What this means is that in order to use Apple Card Monthly Installments to buy an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro, you must connect that phone to AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon.
Previously, Apple allowed buyers to purchase an iPhone with the “Connect to a carrier later” option. This option means users are free to use the iPhone without a cellular connection or via any carrier of their choosing. For instance, you could connect an iPhone purchased with this option to a carrier such as Mint Mobile or Google Fi.
That “Connect to a carrier later” option is no longer available for iPhones purchased with Apple Card Monthly Installments. Instead, your new iPhone 15 Pro will require you to connect to AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon at the time of setup. Note that the iPhones will still be unlocked, but the carrier connection will be required at the time of setup.
Apple points out this new requirement on the purchase page for iPhone 15. “Carrier connection with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon is required to purchase with Apple Card Monthly Installments,” the company explains. “An iPhone purchased with ACMI is always unlocked, so you can switch carriers at any time.”
As I said when I first wrote about this change in June, it’s a huge bummer for Apple Card users. The ability to finance Apple hardware purchases is one of the biggest selling points of the Apple Card, and this change puts a big restriction on the most popular Apple hardware purchase.
Thanks for the reminder, Ian!
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