As is common with many smartphone models, deals on contracts and buying-outright prices become more competitive and flexible once the current model has been available a few months.
This certainly applies to the latest iteration of Apple’s popular iPhone. The 7 was launched last autumn and now, a few months into its life, and with its successor – predicted to appear in September or October – already being talked about, the 7 is now a more viable option for the savvy buyer.
Slower demand for new iPhones
Another aspect that’s of help to those buying now is that demand for the 7 has steadied after the predictable rush after launch and the fact that, in general, iPhone users are tending to upgrade less frequently than before. Apple nowadays finds that demand for the most recent iPhones tapers off quicker than maybe previously; this of course is good news for those interested in changing to the latest handset.
Mobile service providers such as EE and O2 are offering lower priced tariffs, or adding more standard provisions to existing ones such as increased data allowances. Handset-only options are more tempting as some suppliers offer new or nearly new iPhone 7s at significant savings over prices from Apple direct or in store.
For example, this supplier of refurbished phones including brand new and nearly new iPhone7 examples offers significant savings over buying a handset directly from Apple.
The buying cycle
Many are keen to get their hands on a new Apple product as soon as it’s launched, hence the legendary pictures appearing in the media and on tech websites of large queues outside Apple stores up and down the country – especially when a new iPhone is imminent. Unfortunately for them, this is the time when Apple’s smartphone is at its most expensive to buy, both outright and on contract.
On average, if you’re prepared to wait about six weeks after launch, better deals on the new device are usually available. Prices for a handset-only might rise on the run up to Christmas (contract deals won’t generally as these are less susceptible to festive purchase trends) before falling back as the New Year gets underway.
At this point people who would consider buying the model before the current one (so in this case the iPhone 6S; the 7’s predecessor) can really save as prices of these tend to drop sharply around January time.
Recently Apple introduced a buying scheme to enable people to buy a brand new iPhone 7 on monthly payments. This scheme has been available in the US since the launch of the 6S and, since the launch of the 7, to UK customers.
You pay £49.00 upfront and then 20 months to pay off the balance of the phone, with the option to upgrade when you reach month 11 (when you also pay the £49.00 ‘upfront’ amount again on top of the monthly payments).
It’s a 0% interest scheme, and you can settle it early just as with most finance arrangements. It means you can upgrade your phone regularly (which also suits Apple of course) without being tied to a hefty contract from a network provider.
So Apple’s plan addresses the hurdle (for some) of finding a larger sum to buy an iPhone if they don’t want to be committed to what would likely be a two year contract from a network provider. The one ‘catch’ is you have to have Apple’s protection plan, AppleCare, as part of the package – and you’re charged in full for it (£119 over the life of the plan).
The question to ask yourself is, do you really need a brand new iPhone 7? Significant savings can be had on a nearly-new one from a specialist provider as above and you’ll still get features that offer peace of mind, such as a warranty and fast delivery.
iPhone’s resale values could help you
If you already own an iPhone and are looking to upgrade to a 7, then selling your existing one and buying a good refurbished iPhone 7 could save you parting with an especially large sum of money.
The iPhone holds its value well model for model, so if you’re prepared to make the effort to sell it (or see what online phone buyers might offer) and then purchase a good quality refurbished 7, that could be the best way of securing an iPhone 7 at the best price.