be unable to be returned to Apple for a refund.

Apple is said to plan to begin offering the pre-paid and month-to-month plans in its U.S. stores beginning in the last week of June.

Apple will introduce multiple new iPhone models with larger displays in the fall of this year, and this new sales push could be a way of clearing out existing iPhone inventory ahead of those launches. As carrier stores are increasingly wooing in customers to Android devices and more affordable plans, Apple’s upcoming move will bring more carrier plan parity to Apple Stores, opening up the door for increased iPhone hardware sales.

Image via Metro

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12 Responses to “Apple looks to boost iPhone sales in stores with new pre-paid & month-to-month plans”

  1. fredhstein says:

    Huge.

    And will this include used iPhones? The big open secret is 2 year iPhones are bought by people who then buy lower cost pre-pay plans. Of course we don’t see these sales in shipments-based market share statistics. We do see these indirectly in the web usage, on-line shopping and photo uploading statistics.

  2. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    Interesting plans. I wonder how many people would choose this over the typical plan at a non-Apple retail outlet.

  3. Charles says:

    Wondering if customers have to pay full price up front, or can they still finance (provided they’re creditworthy)?

  4. Quite interesting aproach. I guess Cook is afraid for revenues. Or maybe he wants much more sales, heh.
    Too bad that they won’t provide detailed data after that move, maybe 12 months ahead from now. But definitely a lot more people will start shopping in their stores, rather going to carriers’ stores.
    Too sad I am not in USA, pfew! :)

    *second row – month-to-month plans in order boost sales (small mistake there – no “to” before order)

  5. drtyrell969 says:

    Great idea. Keep going. Break those contracts that bind us!

  6. So basically the US is being bought in line with how the iPhone is sold in every other country in the world? I find it funny that something like this is being touted as an innovation when in reality it is the US market catching up to the rest of the world.

    • >I find it funny that something like this is being touted as an innovation

      Come on this is Apple everything is REVOLUTIONARY!

      Being from the UK I find your mobile/cell pricing plans eye wateringly expensive! I pay ‘3’ about $16/month and for that I get unlimited txt’s 300 minutes of calls and unlimited 4G data. I’m currently burning through about 10GB/ month.

      • I love it how Europeans can brag about cheaper cell phone plans meanwhile they pay $10 or more per gallon of gas, pay far more for housing, food, clothes, and practically everything else. To have the same style of living I have now I would have to earn around 3x as much in Europe. How many middle class Brits own a 3,000 square food home on 2 acres of property with a swimming pool and are firmly middle class.

  7. I;m with William Brown here, also in the UK on 3, £35 ($50) per month, over 2000 minutes, unlimited texts unlimited data, Sony Experia Z, AND I can call my pal in Florida at the moment for FREE as we’re both on that network..

  8. If this is true, no one should do this:

    “The activations must be done at the time of purchase in Apple Stores and those devices will be unable to be returned to Apple for a refund.”

    Better question, if this is true, why would anyone want to do it?

  9. grnbills says:

    I love the idea since before it was such a hassle, especially when it was time to upgrade. I usually search 8-9 different sites to find the best offer, but I just found this site that compares all the buyback companies in one spot.It’s like Kayak but for Apple Devices that show you all the offers in one spot. It’s called http://www.recomhub.com

  10. SR says:

    Good post! Seems like Apple is coming full circle & understanding competition is here to stay. I think it’s a good move to work with (month to month, pay as go) carriers so customers can have the best options to choose from when it comes to their cell/mobile phone technology.