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Best iPhone 12 deals for October 2021

iPhone 12 deals
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Cheap iPhone 12 deals can be found everywhere right now. Retailers from AT&T to Verizon are offering some of the best iPhone 12 deals of the year. Plus, now that the iPhone 13 is available in stores, iPhone 12 deals are practically free.

Currently, the best iPhone 12 deals can be found at Verizon. The carrier is offering up to $1,200 off all iPhone 12 models when you switch to Verizon and trade-in your old phone. Verizon will even pay for your broken phone. Not to be outdone, AT&T is taking $700 off all iPhone 12 models with an eligible trade-in. Unlike Verizon, AT&T's iPhone 12 deals are valid whether you're a new or current AT&T customer. 

That said, wireless carriers remain your best option for cheap iPhone 12 deals — particularly if you're ready to switch networks. Even the iPhone 12 deals at retailers like Best Buy or Walmart typically require that you activate your phone with a carrier instead of buying it unlocked. However, if you want the least-expensive iPhone 12 deal and plan possible, Mint Mobile has the iPhone 12 mini with unlimited 5G data for $60/month. The $60 plan includes the price of the iPhone and unlimited data. By comparison, other carriers charge as much as $60/month just for data alone. 

Today's best iPhone 12 deals 

iPhone 12 deals and Black Friday

If you want the best iPhone 12 deals of the year, you'll want to wait till the holidays. Last year, we saw Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals that offered the iPhone 12 (Apple's new phone at the time) for free. Verizon even offered a BOGO deal on the iPhone 12. Given that the iPhone 12 is no longer Apple's flagship, we could see even better deals this year. Make sure to follow our iPhone 12 Black Friday deals coverage for the best sales throughout the Black Friday season. 

Best iPhone 12 deals 

iPhone 12 deals

iPhone 12

iPhone 12: up to $1,200 off with trade-in @ Verizon
Verizon is taking up to $1,200 off all iPhone 12 models when you switch to its network and trade-in your old phone. These iPhone 12 deals cover all models from the base iPhone 12 through the iPhone 12 Pro Max. It's one of the most aggressive iPhone 12 deals we've seen from Verizon. Verizon will even pay you for your broken phones. You'll need to sign up to one of Verizon's Unlimited plans to get this deal. (You get up to $700 for your trade-in plus an extra $500 prepaid Mastercard when you switch from a competing carrier). If you're upgrading an existing line, you'll only get up to $350 for your trade-in. 

iPhone 12 w/

iPhone 12: 6 months free data @ Mint
Mint Mobile has one of the best cheap iPhone 12 deals we've seen. New customers who port their number to Mint and buy a new iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini with a 6-month data plan will get 6 months of data for free. All Mint Mobile plans include unlimited talk, text, and 5G for free. Mint Mobile operates on T-Mobile's 5G network. 

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iPhone 12: up to $700 off all models w/ Unlimited + trade-in @ AT&T
New and existing AT&T subscribers can take $700 off any iPhone 12 model when purchased with an AT&T Unlimited Plan and with trade-in of an iPhone 8 (or newer). It's one of the best iPhone 12 deals we've seen from AT&T and we especially like this deal because it applies to both new and current subscribers. 

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iPhone 12 (purple): up to $700 off w/ trade-in + new line @ AT&T
The iPhone 12 purple is Apple's latest iPhone. Even better — AT&T already has iPhone 12 deals on these new phones. New and existing customers can get up to $700 off the iPhone 12 purple when you trade-in an old phone and open an Unlimited plan. 

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iPhone 12: up to $200 gift card @ Visible
Verizon-owned carrier Visible has some epic iPhone 12 deals this week. For a limited time, purchase any iPhone 12 via Visible and you'll get up to a $200 prepaid gift card. You can choose from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, The Children's Place, MasterCard, or Lowe's. This deal applies to all models of the iPhone 12.

iPhone 12 Best Buy

iPhone 12: up to $515 off @ Best Buy
With qualified activation and trade-in, Best Buy is taking up to $515 off all iPhone 12 models. These are among the best iPhone 12 deals we've seen from Best Buy. To get the max discount, you'll need to buy an iPhone, trade in your old phone, and activate your new iPhone via T-Mobile.

