250K iPhones financed through Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program

Neil Hughes at AppleInsider:

CFG announced on Friday that it had $220 million in Apple iPhone loans on its balance sheet at the end of December. To analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, that implies Apple sold about a quarter-million iPhones through the new upgrade program since it debuted in September.

It's a small start, especially since most carriers have offered monthly payment plans on smartphones for a while now. But it isn't doing bad, given that it has only existed for a few months. But if given the choice between buying my next iPhone through my carrier or directly from Apple, I'll choose Apple any day. 

For those unaware: The iPhone Upgrade Program is an interest-free, two-year loan. The cost is divided over 24 months, and you can turn in your iPhone for a new model after one year. By design, it appears similar to the carriers. However, Apple's program includes AppleCare+ along with the price of the phone. This plan is right for you if you've ever cracked a screen on your iPhone and paid the heavy price for a repair. Or if, like me, you're a parent of a 1-year old who will likely be reaching for your iPhone every time he sees it.