Tech giant Apple has unveiled its range of new iPhones, the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X. It's also cut the price of its existing models including the iPhone 7.
Of course, buying a new iPhone is never MoneySaving, and early adopters usually pay the most. But if you're desperate to get your hands on the latest handset anyway, make sure you buy it as cheaply as you can. We've tips below to cut the cost – including how to pay for it interest-free.
Apple's launch event took place today at its headquarters in California, and while it was the world's first look at the new iPhones, they're not available in the UK just yet.
- The iPhone 8 and its larger equivalent the iPhone 8 Plus, both of which can be charged wirelessly, go on sale on Friday 22 September and will be available for pre-order from this Friday (15 September). If you buy upfront from Apple, the iPhone 8 will start at £699 and the 8 Plus at £799, both for 64GB models.
- The iPhone X – the 'X' refers to the roman numeral for 10 – comes with a range of new features including face recognition technology and expanded screen. It will be on pre-order from Friday 27 October and in shops on Friday 3 November. Prices from Apple start at £999 for the 64GB model and go up to £1,149 for the 256GB handset.
Prices for the iPhone 7 and other older models cut
As usually happens whenever new iPhones are launched, Apple has also slashed the cost of its existing handsets – so if you want a fancy smartphone but aren't fussed about having the very latest model, this is a cheaper way to get your hands on one.
Again, the following prices are if you're buying upfront direct from Apple (and all based on 32GB models):
- The iPhone 7 is now £549, down from £599.
- The iPhone 7 Plus is £669, down from £719.
- The iPhone 6s is £449, down from £499.
- The iPhone 6s Plus is £549, down from £599.
- The iPhone SE is £349, down from £379.
How to cut the cost of buying an iPhone
As we've said, a new iPhone won't come cheap, but if you are set on one, here's how you can try to keep the cost down:
- Wait a few weeks. Based on what we've seen in previous years, handsets are initially very expensive but prices may drop a little after launch, as the market settles and cheaper deals come through. This applies particularly to contracts, though upfront prices are less likely to move – but the longer you wait, the better the deals are likely to be.
- Do you really need the latest model/extra storage? As above, the prices of previous iPhone models have come down today, and there's a real price difference when it comes to storage too – eg, a top-end iPhone X is £150 more than the 64GB model. Don't buy more iPhone than you'll really use.
- It's usually cheaper to buy the phone outright. If you have the cash, as a rule it's cheaper to buy a new mobile phone upfront, as two-year contracts generally come at a hefty mark-up. Occasionally special deals from cheap mobile resellers can undercut the upfront price – but it's rare. See Buying a handset help for more info – and if you do buy an iPhone upfront, pair it with a cheap Sim.
- Spread the cost of a new iPhone interest-free. The iPhone Payments scheme, which allows you to spread the cost of a new phone over 20 months interest-free, will work with all three new iPhones. After an initial payment of £69 you pay a set amount each month – from £31.50 for the 64GB iPhone 8 to £54 for the 256GB iPhone X – for 20 months. This is only available in the Apple store, and you'll be credit-checked – see more on how the scheme works.
- If going abroad, check the price while you're there – it may be MUCH cheaper. For example, while the 32GB iPhone X is £999 in the UK, it retails at at $999, or about £750, in the US (though you may need to factor in local sales taxes too which can vary). There are a few things you'll need to check though if buying abroad – look at the exchange rate carefully, be aware of import rules, check chargers etc are compatible and watch out on consumer rights and your warranty.
What snazzy features do the new iPhones have?
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are similar in appearance to the current iPhone 7, but with various upgrades.
Both models are all glass on the front and back, and are microscopically sealed to be dust and water resistant.
They feature a better quality camera than the iPhone 7, and Apple claims they offer the highest quality video capture of any smartphone. You can also charge both phones wirelessly via a charging mat, using what's known as 'Qi technology'.
It is the iPhone X which is really the biggest step forward though – technology website TechRadar has already dubbed it "the most important iPhone ever launched" in its early review.
As well as various improvements to its camera, improved battery life (two hours longer than the iPhone 7) and being the first iPhone without a 'home' button, the iPhone X features 'Face ID', where the user looks at the camera to unlock their phone.
This then replaces everything that 'Touch ID' currently does, including with Apple Pay – which means you'll be able to authorise contactless payments using your face.
Selling your old iPhone? Do it soon
Data from previous years suggests that the price you can sell your old iPhone for usually drops after a new model's announced, and then falls further again shortly after new models go on sale in the UK.
Figures from the reselling website MusicMagpie.co.uk show that after the iPhone 7 was unveiled on 7 September last year, the average price for a fully working recycled iPhone 6s dropped from £425 to under £400 in just two days.
After the iPhone 7 went on sale on 16 September, the resale value dropped further, to about £370 by the end of the month. Overall, the price dropped by 32% from just before the announcement to November.
When selling an old phone, always compare the prices offered by the big reselling sites using a mobile-phone recycling price-comparison service. See our Sell Old Mobiles guide for tips on ensuring you get the best price.