What is the best way to pay for a $1,200 iPhone? For many, the answer will be Apple’s official monthly installment plan. Just sign on the dotted line and shell out cash to the world’s wealthiest company every single month.

Though the iPhone Upgrade Program is ostensibly a way to pay for one iPhone over a period of 24 months, it’s designed to lock you in forever. That may be an agreeable prospect for anyone who imagines they’ll never want a smartphone that isn’t branded by Apple, but ceding more of your life to yet another gilded monolith in Silicon Valley — well, we wouldn’t recommend it.

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