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iPhone 12: free w/ trade-in @ T-Mobile
The Magenta network is offering select iPhone 12 models for free when you trade in an eligible device. The sale includes the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. It's one of the biggest iPhone 12 deals we've seen from T-Mobile. You'll need to activate a new line on T-Mobile Magenta Max plan to qualify. 

Best iPhone 12 Pro deals 

iPhone 12 Pro deals

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iPhone 12 Pro: $1,200 off w/ trade-in + new line @ Verizon
Trade in your old iPhone or Android phone and Verizon will slash up to $1,200 off the cost of your new iPhone 12 Pro when you purchase the device with an Unlimited plan. The phone features a 6.1-inch Super Retina OLED display, 5G connectivity, Dolby Vision HDR video, three rear cameras, A14 Bionic CPU, and a LiDAR scanner for night mode portraits. It's one of the best iPhone 12 deals we've seen for the Pro model. 

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iPhone 12 Pro: up to $700 off w/ unlimited + trade-in @ AT&T
AT&T is knocking up to $700 off the iPhone 12 Pro when you purchase it with an Unlimited plan and trade-in your old device. The deal is valid on all iPhone 12 Pro models. It's one of the best iPhone 12 deals we've seen from AT&T.

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iPhone 12 Pro: $150 Mastercard + Fire TV Stick @ Visible
Verizon-owned carrier Visible has an excellent iPhone 12 Pro deal. For a limited time, purchase any iPhone 12 Pro via Visible and you'll get a free $150 prepaid Mastercard and Amazon Fire TV Stick. The phone itself will cost you $41/month over a 24-month period. 

Best iPhone 12 Pro Max deals 

iPhone 12 Pro Max deals

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iPhone 12 Pro Max: up to $1,200 off w/ trade-in + new line @ Verizon
Verizon is taking up to $1,200 off the iPhone 12 Pro Max with trade-in of an eligible phone and new Unlimited line. It's one of the best iPhone 12 deals we've seen from Verizon. If you're a current subscriber, you'll get up to $700 off when you upgrade and trade-in your old device. 

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iPhone 12 Pro Max: up to $700 off w/ Unlimited + trade-in @ AT&T
New and existing AT&T subscribers can take $700 off the iPhone 12 Pro Max when purchased with an AT&T Unlimited Plan and with trade-in of an old phone. (AT&T is pretty generous with their trade-in and an iPhone 8 in working condition will get you the full $700 credit). It's one of the best iPhone 12 deals we've seen from AT&T. We also like that it applies to both new and current subscribers. 

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iPhone 12 Pro Max: was $1,099 now $999 @ Cricket
Cricket's iPhone 12 deals take $100 off the iPhone 12 Pro Max when you switch to Cricket and port your phone number to the carrier. You'll also have to sign up for Cricket's $60/month unlimited data plan. As a reminder, Apple has eliminated the iPhone 12 Pro Max from its lineup, so these deals will likely sell out fast. 

iPhone 12 Pro

iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max: up to $830 off @ T-Mobile
The iPhone 12 Pro delivers the best cameras on any phone along with a stellar display and unbeatable performance. And T-Mobile offers up to $830 off the latest iPhones, You need to activate a new line on an eligible plan and trade in an eligible iPhone in good condition to get the iPhone 12 for $169.

Best iPhone 12 mini deals 

iPhone 12 mini deals

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iPhone 12 mini w/ unlimited data: $60/month @ Mint
Mint Mobile is offering the iPhone 12 mini bundled with unlimited 5G data for $60/month over a 24-month span. That's one of the best iPhone 12 deals we've seen from Mint, which operates on T-Mobile's network. You'll wind up paying just $30/month for the iPhone 12 mini and $30/month for the unlimited data. By comparison, most carriers will charge you $70/month for just their data plan.

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iPhone 12 mini Purple: $0/month w/ trade-in + new line @ AT&T
AT&T has iPhone 12 deals for Apple's new iPhone 12 mini purple. New and existing customers can get the new iPhone 12 mini purple for free with trade-in of an old phone and the opening of a new Unlimited plan. 

iPhone 12

iPhone 12 mini: free with trade-in @ Verizon
Verizon will knock up to $700 off your iPhone 12 mini when you trade-in an eligible device and sign up for an Unlimited data plan. After discount, you can get the iPhone 12 mini for free. (The credits are spread out over 24 months). Alternatively, you can apply the $700 credit to reduce the cost of other iPhone mini models.

iPhone 12

iPhone 12 mini: free with trade-in @ AT&T
AT&T is offering $700 in bill credits when you trade-in an eligible device and sign up for an unlimited data plan. After discount, you can get the iPhone 12 mini for free. (The credits are spread out over 30 months). Best of all, this deal is open to both new and existing AT&T subscribers. Alternatively, you can apply the $700 credit to reduce the cost of other iPhones.

