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Cheap iPhone Deals

iPhone X, unltd mins, 15GB, £385 upfront, £34/mth. Also deals on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus

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Nick and Weleid | Edited by Steve N

Updated Weekly

iPhone 7While buying an Apple iPhone is never MoneySaving, this guide will take you through the cheapest ways to get your hands on the latest iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, or how to get the - now cheaper - older iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.

We'll help you identify the right iPhone for you, with the best features for the best prices...

The top iPhone need-to-knows

Upfront prices direct from Apple start at £699 for the iPhone 8, £799 for the iPhone 8 Plus and £999 for the iPhone X. But which phone is best? And should you get one on a contract?

Our iPhone need-to-knows should help you decide, as well as giving you some tips on selling your old phone and getting the most out of your current tariff.

iPhone top picks

Here are our top picks for buying a new iPhone – either buying upfront, or where a contract offers better value, with minutes and data bundled in. Tariffs change continuously, so it's always worth checking what else is out there. Where it works out cheaper to buy the handset outright and pair with a Sim-only deal, we've chosen that option. If you're after a different type of package, you'll have check out a comparison site such as MobilePhoneChecker*.

24MTH CONTRACT: 64GB iPhone X with unltd mins, 15GB data: £385 upfront, then £34/mth*

MOBILES.CO.UK

O2 logo

It's usually cheapest to buy your phone outright and pair with a cheap Sim, however, this 24-month deal for the 64GB iPhone X via Mobiles.co.uk* is a good option with loads of data if you can't afford to pay for it all upfront.

You'll still need to find a decent chunk of cash to get this, as it asks for a hefty £385 when you buy. It's then £34/mth for 24 months, which gets you unlimited minutes and texts and 15GB of data, meaning you'll pay a total of £1,201 over the two years (though the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation).

You'll have to be an O2 newbie or an existing customer who wants a new line to get this deal.

If you run out of data, you can buy an add-on starting at £3.50/mth for 100MB.

24MTH CONTRACT: 64GB iPhone 8 with unltd mins, 4GB data: £245 upfront, then £23/mth*

MOBILES.CO.UK

Vodafone

If you want to get the 64GB iPhone 8, it's usually cheapest to buy it outright and pair it with a cheap Sim. But, if you can't afford the full upfront cost, this 24-month deal via Mobiles.co.uk* for Vodafone newbies offers a fair allowance for the price.

There's £245 to pay upfront, it's then £23/mth for the 24-month contract which gets you unlimited minutes and texts as well as 4GB of data. It works out as £797 over the two years (though the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation). If you run out of data, you can buy an add-on starting at £6/mth for 1GB.

24MTH CONTRACT: 64GB iPhone 8 Plus with unltd mins, 4GB data: £449 upfront, then £22/mth*

FONEHOUSE

EE

It's usually cheapest to buy your phone outright, but if you can't afford to pay for all of your handset upfront, this 24-month EE contract for a new 64GB iPhone 8 Plus from reseller Fonehouse* is one of the cheapest around.

You pay £449 initially, then £22/mth for 24 months. It works out as £977 over the two years (though the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation).

You'll have to be an EE newbie or an existing customer who wants a new line to get this deal. You get 4GB of data with unlimited mins and texts – if you run out of data, you can buy an add-on starting at £4.99/mth for 1GB.

24MTH CONTRACT: 32GB iPhone 7 with unltd mins, 4GB data: £135 upfront, then £23/mth*

MOBILES.CO.UK*

Vodafone

It's usually cheapest to buy your phone outright and pair it with a cheap Sim, but if you can't (or don't want to) then paying monthly for a handset and tariff is the way to go. One of the cheapest ways we've seen to get the 32GB iPhone 7 with a decent data allowance is this 24-month Vodafone deal via Mobiles.co.uk*.

You pay £135 upfront then it's £23/mth for 24 months, which gets you unlimited minutes and texts and 4GB of data (the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation). All in, over 24 months it costs £687.

