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Apple’s iPhone 11 starts at $699 — and there’s a smarter way to buy it (APPL)

Apple’s iPhone 11 starts at $699 — and there’s a smarter way to buy it (APPL)

With a starting price of $699, the iPhone 11 may be cheaper than past iPhones, but it'll still put a dent in your wallet.

For those planning to upgrade, it's worth considering an underutilized way to buy it: Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program.

In 2015, I bought the iPhone 6S Plus this way after trading in an iPhone 5 I had held onto — or, more accurately, dropped a bunch of times — for over two years. In 2016, I upgraded to the iPhone 7 Plus through the program.

It's not because I'm a tech enthusiast who has to have the latest and greatest gadget — although I admit it's nice to get a new iPhone every year, and switching is seamless thanks to Google Photos and contact syncing. My reasons for converting to Apple's upgrade program are primarily financial.

For the uninitiated, the program is essentially an interest-free loan: The full cost of your iPhone and AppleCare Plus is spread out over two years with 24 installments. The monthly cost of the iPhone 11 through the upgrade program begins at $35.33.

Once you've paid the full amount, the phone is yours. Or, after making at least 12 payments, you have the option to upgrade and start the payment cycle again with a new phone. When you go to the Apple Store or pre-order your iPhone 11, you have to ask for the upgrade program specifically, since you can also pay up front for the iPhone.

Read more: Apple is releasing a $39 clear case to show off the gorgeous colors of the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro