Before you camp out in front of your nearest Apple store awaiting the iPhone 12 release, you’ll want to make sure you’re not spending your kid’s college fund to get one of the new models.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The new iPhone 12 prices start at $699.
At their iPhone announcement event on Oct. 13, Apple announced a number of new 5G-enabled iPhones that are significantly more expensive than older models:
- iPhone 12 Mini: Starting at $699
- iPhone 12: Starting at $799
- iPhone 12 Pro: Starting at $999
- iPhone 12 Pro Max: Starting at $1,099
2. The last generation of iPhones has dropped as low as $399.
If you’re in the market for an iPhone, there’s no need to go all the way to the latest and greatest model; older generations decrease in price almost immediately after the new iPhone is announced.
Apple has reduced the price of some recent models, including:
- iPhone SE: Starting at $399
- iPhone XR: Starting at $499
- iPhone 11: Starting at $599
Apple’s prices often represent the most you’d pay, so you’ll want to check in with Walmart or Best Buy for better deals on these older models.
3. If you can, be patient — new iPhone prices drop faster than you think.
Being one of the first with the shiny new iPhone is fun — but paying top dollar isn’t. (Also, I hate waiting in line.)
That’s exactly what you’ll do if you get the new models on Day 1— which will be Oct. 23, 2020 (preorders start Oct. 16).
If you can wait a few months — or even a few weeks — cell carriers and retailers will try to keep the momentum going by offering new iPhone deals, particularly on Black Friday.
4. Skip the Apple Store on Black Friday and save $400 by shopping elsewhere.
Last Black Friday, these stores offered some rad iPhone deals, and we expect the same this year.
Download the KCL app and we will tell you when and where to shop. Here’s what we saw last year:
- Walmart – $400 gift card when you buy iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or iPhone X + service plan
- Target – $150 gift card when you buy iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus + service plan
- Target – $250 gift card when you buy iPhone XS or XS Max + service plan
As far as the Apple Store goes. . . it’s not worth your (Black Friday) time.
5. Join a free upgrade program and get the new iPhone every year.
Plenty of cell providers — such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint — have these offers.
The carrier usually splits the full retail cost of the phone into monthly installments, between 18 to 30 months.
Once you’ve hit 12 months or 50% of the value paid off, you can trade in your phone and begin the process all over again with the new model.
Check your carrier to see if they have the program, but even if they don’t, Apple offers this. If you trade in an iPhone X or newer, the iPhone 12 costs $15/month for 24 months, or $12/month for the iPhone 12 Mini.
6. Trade in your device for store credit.
- Apple: Up to $350 trade-in value for iPhone 11; up to $140 for iPhone 8
- Target: Up to $496 for iPhone 11; up to $151 for iPhone 8
- Best Buy: Up to $430 for iPhone 11; up to $200 for iPhone 8
Carriers have programs like this, too. And you can trade in other kinds of phones; doesn’t have to be an iPhone!
7. Or give Gazelle a try for cash back on your trade-in.
Online phone reseller Gazelle offers $410 for an unscratched 64GB iPhone X. And they pay cash. Sweet.
It takes 3-5 days for the prepackaged shipping box to come in the mail, 3-5 more days for your device to get to Gazelle, and another 3-5 days for them to send payment.
8. Verizon offers $450 off for trading in your old device and an additional $200 off adding a new line — but there’s a catch.
If you’re looking for a Verizon iPhone offer, be prepared to trade in your old phone. The discount is applied to your account over 24 months (within 1-2 bill cycles).
That means the discount is spread out over time.
So instead of receiving an instant discount on a new iPhone, you’ll get a $31.25 credit on your monthly bill for 24 months.
9. Get the new iPhone for almost free with AT&T when you buy another.
This AT&T iPhone offer is perfect if you’re buying for two.
Contracts are a thing of the past, but carriers have found another way to rope you in — phone payment plans.
Buy one eligible smartphone and get up to $750 off on another when you add a new line and purchase both as part of a 0% APR 30-month payment plan.
You’ll pay out of pocket for both iPhones and eventually get your money back through credits on your monthly statement.
Also keep in mind this means that if you get the most basic iPhone (around the $750 price range), you’ll get it for free, but if you get a version with more bells and whistles (up to $1,449.99), you’ll still only get $750 back.
10. Get up to 5% off with discount gift cards from Raise.
Browse Raise for discounted gift cards to the Apple Store, Best Buy, Target and Walmart, and then buy up as many as you can (for the store of your choice).
At Target, for example, you could get $211.75 off for trading in your old iPhone 8 and then pay for the rest with discounted gift cards.
TIP: If you can’t find enough discounted gift cards, sign up for a Target RedCard and you’ll get 5% off everything you buy at Target, including your new iPhone.