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New iPhones … On Layaway

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THE NEW NORMAL MEETS THE NEW iPHONE …

Can’t afford the new iPhone(s)?  Sprint has got you covered.  Days after Apple unveiled its latest version of the world’s most popular smart phone, the wireless provider unveiled a layaway plan to enable cash-strapped Americans to purchase the new devices.

Under Sprint’s “iPhone for Life” plan, users could purchase the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 (the 16 GB model) for $20 a month over the next two years.  The new 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus (also 16 GB) would be $25 a month over the same period.

“There are no out-of-pocket costs and the plan guarantees a new device every two years,” a release from the company states.  “At the end of 24 months, customers in good standing can upgrade, purchase the leased phone or continue leasing on a month-to-month basis.”

For another $50 a month, users would receive unlimited data, talk and text for their spiffy new devices.

So … is this a plug for Sprint?  No (our founding editor is a Verizon guy, actually … has been for years).

It’s simply a commentary on the extent to which the lingering economic downturn is forcing companies to be more aggressive in their financing.  Most people simply don’t have the money to drop on a new device like this – even with the two-year deals.

What sort of numbers are we talking about?

With a two-year commitment, the 16 GB iPhone 6 costs $199 while the 16 GB iPhone 6 Plus costs $299.  If you want a 64 GB iPhone 6, that’ll cost you $299 while a 128 GB model is $399.  The Plus?  It’s 64 GB model will run you $399 while its 128 GB model is $499 – again, with a two-year commitment to a wireless provider.

Without a contract, the prices basically triple. The iPhone 6 is $649 for the low-end 16 GB model, $749 for the 64 GB model and $849 for the 128 GB model.  The iPhone 6 Plus is $749, $849 and $949, respectively.

Yeah … hence the financing.

Now the only question is whether there will be an “iPhone bubble?”

“And so the time has come to add Non-Performing iPhone Loans, or NPiLs, to the financial lexicon,” our friends at Zero Hedge noted this week. “Remember: it doesn’t matter if you actually have no money to buy your phone, as long as your phone tells the world that you have money .”

So true …

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