You'll have to be a Vodafone newbie or an existing customer who wants a second line to get this deal. If you run out of data, you can buy an add-on starting at £6/mth for 1GB.

24MTH CONTRACT: 32GB iPhone 7 Plus with unltd mins, 4GB data: £319 upfront, then £22/mth*

FONEHOUSE

EE

It's usually cheapest to buy your phone outright but if you can't afford to, this two-year contract from EE gives you a new 32GB iPhone 7 Plus. The deal is via reseller Fonehouse* and it's £319 upfront. You'll then pay £22/mth for 24 months for unlimited minutes and texts and 4GB of data, making it £847 over two years (though the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation).

You'll have to be an EE newbie or an existing customer who wants a new line to get this deal. If you run out of data, you can buy an add-on starting at £4.99/mth for 1GB.

Find the right phone for you

iPhones are popular and well reviewed, but they aren't cheap – so getting one is a decision you should weigh up carefully.

Older iPhones often drop in price following the launch of a new model, so consider whether you really want the latest handset. We've compiled the features of the latest deals below.

Apple iPhone X

Apple iPhone 8

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Apple iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Spread the cost of an iPhone 8 or an iPhone X INTEREST-FREE with Apple

iPhone Payments is Apple's interest-free financing scheme – it's now available for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and the iPhone X. This allows you to buy the phone for Apple's standard price but pay only a small amount upfront and then the rest in 20 monthly instalments.

Be careful not to get caught out as Apple also offers another scheme - its iPhone Upgrade programme - which gives you the option to swap handsets and includes AppleCare, but this can usually be beaten by other methods. See our full analysis here (the examples are a little old but the same principles apply).

You'll be credit-checked and will need to be accepted for what's technically an interest-free loan, though. Here's what it costs:

  • iPhone 8 – £69 upfront, then £31.50/mth for 20 months for the 64GB model (£39/mth for 256GB)
  • iPhone 8 Plus – £69 upfront, then £36.50/mth for 20 months for the 64GB model (£44/mth for 256GB)
  • iPhone X – £69 upfront, then £46.50/mth for 20 months for the 64GB model (£54/mth for 256GB)

Here's how to pay this way:

  1. You can ONLY get iPhone Payments in store - reserve the model you want. It's best to reserve the model you want online before visiting a store; iPhone 8 or iPhone X. Annoyingly, you will have to select the iPhone upgrade programme (which is more expensive) to book the appointment, but you just need to tell them in store that you want iPhone Payments.
  2. When you collect the phone, say you want to pay via iPhone Payments. You'll need to bring bank details, a valid photo ID and your current mobile plus other personal info – see Apple's website for a full list. You'll need to be a UK resident aged 18+, have a UK bank account and have lived in the UK for three or more years.
  3. If accepted (it could take up to an hour), you'll pay £69 upfront and the rest in 20 monthly instalments. Your loan will be with Barclays, the finance provider behind the scheme, at 0% APR. Monthly repayments are made by direct debit. If you don't keep up with them, Barclays would take the same action as any other loan provider – it could result in a mark on your credit file, for example.

Once you've got the phone you'll then need to find a separate cheap Sim only deal.

Watch out for annual inflationary price rises

Under regulator Ofcom's rules, providers are permitted to increase the monthly cost of mobile contracts by as much as the rate of inflation each year, as long as they are upfront about this and warn you before you sign up. All the major networks (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone) now do this.

Adjustments are made in line with figures published in February or March each year based on the Retail Prices Index (a measure of inflation).

You'll be notified by your network of these changes and any bill you received after that date will reflect the increase. See Inflationary Price Rises for full info.

Match your tariff to your usage

Use too few minutes, data or texts and you'll overpay for the contract each month. Yet go over your allowance and the extra charges are costly. To help you choose the correct tariff, check your actual past usage with an online tool.

