iPhones are some of the most popular smartphone devices, with 123.7 million iPhone users in the United States alone in 2022. While there was a time when only a few iPhones existed, and it was easy to choose which device would suit you based on your needs, that gets harder and harder as new iPhones enter the market.
iPhones are currently in their 14th generation, and with each new generation, Apple has added many new improvements to storage, speed, screen size, and processing power. While there are many options, the good news is that you can find a great iPhone deal no matter your technological or financial needs.
Finding the best deal for your hard-earned money can be challenging, even if you know what you want.
You can find a great deal on the iPhone you want in several ways, but knowing where to start and what to consider when shopping can make it easier. To help, here is a basic rundown of what you can do to make the process easier and score the best iPhone deal possible.
Where Can You Find the Best iPhone Deals?
When looking for the best possible deal on an iPhone, it is often better to look past Apple and check out the carriers‘ deals.
Carriers are incentivized to one-up each other by creating great deals that convince you to choose them, so there are some very economically friendly options for those looking for a great deal on their new iPhone.
Verizon is offering up to $699 off your iPhone 14 through trade-in with the purchase of a new unlimited plan. Both AT&T and T-Mobile have their own iPhone 14 deals, all of which revolve around trade-in and unlimited plan membership.
Especially if you are looking for a new model, shopping around the more significant carriers is a great place to start.
How to Decide Which iPhone Is Best for You?
Several factors are in play when deciding on the best iPhone for you. You need to gauge how advanced you want your phone to be, how expensive it is, how long you plan to have it, and what features you expect.
New Phones vs. Older Phones
One thing to consider is whether you want a newer model or an older one. Older phones may be cheaper if you can get your hands on them, but they might not run a modern iOS and only have access to less powerful networks.
For example, there is a massive push for nationwide 5G integration to replace 4G. While 4G will still be around for a long time, only the iPhone 12 and up are compatible with 5G. This means your phone will have access to significantly less powerful networks if you go lower than an iPhone 12.
The functionality creep is real with iPhones. The closer the phone is to the new line — the iPhone 14 series — the more apps, better battery life, and more robust cell connectivity you’ll find.
The newer models, such as the iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Mini, and iPhone 14 Plus, often outperform similar Android phones, like the Samsung Galaxy Pro models from a contemporary generation.
However, you can find great specs on older iPhones, such as the iPhone 8, iPhone XS, and iPhone 11 Pro, with an OLED display.
Additionally, using a cheap iPhone can make plans for unlimited data (prepaid or otherwise) more attractive. For instance, Apple iPhone SE deals could be the best for your budget, even if it doesn’t come with the ultrawide lens on the rear camera.
With so many iterations of the iPhone available out there, prices vary. An iPhone 14 Pro Max has a retail price of $1099, while an iPhone 12 mini has a retail price of $599.99.
These phones are only a generation apart and have many of the same features, but the price differential is significant. On the other hand, iPhone 13 models have more deals to incentivize you to buy them through different carriers, further complicating the choice.
If you are willing to go way back, you can purchase phones in the iPhone 7 era for $100 and $200.
These phones have all the basic amenities a smartphone needs minus the new advancements of the past several years. If price is the only thing that concerns you, it won’t hurt to look at older models or even trade in an eligible device for a free iPhone.
If you want extra cash to pick up cutting-edge accessories (like the Apple Watch, AirPods, and MagSafe wireless charging tools) at Best Buy, getting a phone that’s cheaper at activation may be the smartest choice.
Every iPhone iterates on what came before, but some add more features than others.
For example, one of the primary criticisms of the iPhone 14 is how similar it is to the iPhone 13.
The size, A15 Bionic chip, camera system, and design are very similar between both phones. Since the iPhone 13 is an older phone, you can get it for a lower price, so many people may want to check to see if the 14 is worth a purchase.
For some people, these features are critical, and for others, they aren’t, so it is good to know where you stand when deciding.
Which Is the Best iPhone Overall?
The iPhone 14 is part of the latest iPhones and is the best overall choice for the average consumer. In the tech world, especially with Apple, staying up to date is incredibly important.
However, the iPhone 13 has similar features for a lower price, with the same basic features. Instead, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max got significant upgrades, which are much more expensive.
What’s the Cheapest iPhone?
The cheapest new phone you can get is the iPhone 11, which starts at $499.99. This is only a few generations behind the iPhone 14 and has many great features.
However, if you are okay with a used or refurbished phone, the retail price of an iPhone 7 is $109.99 and can be purchased from platforms like Verizon. If price is your only motivator, this isn’t a bad option for you.
What Is the Most Expensive iPhone?
The iPhone 14 Pro Max sits at a $1099.99 retail price, considerably more expensive than the base iPhone 14. This price point puts it out of reach for many consumers, but it has a good reason for its price.
