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If you’ve been holding back on purchasing a new iPhone 13, today may very well be the day to pull the trigger, as the major U.S. carriers are offering what are likely their best deals of the year.
Unlike other Black Friday deals on Apple gear, the iPhone is a special case, since you’ll likely get the best bargains from your carrier, either when upgrading or signing up for a new plan.
Even if you prefer to go with a more traditional retailer, you’re still basically going to be tied to a carrier deal to get the best price possible. For instance, Apple is offering only a $50 gift card with the outright purchase of an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini, and nothing at all for this year’s models. By contrast, Target will give you up to $250 off any of the latest iPhone models when activating a new line on AT&T.
To be clear, most of these deals come in the form of bill credits, but that’s understandable as you’re financing the purchase of your new iPhone with monthly payments anyway. For instance, Target’s $250 off works out to a $10 monthly discount over the course of your 25-month commitment, lowering the price of an iPhone 13 Pro to $17.78/month.
Among the other retailers, Walmart is offering a $300 gift card with the purchase and activation of any model in the iPhone 13 lineup on either AT&T or Verizon.
Further, in what’s clearly an effort to clear out older stock, Walmart is offering even better deals on older iPhone models: a $500 gift card with the purchase of an iPhone 12 Pro Max, $450 for an iPhone 12 Pro, or $350 for an iPhone 12.
In all cases, you’ll need to activate the iPhone in question on either AT&T or Verizon by December 3 to qualify.
Walmart will also provide an additional gift card of up to $250 with the trade-in of an AT&T/Verizon iPhone XS Max or newer, although as with most trade-ins, the exact values may vary.
Best Buy is offering the various iPhone 13 models on all three carriers with savings of up to $1,100 when you trade in an older phone.
The best deal through Best Buy appears to be with AT&T, which is offering savings of up to $1,100 on the iPhone 13 with an appropriate trade-in, although that’s on new activations only.
Verizon is matching those trade-in values, more or less, but it’s also offering up to $440 in trade-in credits for those who are upgrading from an older iPhone.
On the other hand, T-Mobile will provide trade-in values of up to $900 for both new and existing T-Mobile customers, regardless of rate plan. There’s an additional bonus of $200 via monthly bill credits for those who also activate a new line of service on Magenta Max. You’ll have to go to Best Buy Mobile in person to take advantage of this, however.
You can also go directly to AT&T for most of the same deals that are available at Target or Best Buy:
- iPhone 13 Pro Max: $1,000 off with a qualifying trade-in and instalment plan
- iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro: No cost with a qualifying trade-in and instalment plan.
- iPhone 12: $15/month, no trade-in required.
- iPhone 12 mini: 50% off, no trade-in required.
- Savings of up to $330 when purchasing any two Apple Watch models on an instalment plan.
The Uncarrier’s big Black Friday deal for Apple fans this year is an iPhone 13 Pro with a free set of AirPods when trading in an eligible device on a Magenta Max plan. It’s also throwing in a free year of Apple TV+, too.
For even more savings, you can swap out the iPhone 13 Pro in that deal with an iPhone 12 or standard iPhone 13 and get up to $1,000 off instead, via 30 monthly bill credits.
T-Mobile is also offering up the 40mm Apple Watch SE for only $99 when you add a line along with it. This can be either a paired DIGITS service to use it with your own personal iPhone, or even an Apple Watch Standalone line suitable for another family member using Apple’s Family Setup feature.
The deal in this case comes via 24 monthly bill credits that work out to $230.99, leaving you paying only $99 for the wearable, which works out to around $4/month. It’s a nice bonus considering how badly the Apple Watch Series 7 rebate program was botched, but since you’re dealing directly with T-Mobile in this case, it’s fair to say the whole thing should go a lot more smoothly.
Like AT&T, the deals you’ll get by going directly to Verizon are mostly the same as what retailers like Best Buy are offering, with trade-in values of up to $1,000 when purchasing a new iPhone 13 and activating it on a new plan.
Verizon is also offering an additional free iPhone 12 when you buy one and activate it on a new unlimited plan. Plus, if you buy and activate a Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad at the same time as a new iPhone, you can get up to $300 in promo credits over the life of your plan. This deal is available for the entire iPad lineup — from the iPad mini 6 to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.