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Forget iPhone 12: The best deals are on last year’s models



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Falling prices on previous-generation iPhones are good news for those who do not want to pay flagship prices.

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It took a little longer than usual, but this year Apple event has come and taken new four new iPhone models, with prices starting at $ 799 (£ 799, $ 1,349). As always, there are incremental improvements to the processors and cameras, but the real news for 2020 is 5G: All iPhone 12 models are ready for it.

Do you need it? It’s a key question to ask if you’re trying to decide to throw in the latest and greatest. I’m all for keeping up with the tech times, but the reality right now is that most of us are stuck at home, where perfectly good Wi-Fi makes 5G … less important.

At the same time, Apple only sent the prices of two previous generation models, both excellent by all standards. So let’s talk about ways to save on a “new” iPhone.

Price cuts on iPhone XR and iPhone 11 and Apple refurbs

As always, the arrival of new iPhones means price reductions on previous models. This year, Apple chose to keep two in the range: iPhone XR and iPhone 11. They now start at 499 and 599 USD respectively. The latter was originally sold for $ 699; the former, for $ 749.

For what it’s worth, the iPhone SE remains in the range with a starting price of $ 399, but in my opinion the 6.1-inch iPhone XR is the deal to beat. Read CNET’s iPhone XR Review to learn more – and see below for potentially even better deals on that model.

As for the iPhone 11, it was until today “the best $ 700 the iPhone has ever made.” Now, the same title will almost certainly come to the iPhone 12, but for $ 600, the iPhone 11 is probably even more attractive. Read CNET’s iPhone 11 review for the whole scoop.

It’s always a good idea to check it out Apple’s refurbished iPhone storealso where you will often find discontinued models such as iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. They are usually labeled a few hundred dollars below their original prices, and they are literally as good as new: new battery, new case, full warranty and so on.

Apple’s refurbished iPhone inventory changes over time. Thankfully, there is a free service RefurbMe, which tracks Apple refurbs and can notify you when an item becomes available.

Third-party options for iPhone

Do you want to make even bigger savings? Think about what’s going to happen: When people start buying new iPhones, they will start selling their old ones – and this will result in an abundance of used models, which in turn leads to lower prices. Therefore, start conjuring marketplaces in the following ways in the coming weeks:

According to Decluttr’s Manisha Metta, “It’s best to wait a month after the new iPhones are announced to get the best price on last year’s devices. A month later is when prices stabilize and exchanges come through.”

Here’s a good example: Right now, the eBay seller has Cellfeee refurbished, unlocked iPhone XR models in different colors for $ 370. That’s already $ 129 savings on a new XR.

In addition to these types of auction listings, you can see what is available locally on Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace. However, these are more risky proposals, as you do not get any kind of guarantee when you buy directly from the previous owner. Most of the sites mentioned above offer at least some kind of protection for the buyer: verified inspections, a return window, an internal warranty and so on.

Also note that when you buy a used iPhone (or a remodel from a source other than Apple) you are making a bigger bet. The battery is not brand new, which means that it does not give you maximum driving time, and you can get a shorter or more limited warranty.

Read more: The best ways to sell or trade with your used iPhone

What do you think? Are these prices low enough for your taste? What are your upgrade plans? Let’s talk turkey in the comments!






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Originally published earlier. Updated with new information.


CNET’s Cheapskate searches online for great deals on technical products and more. For the latest deals and updates, follow Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great deals on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET coupon page for the latest promotional codes from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.




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