5 things to consider to know the best time to buy an iPhone
When is the best time to buy an iPhone? Will there be a new iPhone soon? When will the iPhone 8 price drop? Will the iPhone X price come down? Find out if you should buy a new iPhone now or wait.
If you're in the market for a new phone you may be wondering whether now is a good time to get a new iPhone.
Spolier: it is currently a great time to buy one.
In this article, we answer all of your questions about when you should and shouldn't buy a new iPhone - including advice on when Apple is likely to discount the price of older iPhone handsets.
1. How long is it since the last iPhone launched?
Apple unveiled not one but three new iPhones on 12 September 2018, one year after the launch of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X.
The latest iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are available to buy now from Apple.
The iPhone XR, a similar iPhone that costs less, is also available to buy.
With the launch of the new phones came price drops for older models (iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus) and the iPhone X is now discontinued completely, as is the iPhone SE.
If you're wondering which of these iPhone models is best for you, read our iPhone buying guide or our roundup of the best iPhone deals.
2. How frequent are iPhone updates?
Apple usually waits one year before introducing a new iPhone model. It has become an Apple tradition to hold an event in September at which a new crop of phones are demonstrated and then put on sale a couple of weeks later.
In 2016 Apple broke with tradition and introduced an iPhone SE in March. There was, however, no new iPhone SE in March 2017 or March of 2018, suggesting that there is no guarantee that Apple will update the iPhone exactly a year after launch.
3. When will Apple update the iPhone?
It's unlikely Apple will release another iPhone until September 2019.
4. When is the best time to buy an iPhone?
The best time to buy an iPhone isn't necessarily when a new model launches - unless you're desperate to have the very latest hardware. You might be happy to wait a month or two after the launch and wait for supply to catch up with demand, and for any problems with the new phones to be identified and (hopefully) fixed.
We'd say that it's worth buying a new iPhone within nine months of it launching, but by June/July we'd recommend putting off your purchase until the autumn - unless your current iPhone is broken and won't tide you over for three or four more months.
It's easier to say when the worst time to buy a new iPhone is - that is without a doubt in the months leading up to September. So don't buy an iPhone in August, unless you want to be kicking yourself a month later.
-> What if I want to buy an older iPhone?
You may be thinking that since you just want a new phone and aren't too bothered about the latest iPhone model, why not buy a new iPhone now?
It is our experience that after the event the prices of the current-generation iPhones will drop. And if you're really not bothered about specs, you might be able to pick up an even older iPhone that Apple has discontinued as mobile phone companies discount those models to clear stock.
-> Wait until Black Friday
Another tip: buy your iPhone in Apple's Black Friday sales at the end of November. Apple itself won't give discounts but will offer an additional gift card. Other retailers will offer discounts on iPhones and iPhone contracts.
We can't be sure that Apple will participate again, but ahead of this year's sale, you can take a look at our Black Friday deals hub where we'll be covering the best Black Friday iPhone deals, iPad deals, MacBook deals and more.
5. Is now a good time to buy a new iPhone?
Now is a good time to buy an older iPhone as they'll be discounted thanks to the new models that have come out. Unless you're a keen early adopter we'd hold off on buying the new model for a month or so to see if you can get some cheaper deals and to make sure there are no teething issues or supply issues with the new models.
If you decide you do want to buy the new iPhone XS after all, check out our iPhone XS deals article, and for all iPhones take a look at iPhone deals.