Mac Format - - YOUR NEXT IPHONE -

Two years can be a lot longer than it seems, when you want a new phone. If you signed up for a new con­tract the sec­ond you laid eyes on the iPhone 4s or 5, it prob­a­bly feels like you’ve had your phone for­ever. De­pend­ing on the date of pur­chase, you might not even be able to switch to the new model just yet (not with­out fork­ing over hun­dreds of pounds, at least); head to your ser­vice provider’s web­site to see what your up­grade el­i­gi­bil­ity sta­tus is.

Thank­fully, it’s not too dif­fi­cult. All the ma­jor net­works have on­line ac­counts for their cus­tomers with your up­grade in­for­ma­tion, so log in at the web­site of your provider to see it. EE and T-Mo­bile cus­tomers can also text UP to 150 straight from their phones. There are also up­grade check­ers for mul­ti­ple net­works at Car­phone Ware­house.

O2 cus­tomers on a Re­fresh tar­iff will have the op­tion of up­grad­ing their phone when­ever they choose (in­de­pen­dent of their mo­bile con­tract), pro­vided that they pay off the rest of the cost of the hand­set. Voda­fone Red Hot cus­tomers have the op­tion of up­grad­ing up to 12 months early when on a 24-month plan, re­turn­ing their old phone in good con­di­tion as part of the process. In both cases, you’ll need to stick with the same net­work for an up­grade – if you wanted to change car­ri­ers, you’d need to pay an early ter­mi­na­tion fee.

Fi­nally, if you plan on buy­ing a new or used un­locked phone, you can pretty much take it into any store and sign up for a plan with­out wor­ry­ing about lock­ing your­self into a longterm com­mit­ment.

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