Cheap iPhone Deals. Find the best iPhone XS, XS Max & XR deals here – plus tips to cut the cost of an iPhone, incl the X & 8. MSE.

Cheap iPhone Deals

Find the best value iPhone 12, 12 Mini, SE, 12 Pro & Pro Max deals

A new iPhone is never MoneySaving, but if you're determined to get Apple's latest iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro or Pro Max ‒ or its older models including the iPhone 11 and SE ‒ this guide will take you through the cheapest ways to get one. 

 

The MSE Cheap Mobile Finder

We recently launched our Cheap Mobile Finder tool, which compares more than 50 different retailers and resellers, covering all major networks to find your top deal. We've the pick of the deals in this guide, but use the tool for loads more options.

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The top iPhone need-to-knows

Should you get an iPhone on a contract? Why should you never just go direct to the network? What other ways are there to get one? Our iPhone need-to-knows should help you bag a cheap deal and learn what to watch out for.

  • When buying your new phone, never just go direct to the network as this is almost always the most expensive way. Resellers usually offer the same contract deals for £100s less, while paying for a handset outright and pairing it with a cheap Sim-only deal can sometimes be the cheapest option.

    To make it easier to find the cheapest deal, our Cheap Mobile Finder tool looks at 1,000s of deals from more than 50 retailers and resellers to find the cheapest way to get your new iPhone, be that on contract or by buying the phone outright and pairing with a cheap Sim.

    Consider a second-hand or refurbished handset

    Don't forget to check out second-hand models on eBay* and refurbished ones directly from your network.

    See our Refurbished Mobiles guide for full information and tips.

  • Apple has two main payment schemes available, one in store (iPhone Payments) and the other when buying online (iPhone Monthly Payments).

    iPhone Payments is Apple's interest-free financing scheme, available in store on the latest iPhones. It allows you to buy the phone for Apple's standard price but pay only a small amount upfront (currently £69) and then the rest in 20 monthly instalments.

    Don't get caught out, though. Apple offers another plan – its iPhone Upgrade Programme – which gives you the option to swap handsets and includes AppleCare, its extended warranty and technical support service, but this scheme can usually be beaten by other methods. See our full analysis of the iPhone Upgrade Programme (the examples are old but the same principles apply).

    iPhone Monthly Payments (online)

    If purchasing online and opting for iPhone Monthly Payments, you'll pay the total price divided into 24 monthly instalments. For both payment schemes, you'll be credit-checked and will need to be accepted for what's technically an interest-free loan. Here's an example of what it costs to buy the new iPhone 12 range online through iPhone Monthly Payments:

    • iPhone 12 Mini – £29.12/month for 24 months for the 64GB model (£31.20/month for 128GB or £35.37/month for 256GB)
    • iPhone 12 – £33.29/mth for 24 months for the 64GB model (£35.37/mth for 128GB or £39.54/mth for 256GB)
    • iPhone 12 Pro – £41.62/mth for 24 months for the 128GB model (£45.79/mth for 256GB or £54.12/mth for 512GB)
    • iPhone 12 Pro Max – £45.79/mth for 24 months for the 128GB model (£49.95/mth for 256GB or £58.29/mth for 512GB)

    iPhone Payments (in store)

    At the moment, all Apple stores are closed, but we've left this information here for when stores reopen.

    If purchasing in store through iPhone Payments, here's how to pay this way.

    1. You can ONLY get iPhone Payments in store – first, reserve a 'shopping session'. As there's limited capacity in stores, it's best to reserve a 'shopping session' online before visiting.

    2. When you purchase the phone, you can opt for iPhone Payments. As there's a credit check, you'll need to take bank details, a valid UK driving licence or passport, debit card and your current mobile. 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 interest. 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.

  • If you don't get close to using your allowance of minutes, data and texts each month, you're essentially overpaying for your contract. Bust your limit, though, and the extra charges can be costly.

