iPhone X insanity is upon us. There will be lots of tears: Tears of joy for those who manage to buy one, and tears of sadness for those who are snubbed by Apple’s servers.
The best place to buy the notch-equipped iPhone X is directly from Apple. But what about from a wireless carrier? Sometimes they have deals and trade-ins. It’s a confusing dumpster fire of fine print to sift through, so we did the homework for you. You’re very welcome.
Before we dive into any carrier offers, let’s talk about how to pre-order from Apple. As always, you can order from Apple.com, but the best way to pre-order a new iPhone is through the Apple Store app simply because the app almost always gets updated before the website.
Pre-orders go live at 12:01 a.m. PT on Oct. 27, and you’ll want to have the app installed and all of your shipping and billing information set up beforehand.
Set up Apple Pay with Touch ID, and then add the iPhone X model you want to your “Favorites” now (don’t wait until the last minute because the app and Apple.com will go down hours before midnight and will be inaccessible until pre-orders are live). If you do that, when it comes time to pre-order, you can breeze through and just add it to your cart and pay with your fingerprint.
Similarly, if you’ve decided to join Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, you’ll want to apply for pre-approval through the Apple Store app. This way you won’t get screwed over with any credit card approval blocks that will delay or even prevent you from buying the iPhone X.
And while you’re at it, just to be safe, call your credit card company and let them know that you’re planning to make a large purchase from Apple. You don’t want any holds or cancellations because your credit card company thinks it might be a fraudulent charge.
Apple’s selling the iPhone X in full for $999 for 64GB and $1,149 for the 256GB. If paying up-front is out of reach, the iPhone Upgrade Program offers the 64GB for $49.91 a month paid over 24 months. The 256GB model costs $56.16 a month paid over 24 months.
These prices are the same for all four U.S. carrier models from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
AppleCare and carrier insurance
Buying your iPhone X outright won’t include any kind of insurance beyond the standard one-year of hardware repair with up to 90-days of technician support.
Previously, AppleCare was $129 for two years of coverage from Apple, but for the iPhone X, you’ll be paying $199 for two years.
But, if you’re on the iPhone Upgrade Program, AppleCare+ comes included in your monthly installment plan (hence, the higher monthly payments, which comes with two years of service coverage including incidents of cracked screens (you’ll still have to pay $29 to replace a cracked screen or $99 for other damage-related repairs).
The carriers each offer their own insurance plans if you’re not interested in AppleCare.
AT&T has several different protection plans, starting at $8.99 per month per enrolled number. One benefit to getting an eligible AT&T protecftion plan over over AppleCare is theft coverage and online photo and video storage.
Verizon also has a number of device protection options, starting at $9 for a single line and $33 for a multi-device plan.
T-Mobile’s own Jump!, Jump! Plus, and Device Protection Plus offer varying degrees of accidental damage coverage including cracked screens and theft protection, starting at $9.
Sprint’s device protection plans are in-line with the other carriers and also start at $9. Some plans offer theft coverage and 5GB of “secure storage” although not as much as AT&T’s baseline 50GB ($12 plan).
Prices are a little different from AT&T. The 64GB costs $999.99 (that’s an extra $0.99). Interestingly enough, AT&T doesn’t list the 256GB model on its website or what colors will be available for pre-order.
We reached out to AT&T and the carrier told us not to worry, the 256GB will be available, and both storage models will be available in Silver or Space Gray.
Finance options for the 64GB iPhone X are available at $33.34 per month (64GB) and paid over 30 months, instead of the higher payments in fewer months offered by Apple.
Verizon will have the iPhone X up for pre-order on its website.
Prices are as follows: $999.99 for the 64GB model and $1,149.99 for the 256GB model in both Silver or Space Gray.
You can pay full price upfront or in installments of $41.61 (64GB) or $47.91 (256GB) per month over 24 months.
There’s a one-time $30 activation fee, but if you decide to return the phones within the 14-day period, Verizon’s not charging the $35 restocking fee it normally does.
Installment pricing on T-Mobile is the same as Verizon: $41.61 (64GB) or $47.91 (256GB) split into payments over 24 months.
However, the carrier is offering a discount of up to $300 off the iPhone X if you trade in an eligible iPhone 6 or newer (iPhone SE is not eligible), and have one of the company’s two installment plans (the Equipment Installment Plan or T-Mobile Jump!). The trade-in value will vary based on the condition of your phone.
For example, if you were to trade in a pristine iPhone 6 and get the full $300 discount, you’d get a $12.50 discount off the original monthly installment pricing: $29.16 per month for the 64GB and $34.41 for the 256GB.
Like the other three carriers, Sprint’s also offering the iPhone X for pre-order on its website. You can buy the phone in full or pay monthly installments.
If you go with installments, they’re offering a special deal that could score you up to $350 off when you trade in an eligible device listed on its website (includes recent Android phones like Galaxy S7 and newer, LG G5 and newer, Google Pixel and newer, and more), and are enrolled with a Sprint Flex plan.
Qualifying customers could get an iPhone X for as low as $22.22 per month after a $19.45 per month credit is applied to their bill within two bills. Sprint’s fine print states, “Reqs 18-mo lease for well-qualified customer w/new line activation or eligible upgrade and eligible trade in.”
Of course, if you can’t get a pre-order in, there’s always the option of waiting on line at Apple Stores on Nov. 3. Apple says it’ll have them in-stock at its stores, but we wouldn’t bet on there being many given the expected shortage. Also, you already know there will be people waiting in line days before. You don’t wanna go through that nightmare, unless you’re really that desperate to get an iPhone X.
Discounts in the future
As you can see, these aren’t exactly the greatest discounts. But that’s no surprise since the iPhone X is going to be in such high demand. It doesn’t help that supply is expected to be severely constrained. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates there may only be 2-3 million iPhone X shipped for pre-orders.
It’s possible that some retailers will discount the iPhone X to during the holiday shopping season, but we also don’t expect any cuts to be large ones. There’s no way around it: The iPhone X is expensive and you’re gonna end up paying a lot for it. Maybe you’ll see a decent discounted deal next year.