Its 6.7-inch display is larger than the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 and has a revamped design and a totally new chipset. The processing power is a significant upgrade, as are the much more powerful camera lens options.
What’s the Best Mid-Range iPhone?
Apple has a product on the market for those specifically looking for a mid-range: the iPhone SE. A 2020 iPhone SE starts at $399.99, a much less powerful model than the iPhone 13, having half the RAM, much less pixel density, and a smaller retina display.
However, it is 5G compatible and more powerful than many older-generation phones with a similar price point. If you aren’t looking for a mighty machine, this won’t fall below your expectations for a smartphone.
The SE was built to be affordable to the average person, delivering a solid product at nearly half the price of other modern iPhones.
Which Is the Best Case for Your iPhone?
If you want to sell or trade-in your old iPhone for a reasonable price, it has to be in good condition. Smartphone cases are a must-have, and protecting your device should be a top priority.
There are a couple of cases that you can get with an iPhone: wallet cases and protective cases. Wallet cases can carry your cards and money if you want, while a protective case exclusively keeps your device safe (and stylish).
Otterbox and Smartish are two proven brands that have these types of cases. Look for cases made of leather or different types of plastic, and avoid ones made of soft materials.
Once you are confident that you’ve chosen a suitable type of case, you can focus on the decorations and colors you want it to have. Make sure the cases you choose are compatible with your phone, as they are not one-size-fits-all.
Getting a New iPhone: Sell, Trade, or Upgrade Your Old iPhone
Sometimes choosing a new iPhone depends on what deal you can get for your old one. There is a vibrant market for selling and trading iPhones and some robust incentive packages for upgrading them.
Selling, trading, and upgrading your iPhone are very different, and it is essential to know what you are getting into before going down any of these routes.
How Can You Sell Your Old iPhone?
Before considering upgrading your iPhone, you may want to sell your old one and pocket the cash instead. There are many ways to sell your iPhone, such as traditional sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Selling your iPhone on a public market can be dangerous, so taking the necessary safety steps is crucial before doing it. First, you will want to ensure your data isn’t lost when you switch phones by transferring your data to the cloud.
Creating a full iCloud backup of your phone and transferring it to a new device will be simple, given the compatibility of different iPhones. If you switched to another phone, this process would be more difficult.
Once you have ensured that your data is safe, you can format the device. This avoids having compromising information on your phone that the buyer can access.
To do this,
- Go to settings
- Click General
- Transfer or Reset [device]
- Erase All Content and Settings
Follow the prompts from here, and you can revert your phone to its factory settings to be ready for sale.
You are taking a risk by selling your phone before getting a new one, as having your old phone helps make sure all of your data is accounted for.
Additionally, depending on the age of your phone, the resale value may have gone down compared to newer models, so try to do your research and determine whether or not this method is correct for you.
How Can You Trade Your Old iPhone?
- First, you must get a quote for your current device online or at your local Apple store to trade.
- If you accept the quote, you drop off the phone or mail it to Apple.
- If Apple inspection goes well, they will give you a physical or online gift card per your preference.
- This could be the way to go if you have a newer model in new condition that could net you good money for an upgrade.
Apple offers a trade-in program for people who want to use official channels to get money for their outdated devices. Instead of real money, however, you get Apple credit towards your next purchase.
It is also important to note that older models are worth significantly less through the trade-in system, meaning that while an iPhone 12 Max could net you $650, an iPhone 6 would only get you around $50 at best.
The newer your current device, the more bang for your buck you’ll get by utilizing the trade-in system.
How Can You Upgrade Your iPhone?
Upgrading your iPhone is another way to switch from one iPhone to another, and there are a few channels through which you can do this.
One option is upgrading through Apple directly. If you enroll in the Apple upgrade program, you can switch to a newer phone after making 12 monthly payments. For a monthly fee for the phone and Apple Care+, you can use this method to get a new phone every year.
Most major carriers also offer upgrade plans that are cheaper than Apple’s but have fewer protection benefits. Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T all provide upgrade plans similar to Apple, with 12 monthly payments making you eligible for an upgrade.
If you want a new phone to keep up with the technology every year, upgrading is a solid plan.
What To Do Next
There is no “best option” for a phone. Everyone’s needs are different, and you should make sure you know what you want from your iPhone. Some phones offer great value, while others will put you at the cutting edge of modern-day technology.
We recommend the iPhone 13 for its modern architecture and reasonable price point if you want overall value. It is not the most advanced iPhone on the market, but it is the best value for its price.
However, if extra features or low price points are your primary focus, there are still plenty of options for you outside the 13.
Don’t feel like comparing options yourself? We’ll do it for you. Our Phone Navigator service searches over three million phone deals to find the price for the iPhone you want, 100% free.