Buying a new iPhone is about to get easier. Apple just introduced Shop with a Specialist over Video, a live shopping experience that connects you with an Apple specialist who can help you pick the right iPhone for your needs and budget. The free service also connects you to the latest iPhone deals, finance options, and best trade-in values.
Apple Shop with a Specialist over Video is available via http://apple.com/shop/buy-iphone (opens in new tab). During your video session, you'll be able to see the Apple specialist via their camera, but they won't be able to see you. Consumers can use the live video chat to ask questions about the iPhone's hardware, switching to iOS, or find out the difference between select iPhone models. Apple says you'll also be able to use the service to find out the best iPhone trade-in deals available via the Apple Store or your carrier of choice.
Buyer beware: The best deals aren't always at Apple
Apple's new guided shopping experience is great for consumers. Not only does it let you browse the latest iPhones from the comforts of your home, but you can ask questions and receive expert buying advice on the spot.
However, my personal concern is that Apple doesn't always offers the best Apple deals. While Apple claims their specialists can inform you of carrier-specific deals, most carrier deals come with rigid terms and conditions. Other deals may require that you sign up for unlimited data plans that you may/or may not really need.
Additionally, a quick glance at the carrier deals available via the Apple Store (opens in new tab) right now shows a mix of Verizon phone deals, AT&T phone deals, and T-Mobile deals, but it fails to include deals from MVNOs like Visible and Mint Mobile, which use the same networks as the larger carriers, but provide significantly lower phone bills.
Shop with a Specialist over Video is a great extension of the Apple Genius Bar and the Apple Store's live chat, but we'd recommend proceeding with caution when looking for deals as the best cell phone deals are rarely handed to you on a silver platter.
Apple Shop with a Specialist over Video is available daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT.