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 iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro & Pro Max deals here – plus tips to cut the cost of other models, incl the iPhone 11 and SE

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, with our pick of the best deals.

 

Looking for a cheap deal over Black Friday weekend? 

Try our new Cheap Mobile Finder tool to search 1,000s of deals from more than 40 retailers. It will be updated every hour, so it will be the best place to find the latest deals as they're changing rapidly.

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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.

  • Always check if it's cheaper to buy an iPhone outright before signing up for a contract  and never go direct to the network as resellers usually offer the same deals for £100s less.

    Never go direct to a network, always check mobile resellers

    Buying a new handset on a traditional contract from the major mobile networks can leave you overpaying by £100s. Reseller sites such as Mobiles.co.uk* (owned by Carphone Warehouse) and MobilePhonesDirect are almost always cheaper than going direct to the network. And right now, for some phone and allowance combos, it's cheaper to buy through a reseller than buying outright and pairing with a cheap Sim – a method often the cheapest in the past. 

    See our pick of the best iPhone deals below, while Compare My Mobile* and HandsetExpert are also useful sites for comparing deals from the major networks and mobile resellers.

    Buying a handset upfront and pairing with a cheap Sim

    Paying for a handset outright and pairing it with a cheap Sim-only deal can sometimes be the cheapest option, so it is worth checking. If you can't afford to shell out a chunk of cash upfront, consider buying your iPhone on cheap or free finance instead and then pairing with a 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. Make sure it's unlocked (see Mobile Unlocking for full info) though, so you can take advantage of super-cheap Sim-only tariffs.

    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)

    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 currently limited capacity in stores due to social distancing, it's best to reserve a 'shopping session' online before visiting a store. 

    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. To help you choose the correct tariff, check your actual past usage with Billmonitor, an online tool.

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

    Alternatively, Billmonitor* is also available. It's currently the only tool that is accredited by Ofcom that'll tap in to your actual mobile bill. It will analyse your bills from the last three months to determine your average usage and suggest deals based on this. It works for customers of EE, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three and Vodafone..

    Don't overestimate how much data you need – most use less than 3GB a month.

    Don't overestimate how much data you need

    And even though apps are becoming ever more data-hungry, don't fall for mobile firms pushing high-data deals.

    Try and choose a contract with a data allowance you actually need. Plus with free Wi-Fi readily available, you may find you actually use less now than you used to.

    In our last MSE poll on data use, to which almost 5,000 MSE users responded, only 10% actually used more than 10GB a month, while 68% used less than 3GB.

  • 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.

    Back up to 'the cloud'

    This type of backup is becoming increasingly common – storing on 'the cloud' means storing your data on Apple's own servers, allowing you to free up space on your phone. Set it to back up automatically each day and you'll always have a backup of your phone should the worst happen, or you just need to free up some storage space. Apple's cloud-based service iCloud allows you to back up phone settings, photos, apps and your Apple Music Library.

    If you choose to back up your photos/videos to the cloud, you can 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 > 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. 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.

    There are other free apps available such as Dropbox or Google Photos, which 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.

    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 its iTunes application. Take a look at the step-by-step guide on how to back up data using your computer on Apple's site.

  • The new range of iPhone's 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 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.

    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 auto-insurance

    Some retailers automatically add insurance to a mobile phone contract when you sign up online, 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.

  • 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 frantic to keep you, so it's the best time to haggle. Long-term customers have a better chance of success here.

    Our 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. 

  • 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 bills 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. 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 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 round 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 see our top tips for haggling a new deal.

Top iPhone 12 deals

Apple's iPhone 12 is its most recent model – see iPhone 12 specs. It's not cheap, but you can save by going through resellers rather than direct to the networks. There are 1,000s of different combos you can get with varying allowances, but to help, we've rounded up a selection of deals below that come with at least 3GB/mth data, as this is enough for most people according to our most recent data usage poll. We've also leant towards the phones with less storage (but still plentiful for most), as they're almost always cheaper. If these aren't for you, see our Cheap Mobile Tips guide for help finding the right deal.

MSE analysis

iPhone 12 – what we'd go for

Early adopters of new phones always pay more and they're never MoneySaving, but if you are desperate for the latest model, the cheapest way to get it on contract and with enough data for most (3GB+) is this Vodafone deal via Mobiles.co.uk. It comes with 6GB of data, but bear in mind the high upfront cost.

Alternatively, if you can afford to, it's £10 cheaper overall to buy the iPhone 12 outright (£799 at most retailers) and pair with a Sim with average data (eg, iD Mobile 6GB for £7/mth). See Top Sims for more.