There are two sites accredited by regulator Ofcom to choose from. Both will analyse your bills from the last three months to determine your average usage and suggest deals based on this

  • Billmonitor* works for customers of EE, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three and Vodafone. It's not the most user-friendly site, but it gives a detailed bill analysis.
  • Ctrlio will handily remind you when better deals at your usage become available (monthly or just at the end of your contract). Currently it can read the bills of EE, Giffgaff, O2, Three and Vodafone customers.

Some deals are only available to 'new customers'

The deals you see here and on most comparison sites are geared towards new customers of the relevant network. If you're already with that network, even if your existing contract is up, and you try to get the deal then technically you'll be 'upgrading' rather than taking out a new contract, and you may have to pay more as a result.

Of course, you can still get the deal if you take out a separate new contract. But if you do, frustratingly you won't be able to directly transfer your existing number across to your new phone.

There is one possible way round this, though it's a bit of work. What you can do is get the deal on a separate new contract, and also get yourself a free pay-as-you-go Sim from a different network.

Port your existing number across to the free pay-as-you-go Sim, then port it again to the new contract once it's been set up. To port your number over you'll need to request a porting authorisation code (PAC) from your provider.

Buy a handset upfront and save

Unless you're a heavy user, a standalone handset with a Sim-only deal can often be the cheapest option. If you can't afford such an upfront payment, consider buying your iPhone on cheap or free finance instead.

There are many one-month rolling contract Sim-only deals available, so you're not tied in and only pay for what you use – check out our top-pick Sim only deals for the best options.

Already have a Sim only deal from an old phone?

Unless you buy a handset for that network, to put it in a new handset you'll need to 'unlock' it from its pre-set network provider. For some phones this can be free, or it could cost up to £30 – for more info, see the Mobile Unlocking guide.

You can get cheap handsets from retailers such as Argos or Play.com. Use the MegaShopBot to quickly compare prices.

Don't overestimate how much storage you need

All iPhone models come in different storage sizes – depending on the model they're available with 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. Generally, you'll pay £100 to go up a size (if you're buying directly from Apple).

As a rule of thumb, 32GB can hold 1,000 apps, 800 albums or 6-10 HD films, which is enough for some.

Unlike most other smartphones, iPhones don't have memory card slots so you can't expand the storage if you decide you want more. However, be careful not to overestimate how much storage you'll need and end up paying for a more expensive model 'just to be safe'.

Here are our top tips for saving storage space on your phone and paying less overall. For more information, see our How to Increase Phone Storage guide.

  1. Free online storage. Apple gives iPhone users 5GB of storage space on iCloud for free. It isn't much, but the Google Photos app offers unlimited free storage of photos and videos, regardless of device. There are lots of other providers that offer free storage space too – many have mobile apps and enable you to set your photos and videos to upload automatically, after which you can delete them from your phone without losing them. You could sign up to several and assign categories of content to each.

  2. Score an app-trick. If you go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage, you'll see a breakdown of how much space your apps take up and when you last used them. Go through it and get rid of the larger of the apps you use the least. While you can download them again free if you paid for them, you won't get back your personal data. Also, be aware that if the app is subsequently pulled from iTunes you WON'T be able to download it again, even if you paid for it.

  3. Find hidden downloads. You've probably got more downloads hidden on your iPhone than you think. Screenshots, PDFs, voice memos, gifs – you download them, look at or listen to them, then forget about them, meaning they sit there taking up valuable space. Podcasts are among the worst offenders – 25MB-50MB in size and easily forgotten about once downloaded and listened to. Delete old podcasts by opening the Podcasts app, tapping My Podcasts and then the series you want to delete episodes from. Swipe left on the episodes you want to delete, then tap the red Delete button. If you use another app, like Pocket Casts, the process will be different, but it should be straightforward.

  4. Move your music. Music streaming services such as Spotify enable you to listen to music on your mobile without having to store it on there. With iTunes Match you can store all your tracks on Apple's servers and access them online for £21.99/year, while Google Play Music lets iPhone users upload 50,000 tracks for free. Be aware that all three services mean using your data allowance to listen to music when not connected to Wi-Fi. Also bear in mind that, if you upload music to iTunes Match or Google Play Music and delete it from your phone, in the event a track or album's pulled from either service, you're unlikely to be able to download it again.