    In our last MSE data usage poll, 78% of the 4,000 respondents said they use less than 3GB a month, while only 7% of people actually use more than 10GB a month.

    If you want to check your usage, our handy Data Calculator in our Cheap Mobile Finder tool can help you. Key in your usage (for when you're not using Wi-Fi) and it'll give you a general idea of how much data you need.

    Alternatively, if you're an EE, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three or Vodafone customer, you could use Billmonitor*. It's currently the only tool that'll tap in to your actual mobile bill. Once you've provided your login details for your mobile provider, it will analyse your bills from the last three months to determine your average usage and suggest deals based on this.

  • All iPhone models come in different storage sizes – depending on the model, they're available with 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Generally, you'll pay £50-£200 to go up a size (if you're buying directly from Apple).

    As a rule of thumb, 64GB can hold 2,000 apps, 1,600 albums or 20 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'.

    You can free up space by storing data to the cloud – this will often work out cheaper than opting for a device with more storage space. See our point below on how to back up your iPhone for free.

    For even more top tips for saving storage space on your phone and paying less overall, see our How to increase phone storage guide.

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

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

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

    Rather than old-fashioned cables, most now back up to 'the cloud' – which means storing your data on remote servers, allowing you to free up space on your phone.

    Back up to Apple iCloud from 79p/mth

    Using Apple's own iCloud is the most popular way and you'll be able to set it so that your iPhone backs up automatically every night.

    You get up to 5GB of free iCloud storage, but that'll usually only be enough for a 'basic' backup (device settings, home screen and app organisation, and some app data).

    Extra storage costs vary depending on size, but currently it's £0.79/mth for 50GB, £2.49/mth for 200GB and £6.99/mth for 2TB. While not free, it'll often work out cheaper doing this than opting for a phone with bigger storage.

    Other apps to store data on 'the cloud' cheaply

    Apps such as Dropbox give you 2GB for free, whereas Google Photos and Google Drive give you up to 15GB of free storage. These basic accounts will allow you to transfer content from your phone to 'the cloud' – where your files are stored digitally – which can then be securely accessed from any device.

    If you need more storage, Google charges £1.59/mth or £15.99/yr for 100GB of space, which is enough for about 30,000 photos. If you want to store more with Dropbox, its cheapest plan costs £9.99/mth or £95.88/yr, but you get a huge 2TB of storage.

    Do it the old fashioned way – with a cable

    If you don't want to pay for Apple's iCloud service or register for the free online cloud platforms, you can still take advantage of the traditional way of backing up your iPhone, via the USB cable and Finder (if using MacOS Catalina or later MacOS) or iTunes (if using Windows or earlier MacOS). Take a look at the step-by-step guide on how to back up data using your computer on Apple's site.

    • If you choose to back up your photos/videos to iCloud, you can use it to free up space on your device by selecting the 'Optimise iPhone Storage' in your settings.

      To do this, click Settings > select your name at the top > tap iCloud > tap Photos > choose Optimise iPhone Storage.

      Having your photos/videos in their original, high-resolution form on the cloud frees up space on your phone, but don't worry, you can still view them on your phone in high-res whenever you like.

      Take a look at this step-by-step guide on Apple's site on how to back up data to the web with iCloud.

  • The new range of iPhones now come with 5G as standard, but it's currently only available in a number of big towns and cities. Check out our 5G guide for more info on where you can get it.

    If you can only get 3G/4G where you live/work, the quality of the signal you'll receive will depend on where you are. Across all the networks, big cities and towns should have a decent 4G signal – while those in rural areas can struggle to get even 3G.

    All the networks have coverage checkers on their sites, but these tend to be optimistic. Ofcom's research into 4G is the most up-to-date – and unbiased – coverage info we've seen. View its mobile checker to see what signal strength is likely to be in your area.

  • Accidents can and do happen. Because mobiles are worth so much these days, if you lose 'em, break 'em or have 'em nicked, it can be costly to replace them.