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST
iPhone 12 64GB*
via Mobiles.co.uk

6GB/mth

Vodafone

£977 £425 £23
iPhone 12 64GB*
via iD Mobile

20GB/mth

iD Mobile (uses Three)

£1,010 £50 £40
iPhone 12 64GB*
via MobilePhonesDirect

100GB/mth

Three

£1,034 £170 £36

iPhone 12 128GB*

via Fonehouse

100GB/mth

Three

£1,085 £269 £34
(1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise. Note: Deals are for newbies of that network.

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 you can get with varying allowances, but to help, we've rounded up a selection of deals below that come with at least 3GB/mth data, as this is enough for most people according to our last data usage poll. We've also leant towards the phones with less (but still plentiful for most) storage as they're often cheaper. If these aren't for you, see our Cheap Mobile Tips guide for help finding the right deal.

MSE analysis

iPhone SE – what we'd go for

Right now, the cheapest way to get the iPhone SE with enough data for most (3GB+) is our blagged EE deal via Affordable Mobiles with 4GB of data. Use code MSE100 in the basket and it's free upfront, then £21/mth, making it £504 over the 24-month contract.

For those who need more storage, you can double your capacity with this 128GB model with 5GB data – it's with iD Mobile (which uses the Three network), via Carphone Warehouse.

MODEL

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

4GB/mth

EE
MSE Blagged

£504 £0 with code MSE100 £21
iPhone SE 64GB*
via iD Mobile

5GB/mth

iD Mobile

£572 £20 £23
iPhone SE 128GB*
via Carphone Warehouse
5GB/mth
iD Mobile (Three)
£620 £19.99 £24.99
(1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise. Note: Deals are for newbies of that network.

Top iPhone 11 deals

Apple's iPhone 11 was launched in September 2019 – see iPhone 11 specs. It's not cheap, but you can save by going through resellers rather than direct to the networks. There are 1,000s of different combos you can get with varying allowances, but to help, we've rounded up a selection of deals below that come with at least 3GB/mth data, as this is enough for most people according to our most recent data usage poll. We've also leant towards the phones with less storage (but still plentiful for most), as they're almost always cheaper. If these aren't for you, see our Cheap Mobile Tips guide for help finding the right deal.

MSE analysis

iPhone 11 – what we'd go for

With the recent launch of the iPhone 12, this is usually the sweet spot to get cheap iPhone 11 deals.
 

Right now, the cheapest way to get a 64GB iPhone 11 is our blagged deal via iD Mobile. Enter the code IDM10OFF at the basket page and pay £10 upfront, then £29.99/mth, making it a total of £730 over the two-year contract.

iD Mobile uses the Three network, so if you know Three isn't great in your area, there's also this Vodafone deal via Mobiles.co.uk. 

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST
iPhone 11 64GB*
via iD Mobile

20GB/mth
iD Mobile (uses Three)

MSE Blagged

£730 £10 when using code IDM10OFF at the basket page before 11.59pm Fri 4 Dec. £29.99
iPhone 11 64GB*
via Mobiles.co.uk

24GB/mth

Vodafone

£774 £150 £26
iPhone 11 128GB*
via iD Mobile
20GB/mth
iD Mobile (Three)
£818
£49.99 £31.99
(1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise. Note: Deals are for newbies of that network.

iPhone 11 Pro & Pro Max

Apple's top-spec iPhone 11 range was launched back in September last year – see iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max specs. It has recently been discontinued by Apple, but you can still get it on contract via networks and resellers.

There are 1,000s of different combos you can get with varying allowances, but to help, we've rounded up a selection of deals below that come with at least 3GB/mth data, as this is enough for most people according to our most recent data usage poll. We've also leant towards the phones with less (but still plentiful for most) storage as they're almost always cheaper. If these aren't for you, see our Cheap Mobile Tips guide for help finding the right deal.

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST
iPhone 11 Pro 64GB*
via Fonehouse
100GB/mth
Three
£1,043 £179 £36
iPhone 11 Pro 256GB*
via Virgin Mobile
8GB/mth
Virgin Mobile (EE)
£1,284 £0 £53.50
iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB
via Fonehouse
100GB/mth
Three
£1,256 £200 £44
(1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise. Note: Deals are for newbies of that network.

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 13 operating system. We won't include all the older models here, but we'll include ones when they're competitive on price.

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 2016) deal with Vodafone. 

If you want something slightly newer, there's the iPhone XR, which was released back in 2018.

MODEL

DATA & NETWORK (1) TOTAL COST (2YRS) UPFRONT COST MONTHLY COST
iPhone 7 32GB*
via Affordable Mobiles
3GB/mth
O2
£480 £0 £20
iPhone XR 64GB* 
via Carphone Warehouse
5GB/mth
iD Mobile (Three)
£650 £50 £25
(1) All come with unlimited mins & texts unless stated otherwise. Note: Deals are for newbies of that network.

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…

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