With Apple announcing the new iPhone 5 today, many will want to check out the upgrade eligibility for the discounted price.
Most carriers require customers to use at least 18 months of their two-year contract before allowing them to purchase a new phone at a discounted subsidized price.
It looks like some people can get the iPhone 5 before this date for $199, $299 or less than $399 for various storage tiers.
Here’s how to check eligibility using Apple’s tool. Every carrier has one on their site, but we think Apple’s tool is the easiest to use.
Click the link and a screen will open with the three main carriers offering the iPhone 5. there is one).
It’ll say a bit of “Processing” and then present the eligibility date and cost of the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 4 before and after your eligibility date for the three phones they currently sell.
For example, my line will become available on February 22, 2013.
one note. I checked my upgrade eligibility with the AT&T tool after signing into my online billing account and it told me I could upgrade next May.
However, this tells me it will be available on Feb 22, 2013. Also note that some users will see a higher price. It seems the dates and price are showing pretty random results.