Apple's new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus smartphones will arrive Sept. 25, and the big four U.S. mobile carriers all want to be the ones to sell you your new device and cellular services. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are all offering preorders for the new phones, but they are also offering slightly different options for buyers.
AT&T is offering the new iPhones through AT&T Next leasing plans, through a 2-year agreement or at full price, with AT&T Next customers saving up to $25 a month on access charges for each smartphone on a Mobile Share Value plan.
AT&T Next leasing plans will range from $32.50 per month for 20 months ($650 total) for a 16GB iPhone 6s to $21.67 per month for 30 months (total $650.10). AT&T Next plans are also available for 64GB and 128GB iPhone 6s phones and for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB iPhone 6s Plus phones, starting at $37.50 per month for a 16GB iPhone 6s Plus (total $750).
Current or new DirecTV or AT&T U-verse customers who switch to AT&T wireless service are also eligible for a $500 credit per line when they buy an iPhone 6s on AT&T Next and trade-in an eligible smartphone on each line they switch. Other customers can get a $300 credit per line.
Sprint is offering an iPhone Forever promotion that will give customers an iPhone 6s for $15 per month or an iPhone 6s Plus for $19 per month, with a trade in of an existing smartphone. Customers who choose not to trade in a device can get an iPhone 6s for $22 per month or an iPhone 6s Plus for $26 per month. Also included in the iPhone Forever promotion is the ability for Sprint customers to get a new iPhone every year. The promotional rate of $15 per month must be signed up for before Dec. 31 and eligible customers can maintain that special rate until they upgrade their devices again, according to Sprint. Customers can choose from installment billing, two-year contracts or no-contract services.
T-Mobile is offering a special $20 a month rate for 18 months with a 16GB iPhone 6s on the company's Jump On Demand program, with zero down. Customers can instead opt for a 16GB iPhone 6s Plus for $24 a month for 18 months and zero down as well. The Jump On Demand program allows customers to upgrade their devices up to three times a year. The company is also offering introductory rates for all other iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models.
T-Mobile will also pay up to $650 per line in switching costs and early termination fees for new customers who want to move to T-Mobile.
Verizon will be offering the iPhone 6s starting at $27.08 per month for 24 months (total $649.92) for a 16GB model or the iPhone 6s Plus starting at $31.24 per month for 24 months (total $749.76) for a 16GB model.
Verizon customers can also receive trade-in gift cards of $100 for an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s, $200 for an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c, $300 for an iPhone 5s, $350 for an iPhone 6 and $400 for an iPhone 6 Plus when purchasing a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, according to Verizon. The trade-in deals are good through Oct. 15.
Also new from Verizon is the first time inclusion of NFL Mobile for smartphone customers on all price plans, providing live streaming of Sunday local NFL games, as well as Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games in addition to access to the NFL Network. The service is at no extra monthly charge and the app is free to download. However, data usage does apply when not using WiFi.
The new iPhone 6s includes a 4.7-inch display, while the 6s Plus includes a 5.5-inch display, both of which are wrapped in a new stronger cover glass. Both new phones are built around Apple's fastest smartphone chip, the A9, which is a third generation 64-bit chip.
Meanwhile, the cameras on the latest devices also got a major upgrade, through the addition of an all-new 12MP iSight camera that has 50 percent more pixels than earlier devices. Both phones are also now capable of 4K video, run on iOS 9 and include new 5MP FaceTime HD front cameras.
Other iPhone 6s updates include higher performance, better cameras and a new feature called 3D Touch that adds new input capabilities for users to help them get the most out of the devices. 3D Touch is the latest generation of Apple's established multi-touch input system. It not only recognizes familiar gestures, but also the amount of force being provided by a user on the screen.
Apple is also introducing a new iPhone Upgrade Program that will allow customers to pay a monthly rate for their device, starting at $32 per month for 24 months, and enable them to get a new model each year.