    Insurers play on this fear with hefty prices and unnecessary cover. Yet you can get insurance for your iPhone from £80/year. Read our full Mobile Phone Insurance guide for more info and best buys.

    If your phone's stolen...

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

    Watch out for the insurance hard sell during checkout

    Retailers and resellers will attempt to sell you their own mobile insurance policies. These tend to be more expensive and offer differing levels of cover.

    While you can turn down the insurance, the option to do so can sometimes be small or well hidden, so look out for it.

  • 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, your network will be frantically trying to keep you, so it's the best time to haggle. Long-term customers have a better chance of success here.

    Our latest poll showed the best mobile providers to haggle with are Sky Mobile and Three. See our Mobile Phone Haggling guide for help with getting a better deal. Bear in mind though it's usually harder to haggle on a contract for a new phone, particularly if you're after the latest model.

    Before you call your provider, arm yourself with 'new customer' deals

    All of the deals in our Cheap Mobile Finder are for new customers, but you could use the deals listed here to try and haggle yourself a better one with your current provider.

  • It's often possible to grab extra cashback on top when you sign up for a mobile contract. To get it, you need to sign up via a specialist cashback website rather than directly with the network provider or mobile reseller. 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 our Top Cashback Sites guide.

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

    We usually steer clear of these deals, unless it's sent out automatically.

  • Now you know the cheapest ways to buy a new iPhone, there are a few final things you need to be aware of...

    • Mobile networks are permitted to increase your monthly tariff price each year, but only if their T&Cs state so before you sign up. And all the major networks have such terms, including EE, O2, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone.

      Changes are usually made in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI, a measure of inflation) between February and April each year, but recently some firms have chosen to change the way their prices rise each year, opting to increase by inflation, plus a percentage amount on top. We've seen such recent announcements from all of the biggies, including EEVodafone, O2 and Three.

      If a provider hikes your monthly bill and its T&Cs don't allow this, you can leave your contract penalty-free.

    • Most providers will carry out a credit check, so if you tend to struggle getting credit, you may want to check your credit score before applying for a mobile contract.

      MoneySavingExpert.com's free Credit Club gives you your free Experian credit score and credit report. While it won't tell you for definite whether you'll pass a credit check for a contract, it will give you a general idea of whether you'll be seen as a good or bad credit risk.

      If you think you're unlikely to pass a credit check, or tried and were declined, it could be better to opt for an affordable handset and pair it with a pay-as-you-go Sim instead.

    • The deals 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 transfer your existing number across to your new phone directly.

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

      Port (ie, move) 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 from your provider.

    • The majority of phone contracts which include a handset are paid for monthly over a two-year period, meaning the handset is paid for at the end. Though the handset has been paid for, most providers continue to charge the same monthly price after the initial contract period is over, meaning in effect you're paying for the phone again.

      To avoid this, make a note of your contract end date, and remember to contact your provider one month before it ends to give it notice, which means you're free to leave or change deal. If you're happy with your phone, consider switching to a cheap Sim-only deal or use our Cheap Mobile Finder to compare Sim-only deals. If you're happy with your network, see our top tips for haggling a new deal.

Top iPhone 12 Mini deals

Apple's iPhone 12 Mini is a smaller version of its latest iPhone 12, released in October – see iPhone 12 Mini specs. With its smaller screen comes a slightly smaller price tag, but it's still not cheap – so it's important to bag the best deal. There are 1,000s of different combos, so to help, we've rounded up our pick of the best deals. For more options, see our Cheap Mobile Finder.

MSE analysis

iPhone 12 Mini – what we'd go for

Early adopters of new phones always pay more. They're never MoneySaving, but if you're desperate for the latest model, the cheapest way to get the iPhone 12 Mini 64GB on contract and with enough data for most (3GB+) is this Three deal via Fonehouse, which comes with a generous 100GB/mth of data. It's £816 over the 24-month contract.