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iPhone 12 mini: was $729 now $529 @ Metro by T-Mobile
Metro by T-Mobile is taking $200 off both the iPhone 12 mini and the regular iPhone 12 when you switch your wireless service to the T-Mobile-owned discount carrier. You'll be able to access T-Mobile's cellular network including its nationwide 5G network via Metro. This is an in-store deal, and availability may vary by location.

Best iPhone 12 deals — accessories

iPhone 12 accessories deals

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ZAGG screen protectors: up to 50% off @ Amazon
For a limited time, Amazon is taking up to 50% off select ZAGG InvisibleShield screen protecters. After discount, prices start as low as $19. ZAGG makes screen protectors for all models of the iPhone 12. 

Otterbox iPhone cases

Otterbox iPhone 12 cases: up to 25% off @ Amazon
Amazon is taking up to 25% off select Otterbox iPhone 12 cases. After discount, prices start as low as $29. (Otterbox cases normally cost twice that amount). Otterbox makes durable cases for all models of the iPhone 12. 

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Case-Mate Tough Plus: was $29 now $7 @ Amazon
The Case-Mate Tough Plus can protect your iPhone or iPhone Pro from falls as high as 15 feet. Made from plant-based materials, the case is designed to work with wireless chargers and Case-Mate claims it won't turn yellow over time. 

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Incipio Duo Case iPhone 12: was $29 now $18 @ Amazon
Incipio makes a range of cases for the iPhone 12. The Duo Case (for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro) can protect your iPhone from drops as high as 12 feet. Its raised-edge bezel can also protect your screen from cracks. The case is compatible with MagSafe and wireless charging. 

iPhone 12 deals — Which model should you get?

The iPhone 12 sports a fast A14 Bionic processor, 5G connectivity, and updated cameras. It also has a new Ceramic Shield glass display that Apple claims is the toughest in the industry. There's also a new MagSafe charging system. 

The iPhone 12 features a 12MP wide lens with a f/1.6 aperture and a 12MP ultra-wide lens with a f/2.4 aperture and 120-degree field of view. It's the first iPhone to include Apple's new 7-element lens, which delivers low light performance. Apple has also added a new Night Mode Time-lapse feature. 

Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 mini is a compact version of the iPhone 12. It sports a 5.4-inch OLED display and the same A14 Bionic CPU found inside the standard iPhone 12. However, its costs $699, which is $100 less than the 6.1-inch iPhone 12. 

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the successors to the iPhone 11 Pro models. They feature larger screens — 6.1 inches for the Pro and 6.7 inches for the Pro Max — plus triple camera arrays aided by a LiDAR sensor. Otherwise, they share the same processor, 5G connectivity, and charging features as the iPhone 12. 

Tips for finding the best iPhone 12 deals

  • Carriers offer the biggest discounts: Switching carriers remains the best way to find iPhone 12 deals. This is especially true when new iPhone models are announced. That said, AT&T iPhone 12 deals are worth tracking because sometimes its deals apply to both new and existing users. Otherwise, most carriers will require that you port your number to their service to get the best deals. 
  • Keep your old iPhone in top condition: In addition to switching carriers, trading in your old phone is another way to save on the purchase of a new iPhone. As a result, you'll want to keep your current phone in the best shape possible and make sure to save all the boxes, cables, and documentation that originally came with it. That way should you want an iPhone 13, you'll be able to get it without having to pay full retail.
  • Don't forget about refurbs: We normally wouldn't recommend shopping for refurbished smartphones, but Apple's refurbs are the exception. They're refurbished by Apple to work and look like new. More importantly, they're backed by the same 1-year warranty that comes with new Apple devices. 
  • Wait for the next Apple keynote: Apple's next September keynote is a year away. So if the iPhone 13 isn't you thing, here's what we know about the iPhone 14
Louis Ramirez

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.