If you purchased or upgraded to a new Verizon phone before the big iPhone announcement last week, perhaps your fists are bruised with the rage of a thousand poundings to your desk as you watched the news unfold.
“Two years!” you screamed into the night, your voice hoarse with a rage similar to the rage associated with the aforementioned desk pounding. “Two years until I’ll be eligible for an iPhone upgrade on Verizon!”
Well take heart, because Verizon’s prepared to make you a deal. According to its newly-updated iPhone FAQ page:
“Current Verizon customers who purchased and activated new smartphones, feature phones or certified pre-owned phones between 11/26/2010, and 01/10/2011, are eligible to receive up to a $200 Visa debit card when they purchase an iPhone 4 at full retail price by 02/28/2011 and return their existing phone. Note: This offer is only available on consumer accounts with five lines or less, who are purchasing iPhone 4 through Verizon Wireless retail stores, telesales, or through verizonwireless.com.”
In other words: If you recently bought a phone at a cost that was subsidized by extending or beginning a two-year contract, you can turn that phone in and get “up to” $200 on a debit card by paying full price for the iPhone.
The 16 gigabyte model costs $650. The 32 gigabyte model costs $750.
And I’m assuming that “up to” snippet that goes along with the debit card corresponds to the subsidized amount you paid for whatever phone you’re turning in. Don’t expect to get $200 if you paid $30 for a dumpy feature phone, for instance. Expect a $30 debit card.
Had you waited (or if you’re eligible for an upgrade by the time the iPhone’s available), the cost for the 16 gigabyte model will be $200 with a two-year contract. The 32 gigabyte model will be $300 with a two-year contract.
You’re basically giving up a $450-$550 subsidy in exchange for a $200 debit card and your recently-purchased phone, should you choose to exercise this trade-in option.
Depending on the phone you purchased between late November and early January, I’d definitely see how much it’s going for on eBay first. You can often get more than $200 for new-ish smartphones in good condition, which you can then put towards the $650 or $750 outlay for a Verizon iPhone.
More on TIME.com:
Two Minute Video: Why Not To Switch To The Verizon iPhone
Sorry Verizon iPhone Customers: “New Every Two” Ended, Early Upgrade Modified