If you need more storage, the cheapest 128GB model is from iD Mobile (uses Three). It's £913.75 over the 24-month contract and you get 5GB/mth of data.

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST
iPhone 12 Mini 64GB*
via Fonehouse

100GB/mth

Three

£816 £0 when using code FHMSE30 on the basket page £34

iPhone 12 Mini 128GB*

via iD Mobile

5GB/mth

iD Mobile (uses Three)

£913.75 £49.99 £35.99
Note: Deals are for newbies of that network. These are today's prices, but providers often increase prices in line with inflation or a set % during the contract. (1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise.

The latest iPhones won't come with a power adapter (you'll just get a USB-C to Lightning cable). This means those new to Apple will need to buy this separately, with a USB-C power adapter costing £19 with Apple directly.

Top iPhone 12 deals

Apple's iPhone 12 is its most recent model, released in October – see iPhone 12 specs. It's not cheap, so it's important to bag the best deal. There are 1,000s of different combos, so to help, we've rounded up our pick of the best deals. For more options, see our Cheap Mobile Finder.

MSE analysis

iPhone 12 – what we'd go for

They're never MoneySaving, but if you're desperate for the latest model, the cheapest way to get the 64GB iPhone 12 on contract and with enough data for most (3GB+) is this Three deal via Fonehouse. It comes with a generous 100GB/mth of data and costs £925 over the 24-month contract 

If you want more storage, there's also this Three deal via Fonehouse with unlimited data. It costs £1,007 over the 24-month contract.

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST

iPhone 12 64GB*

via Fonehouse

100GB/mth

Three

£925 £109 when using code FHMSE30 on the basket page £34
iPhone 12 128GB*
via Fonehouse

Unltd data

Three

£1,007 £119 when using code FHMSE30 on the basket page £37
Note: Deals are for newbies of that network. These are today's prices, but providers often increase prices in line with inflation or a set % during the contract. (1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise.

The latest iPhones won't come with a power adapter (you'll just get a USB-C to Lightning cable). This means those new to Apple will need to buy this separately, with a USB-C power adapter costing £19 with Apple directly.

Top iPhone SE deals

The 'budget' iPhone SE was released in April 2020 – see iPhone SE specs. While iPhones are never MoneySaving, the iPhone SE is considerably cheaper than any other recent models. There are 1,000s of different combos, so to help, we've rounded up our pick of the best deals. For more options, see our Cheap Mobile Finder.

MSE analysis

iPhone SE – what we'd go for

Right now, the cheapest way to get the iPhone SE 64GB with enough data for most is this EE deal via Fonehouse with 4GB/mth of data, which works out at £504 over the 24-month contract.

For those who need more storage, you can double your capacity with this deal for the 128GB model with 18GB/mth data. It's with Vodafone, via Mobiles.co.uk, and costs £572 over the 24-month contract.

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST
iPhone SE 64GB*
via Fonehouse

4GB/mth

EE

£504 £0 £21
iPhone SE 64GB*
via Mobiles.co.uk

18GB/mth

Vodafone

£562 £10 £23

iPhone SE 128GB*

via Mobiles.co.uk

18GB/mth
Vodafone
£572 £20 when using code PAYDAY15 on the basket page £23
Note: Deals are for newbies of that network. These are today's prices, but providers often increase prices in line with inflation or a set % during the contract. (1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise.

Top iPhone 12 Pro & Pro Max deals

Apple's top-spec iPhone 12 range was launched in October – see iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max specs. With top-spec comes top prices, so it's important to bag the best deal. There are 1,000s of different combos, so to help, we've rounded up our pick of the best deals. For more options, see our Cheap Mobile Finder.