  5. Delete films and TV shows. Video streaming services like Netflix are now commonplace and remove the need to download TV programmes and movies to your phone. Streaming video is internet-intensive, so do it when connected to Free Wi-Fi or it can be costly. If you're streaming via 3G/4G, make sure you get a tariff with a big enough data allowance.

Make sure you've the right size Sim

Daring to be different, Apple went against the grain with its iPhones, designing them to take a smaller Sim card.

Differences in Sim card sizesFor the iPhone 4 and 4s, Apple adopted the smaller-than-standard-size 'micro-Sim'. With the launch of the iPhone 5 came the arrival of a yet smaller Sim card – the 'nano-Sim'. This is also used in the iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s and later models. Because it's a lot smaller, if you have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s you won't be able to simply swap Sim cards.

If you're upgrading from another handset to a newer iPhone, you could ask your network provider to exchange Sim cards, or try one of their shops, which should have nano-Sims available.

Try haggling for a better deal

Haggling on monthly mobile phone contracts can slash the price you pay. If you have a contract deal and you're nearing the end of your fixed term, the network will be frantic to keep you, so it's the best time to haggle. Long-term customers have a better chance at success here.

Our poll showed the best mobile providers to haggle with are Virgin and Vodafone. See our Haggle with Sky, AA & more guide for help with getting a better deal. Bear in mind though it's harder to haggle on a contract for a new phone, especially one in as much demand as new iPhones are.

Get a cheap Sim-only deal

Already got an iPhone? If you're out of contract, you could stand to make serious savings by switching to a Sim-only tariff.

The main benefit of switching is that you won't pay an extra monthly cost for a handset – so your tariff price and overall costs will drop significantly.

Find our up-to-date top picks in the Cheap Sim only Deals guide.

Don't overestimate how much data you need

Apps on a smart phone

For checking emails, looking at Facebook and watching the odd YouTube video, 1GB should be more than enough.

To give you a rough idea, MSE Eesha says: "I have 1GB a month. I tend to use close to this limit but never go over. I generally just use WhatsApp, Facebook, emails, and check deals apps like Groupon, Wowcher, Quidco and the PayPal app."

Downloading videos, TV shows or other web-heavy apps may take you over your limit and cause you to incur heavy charges.

Sell your old phone to fund your new one

Selling your old mobile could help you recoup some of the cost of your new one. There are two ways you can do this:

Flog your mobile for more

There's huge demand for second-hand iPhones, so it's very much a seller's market. Perhaps unsurprisingly, eBay* should be your first port of call if you're willing to put in a bit of (virtual) legwork. At the time of writing, a used unlocked 16GB iPhone 6 in decent nick could fetch around £150, and a 16GB iPhone 6s about £250.

Flog your mobile in a hurry

If you want a guaranteed amount of cash to put towards your next handset (or something else entirely), mobile recycling sites are an easy option.

To save you the hassle of going door-to-door, sites such as Compare My Mobile* and Sell My Mobile* compare how much each of the big players will offer for your old phone, whether it's working or broken. Usually you'll get a bit less than what you'd get if you listed the phone on eBay. For example, at the time of writing, the most you'd get for recycling a 16GB iPhone 6 is around £160.

Don't forget insurance saving

Accidents can and do happen. Because mobiles are worth so much more to us these days (and they cost a lot more), if you lose 'em, break 'em or have 'em nicked, it can be costly to replace them.

Onavo Android app

Insurers play on this fear with hefty prices and unnecessary cover. Yet you can get insurance for your iPhone from £70/year.

Read the full Mobile Phone Insurance guide for full info and best buys.

If your phone's stolen...

Report it to the police and let your network know as soon as possible. This is important to prevent unauthorised use of your service, and may also be critical for insurance claims.

