An iPhone is seen as the paragon of cellular technology, with a large touchscreen, intuitive apps, high-end cameras, and other features that make it some of the most desired tech on the market.
An iPhone is expensive. Even an older model with minimal storage and a small screen will still cost several hundred dollars. But with these tips, you’ll know the best way to buy an iPhone for less in no time, and you’ll be able to get a high-end iPhone model for less.
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What should I do before buying a cell phone?
When preparing to buy any cell phone, you’ll want to research what features you want in the new phone, as well as carrier compatibility. Some carriers even offer a free iPhone with certain two- to three-year subscription plans.
Whether you choose to use that plan or buy an iPhone, you’ll want to be sure that the phone is compatible with your carrier. If you are unsure you want to commit to one carrier, you can also buy an unlocked iPhone, but this will often cost more as carriers subsidize the price in your monthly contract.
For features, consider storage size, camera quality, screen size, and battery life, as well as any other features that are important to you.
Can I afford an iPhone?
Just because the latest and greatest iPhone seems amazing, do you actually need all those features? And more importantly, can you afford it?
There are ways to get an iPhone with the features you need most, for less. This includes waiting for the release of a new model to buy a previous model, comparing carrier offers, buying a refurbished phone, or choosing an older model.
9 ways to buy an iPhone for less
If you’re ready to jump in and get an iPhone but want it for less, we’re here to help. These tried and true strategies can give you more iPhone purchase options and help you save hundreds of dollars and still get the phone that you need.
Compare carrier offers
The first strategy is to compare carrier offers. Some carriers will offer a free phone upgrade or a free phone with a subscription. Take time to do some research and compare the best deals for your situation and needs.
Which carrier offer is best for you will depend on your family situation. Are you looking for only one cell phone plan or do you want a family bundle? You may get a certain discount on additional phones, the service plans, on the phone itself.
Take the time to research different carrier offers in your area and also check if they have seasonal special discounts you can take advantage of.
Buy pre-owned or refurbished
Many businesses upgrade iPhones for all their employees annually. That means you can purchase a used iPhone or refurbished iPhone that is less than a year old at a significant discount. Be sure to purchase from a reliable refurbished phone provider that offers an additional warranty. Amazon or Gazelle are good for this.
Buying pre-owned or refurbished phones can save you money. The main thing to take into consideration is the seller warranty and whether the phone is still eligible for AppleCare or an Apple warranty. Be careful of sellers on eBay or smaller sites as you may be stuck with a phone that doesn’t work as well as no guarantee or ability to return it.
Take advantage of promotions
One practical option, if you can wait, is to look for promotions and purchase your iPhone at that time. Apple usually has a back-to-school promotion that runs from mid-June through September.
There are also Black Friday sales and January sales. Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone model, the previous versions will also drop in price. Waiting for promotions to take place can help you get an iPhone for less. The best time to buy an iPhone varies, but there are promotions throughout the year.
If you don’t want to spend a large sum at once, you can pay for the iPhone in installments. Payments plans are available through many carriers and stores, often with 0% interest.
In the case of carriers, they will build the iPhone repayment price into your monthly cellphone bill. Some credit cards also offer a payment plan, like the Amazon credit card for an Amazon iPhone purchase.
Buy an older model
One of the simplest ways to buy an iPhone for less is to buy an older model. Upgrades can still allow you to get most of the current features, depending on how old the model is. Consider an iPhone model that was released two to three years prior to getting a good mix of the latest features, excellent battery life, and significant cost savings
Choose a smaller phone
iPhones have data storage that ranges from 64 GB to 512 GB. For most people who are not taking large videos regularly, 64 GB or 128 GB is plenty of storage space. Check your current phone to see how much space you are using, and consider whether you can reduce that or you need a bit more.
Screen sizes also vary. Newer and plus models have larger screens that you will pay $100 to $200 more for. If you don’t truly need the size or space, going with a smaller phone can save you money.
Sell or trade-in your old device
Some carriers will buy back or trade old phones in good condition to help you save on your new phone. Additionally, Apple offers a direct recycling or buy-back program. You can also sell your phone on Swappa.
You could get anywhere from $100 to $500 or more for your phone, depending on the model and condition of your current phone. Whichever option you choose, selling or trading in your old device is both good for the environment and good for saving more on your new phone.
Opt for necessary features
New phones are constantly coming out with new features to catch your eye. Do you actually need a 48-megapixel camera? Probably not. If you’re interested in photography, you’ll want a dedicated camera, and for general photos, a 12-megapixel camera is enough.
Decide which features are essential or beneficial that you will actually use. Avoid buying a phone because it has features that sound cool, that you don’t actually need.
Shop around online
Shopping around to find an iPhone for less is always a good idea. Online retailers like Walmart and Best Buy will often run specials or promotions independently of Apple or your current cell phone service provider.
You can get an iPhone for less
The best way to buy an iPhone for less is to plan carefully, research, and choose what you need versus features that seem fun. Check with your carrier for upgrade options and promotions, and search online for the best online promotions.
You can also consider a refurbished iPhone from a reputable dealer to get an iPhone for less. Whatever you choose, be sure to shop around and wait for sales, if you can, to get the best price on a new or used iPhone.
Where can I buy an iPhone?
You can buy an iPhone through many online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, or Best Buy, as well as directly from Apple. You can also buy iPhones at local computer stores or electronic stores of all sizes.
When is the best time to buy a new iPhone?
The best time to buy an iPhone depends on the model you’re interested in and special promotions. Usually, the best time to buy an iPhone is after the launch of a new model.
How can I get an iPhone cheaper?
You can get an iPhone cheaper by purchasing a used iPhone or refurbished iPhone, by buying an older new model with less storage, or by shopping sales and promotions.