Let’s start by looking at the base prices. The 64GB iPhone 8 costs $699, with the 256GB model costing $849. The iPhone 8 Plus costs $100 more all around. The iPhone X costs $300 more, so $999 and $1,149.
So far, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile have all said they’ll carry the new phones. You will also be able to get phones at Apple Stores, and at Best Buy, Walmart, and other major retailers. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be widely and easily available, but expect the iPhone X to become quickly backordered.
Wait for Retail for Upfront Deals
In the past, Walmart, Best Buy, and their ilk have offered some great deals on iPhones. Typically, they’ll sell them to you at the same base price as Apple does, but throw in a $100 or $150 gift card with your purchase. I’d be shocked if they don’t do that again, but they may be required to wait until the carriers have had their chance at early buyers. That makes waiting a good bet.
Sam’s Club is offering a $100 gift card if you activate an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus on an installment plan with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon, or a 2-year contract with U.S. Cellular. There’s also a small discount on extended warranties.
Target is offering various deals for its RedCard owners: $120 in gift cards over 24 months, a $200 trade-in value on an iPhone 6, and 10 percent off a phone case.
But I Need it Now!
All four nationwide carriers have announced deals on the new iPhones.
If you buy an iPhone on AT&T Next, get a 32GB iPad for $99.99 on a two-year wireless agreement when you add eligible service on both. We really like the new iPad, so that’s not a bad deal if were eyeing a new tablet. Just be aware that you’re then locked into LTE service with that iPad, so it only makes sense if you’ll be using it alot outside your house, where Wi-Fi isn’t an option.
AT&T is also offering a buy-one, get-one-free deal on the 32GB iPhone 7 right now, which is pretty great.
Sprint will now give a ‘free’ iPhone 8 to monthly leasing customers who trade in an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 plus, GS8, GS8 Plus, or Note 8. It will give 50% off the monthly lease if you trade in an iPhone 6 and 6 plus, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, GS7, GS7 Edge, G6, Note 5, V20, Moto Z2 Force, Pixel, Pixel XL, Moto Z Droid, Z Play, Z Force Droid, or Z2 Play.
If you’re a Verizon customer, buy a Verizon iPhone 8 from Verizon or Apple, bring it to Sprint and get a free year of service.
The carrier will also beat any other carrier’s monthly installment plan price on an iPhone 8.
Remember that the whole leasing deal means you’re essentially renting your phone from Sprint, and that you can’t sell it yourself without paying off the lease at the full retail price.
For a limited time, customers who trade in their iPhone 6 or newer in good condition and want to pick up iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X on an equipment installment plan will get up to $300 off via 24 monthly bill credits, according to T-Mobile.
Once more, the carrier is trying to make sure you’re on the hook for 24 months here. The credit is actually $12.50/month, so if you decide to pay off the installment plan after, say, 12 months, you really only get $150 in credit. Still, better than nothing.
The company is also offering a discounted upgrade program where if you buy an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X now on a 24-month payment plan, you’ll be able to get next year’s phone by handing back the current one after 12 months. This is similar to T-Mobile’s $10/month Jump! program, but it’s free.
Verizon is also going with trade-in deals. You’ll need to be on a Verizon Unlimited plan and agree to pay for your phone with a 24-month payment plan. Depending on which phone you turn in – and yes, they have to be all pretty high-end phones – you’ll get either $100, $200 or $300 in trade-in value. Motorola, HTC, Pixel, LG, Samsung and Apple phones are all eligible.
Xfinity Mobile and U.S. Cellular have no special deals right now.
How About Apple’s Upgrade Program?
Apple offers its own iPhone upgrade program, which lets you switch up to a new iPhone every year, in exchange for paying extra per month and agreeing to take AppleCare+ warranty coverage—which will cost $199 for iPhone X versus $129 for iPhone 8.
Apple’s upgrade program is more expensive than Verizon’s upgrade program, Sprint’s deal, T-Mobile’s current upgrade promotion, or AT&T’s Next Every Year.
For instance, a base iPhone 8 on most carriers is $29.13/month, while Sprint’s half-off deal could be as low as $14.59. Apple charges $34.50/month. However, Apple’s upgrade program gives you the freedom to switch carriers later, including to a low-cost virtual carrier, if you want. That could save you big money over the long term.
Is iPhone X Too Expensive?
In case you haven’t heard, the iPhone X is $1,000+. That’s not cheap, but here in the US, it’ll mostly be sold on two-year contracts, which will just kick it up by $10 per month or so over the iPhone 8 Plus. For most people eyeing a pricey smartphone, that probably won’t break the bank, and here’s some from Gottabemobile on how to bring down the price even more.
If you’re not sold on Face ID and the demise of the Home button, though, nab an iPhone 8. Of course, the smaller iPhone SE can be had starting at $349, while iPhone 6s starts at $449.
Want Updated Deals?
This story is accurate as of Sept. 21, but I suspect deals will change fast. WhistleOut.com appears to be tracking carrier deals, so check with them, especially if you’re reading this later in September or October.