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Starting in August, Apple says its Apple Card Monthly Installments (ACMI) will begin requiring a connection with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon for every iPhone purchase. Additionally, the company is changing its ACMI installment policy for new Apple Watch purchases, slashing its term from 24 to 12 months.

The change was spotted by 9To5Mac from the footnotes added by Apple on its iPhone 14 Pro page. The changes come as the company continues to develop new phone models that it will add to its set of device offerings, with the iPhone 15 lineup expected in September. With the change planned to be observed a month before this release, however, customers will be forced to instantly connect to a specific carrier upon purchasing their new iPhones using ACMI. This is expected to be applied to all iPhone purchases everywhere where ACMI is accepted.

“Currently, carrier connection with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon is required for all iPhone purchases made with ACMI from Apple Store locations only,” Apple explains the change. “Starting August 15, 2023, carrier connection with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon is required for all iPhone purchases made with ACMI.”

Upon implementing the said change, customers will be pushed to connect to specific partner carriers of Apple. This will efficiently remove the “Connect to a carrier later” option, which currently allows customers to get their iPhones without cellular connections.

Aside from this, some adjustments in the installment of Apple watches will also happen on the same date. As per Apple, the ACMI installment term for new Apple Watch purchases will soon be cut to 12 months, a huge change from its current 24-month period. Nonetheless, the company notes that if buyers get an Apple Watch using ACMI before August 15, they can still have one installment due every month for twenty-four months.

The company doesn’t explain the reason behind the upcoming change, especially in the new carrier requirement for iPhone ACMI purchases. This, nonetheless, will certainly benefit AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon, which could result in a customer upsurge in their businesses, especially when the new Apple iPhones arrive. Yet, this could be a different story for Apple as the changes might affect customers’ purchasing behavior and future upgrade plans. 


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