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST

iPhone 12 Pro 512GB*
via iD Mobile

5GB/mth

iD Mobile (uses Three)

£1,157.75 £149.99 £41.99

iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB*
via Carphone Warehouse

100GB/mth
Vodafone

£1,257

£129

£47

Note: Deals are for newbies of that network. These are today's prices, but providers often increase prices in line with inflation or a set % during the contract. (1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise.

The latest iPhones won't come with a power adapter (you'll just get a USB-C to Lightning cable). This means those new to Apple will need to buy this separately, with a USB-C power adapter costing £19 with Apple directly.

Top iPhone 11 deals

Apple's iPhone 11 was launched in September 2019 – see iPhone 11 specs. Despite being a discontinued model, it's still not cheap, so it's important to bag the best deal. There are 1,000s of different combos, so to help, we've rounded up our pick of the best deals. For more options, see our Cheap Mobile Finder.

MSE analysis

iPhone 11 – what we'd go for

The iPhone 11 has got progressively cheaper since the 12 launched last year. Right now, Vodafone newbies can get the 64GB iPhone 11 with a generous 18GB/mth of data, unlimited mins and texts for £697 over the two-year contract.

If you need more storage, then the cheapest deal for the 128GB iPhone 11 model is also with Vodafone. It comes with 18GB/mth data for £747 over the two-year contract.

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST
iPhone 11 64GB*
via Mobiles.co.uk

18GB/mth

Vodafone

£697 £145 with code PAYDAY15 on the basket page £23
iPhone 11 64GB*
via Fonehouse

25GB/mth

EE

£743 £119 when using code FHMSE30 on the basket page £26
iPhone 11 128GB*
via Fonehouse
18GB/mth
Vodafone
£747
£195 when using code PAYDAY15 on the basket page £23
Note: Deals are for newbies of that network. These are today's prices, but providers often increase prices in line with inflation or a set % during the contract. (1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise.

Older iPhone models

Sometimes you can save a fair bit if you're happy to go for a phone that is a few years old, so we've rounded up the cream below. While they might not be as new and shiny, they still run Apple's latest iOS 14 operating system. We won't include all the older models here, but we'll include ones when they're competitive on price. If these aren't for you, see our Cheap Mobile Finder tool to help you find the right deal.

MSE analysis

Older iPhone models – what we'd go for

One of the cheapest deals we could find for an older iPhone model is this iPhone 7 (released in 2016) deal with Talkmobile (uses Vodafone's network), which works out at £465 over the two-year contract.

If you want something slightly newer, there's the iPhone XR, which was released in 2018. It's currently cheaper to buy the handset outright and pair it with a Sim-only deal, but if you want a contract, the cheapest deal with enough data for most is £635 over 24 months.

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST
iPhone 7 32GB*
via Fonehouse
10GB/mth
Talkmobile (uses Vodafone)
£465 £9 £19
iPhone XR 64GB* 
via Mobiles.co.uk
4GB/mth
Vodafone
£635 £155 when using code PAYDAY15 on the basket page £20
Note: Deals are for newbies of that network. These are today's prices, but providers often increase prices in line with inflation or a set % during the contract. (1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise.

Have you thought about getting a refurbished phone?

Some mobile resellers no longer have stock of the older iPhone models, but if you're determined to get an older model, you may find it cheaper to get a refurbished iPhone. See our Refurbished Phones guide for more. Many refurb sellers provide guarantees on their products, meaning you're covered if there's a technical fault. Refurbs may work out cheaper when paired with a cheap Sim. See our Cheap Sim-only Deals guide for more.

How to complain about your network

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 trying to call your provider first, but if not then…

Resolver - free complaints tool

Free tool to help you complain

This tool helps you draft and manage your complaint. It's totally free to use, and it's offered by Resolver, a firm we work with to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, Resolver can escalate it 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, then instead just let us know by emailing voucherhelp@moneysavingexpert.com as that's usually quicker.

Spotted out of date info/broken links? Email: brokenlink@moneysavingexpert.com