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How Will Apple’s Unlocked iPhones, Payment Plans Impact Carriers?

Apple could upset carriers’ apple carts with its own installment-payment and upgrade program for unlocked iPhone 6 and 6S phones, which can be activated on any of the big-four carriers’ networks, according to a post on MobileWorldLive.

The plans will lessen carriers’ direct interaction with consumers, affect their ability to upsell other services, and help turn them into nothing more than “dumb pipes” for other companies’ products. In offering its own handset installment-payment trade-up plan, Apple is taking the handset out of the update cycle, making it more difficult for operators to get consumers to upgrade their service plans at regular intervals.

In the longer term, the plans bring Apple a step closer to becoming an MVNO, directly competing with carriers.