Check coverage in your area

The quality of the signal you'll receive will depend on where you are. Across all the networks, big cities and towns should all have a decent 3G signal – and some may have 4G – while those in rural areas can struggle.

All the networks have coverage checkers on their sites, but these tend to be optimistic. Ofcom's research into 4G constitutes the most up-to-date objective info we have on coverage – view its mobile checker to see what signal strength will be like in your area.

Consider a second-hand or refurbished handset

Don't forget to check out second-hand models on eBay*. As an example, at the time of writing you can get a used 128GB iPhone 6s in good condition for around £350 on eBay, compared with a new one from Apple which costs £549. Make sure it's unlocked (see Mobile Unlocking for full info) though, so you can take advantage of super-cheap Sim only tariffs.

It's also possible to get refurbished handsets on eBay or through some resellers online. These work just as new phones and come in new condition, plus they typically come with a manufacturer's warranty. Bear in mind that used handsets on eBay usually don't come with warranties.

Watch out for auto-insurance

Some retailers automatically add insurance to a mobile phone contract when you sign up online, regardless of whether you want it or not.

This has stung quite a few MSE users, so be sure to read all the small print, thoroughly, before clicking the 'buy' button.

These insurance policies are normally more expensive than standard insurance, and if there's no 'opt out' option – you must remember to cancel it as soon as you get your phone.

If you cancel over the phone, ask the company to email you with confirmation of the cancellation, so you have it in writing too. Read the full Mobile Phone Insurance guide for how to get the cheapest standalone mobile cover.

Protect your iPhone and its data

Losing your data, photos and contacts is a nightmare. Yet there are a number of easy ways to protect your mobile and data, many of which are free.

Sim card padlock

Regardless of how expensive your phone is, the info you've got stored on it can also be mega-valuable, and it's a nightmare (and probably a lost cause) to retrieve contacts, photos, apps, games, messages after losing a handset.

To beat this, free services can back up this crucial info before you lose it.

Backup to the web

Back-up your computer

Old school pen and paper route

Make use of free Wi-Fi

Rather than using up your monthly download allowance, when you're out and about, find a free Wi-Fi hotspot to use instead.

McDonald's, Starbucks and Wetherspoon pubs all offer free Wi-Fi – check BT Wi-Fi, Sky WiFi, The Cloud WiFi Finder and Avast Wi-Fi Finder to find more locations. There are thousands of free, legal wireless hotspots around the UK. See Free Wi-Fi for more info.

Get extra cashback on top

It's often possible to grab extra cashback on top when you sign up for a mobile phone contract. To get it, you need to sign up via a specialist cashback website rather than directly with the network provider. Cashback websites use affiliate links to generate revenue, so if they get paid when you sign up, you'll get paid.

Unfortunately, this cash is never guaranteed, as sometimes cashback sites don't track deals in progress, so it's generally best to pick the right tariff first and view any cashback as an added extra. To find out more about how these sites can pay you, and how you can make the most of them, read the Top Cashback Sites guide.

Retailer redemption cashback. Don't confuse cashback sites with cashback you can get directly through a retailer, through redemption. This kind of cashback isn't straightforward, and can often require you to send several copies of your monthly bills on certain days.

We rarely include these kinds of deals, unless they're super-cheap. If we do include them, they'll be mentioned in the free weekly Money Tips Email.

How to complain about your mobile provider

The mobile industry doesn't have the best customer service reputation and while a provider may be good for some, it can be hell for others. Common problems include limited network coverage, slow data speeds, unexpected charges and more. It's always worth complaining to your provider first, but if you have no success, then…

Free tool if you're having a problem

This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it, too. It's free, and offered by a firm called Resolver which we like so much we work with to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, Resolver will escalate it on your behalf to the free Ombudsman Services (or CISAS if you're complaining about Virgin Mobile).

Important: if your issue is about a voucher or incentive that was part of an MSE Blagged deal, let us know by emailing voucherhelp@moneysavingexpert.com instead, as that's usually quicker.

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