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Best cheap iPhone deals in October 2021

iPhone deals
(Image credit: Future)

iPhone deals are currently in season. From the new iPhone 13 to the iPhone 11, we're seeing some of the best cheap iPhone deals ever. Plus, with the iPhone 13 readily available, we expect to see even more cheap iPhone deals in the coming days. 

Currently, one of our favorite iPhone deals comes courtesy of Verizon. The mobile carrier is taking up to $1,500 off all iPhone 13 models when you trade-in your old phone and buy your iPhone 13 with an unlimited plan. They'll even pay for your broken phone (albeit, you'll earn less). That's one of the best iPhone deals you'll find right now. 

Today's best iPhone deals at a glance

Not to be outdone, AT&T is offering multiple iPhone 13 models for free  when you trade-in an eligible phone and sign up for an unlimited plan. We especially like AT&T's iPhone deals because they're valid for new and existing customers. Not sure which iPhone is right for you? Be sure to check out our best iPhones guide to help you decide. Otherwise, here are the best cheap iPhone deals you can get right now from carriers and retailers.    

iPhone deals and Black Friday

Get ready! The holiday season is just weeks away and that means Black Friday deals will be here before you know it. This year we expect to see aggressive markdowns on all of Apple's iPhones, including the new iPhone 13. Make sure to follow our iPhone Black Friday deals coverage for the best early sales you can get now. 

Best iPhone deals right now

iPhone 13

iPhone 13: free w/ trade-in + unlimited @ AT&T
AT&T is offering new and existing customers the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, or the iPhone 13 Pro for free after an eligible trade-in. You'll need to purchase your phone via a monthly installment plan and you'll also need to sign up for an unlimited data plan. View Deal

iPhone 13: up to $1,300 w/ trade-in + unlimited @ Verizon
New Verizon customers can get up to $1,300 off the new iPhone 13. You'll get up to $800 off with select trade-in. Plus, new members will be able to get an extra $500 to help cover the cost of switching for a total of up to $1,300 off. Existing members can get up to $800 off with trade-in. (The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are both up to $1,500 off). View Deal

iPhone 13: free HomePod Mini + $200 gift card @ Visible
Verizon-owned Visible is offering iPhone deals on Apple's latest smartphone. Simply purchase any iPhone 13, port your number to Visible, and customers will receive a free HomePod Mini ($99 value). Plus, you'll also get a $200 prepaid gift card after you make your first three payments. View Deal

iPhone 12

iPhone 12: 6 months free data @ Mint
Mint Mobile has one of the best cheap iPhone deals of the week. 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. View Deal

iPhone 12 Pro Max: was $1,099 now $799 @ Boost Mobile
Get it before it's gone! Apple has nixed the iPhone 12 Pro Max from its lineup, but Boost Mobile has it on sale. The iPhone 12 Pro Max delivers the best cameras on any phone. Plus, you get a stellar display and unbeatable performance. Boost Mobile is taking $300 off its price and offering it at an all-time price low of $799. The phone features a 6.7-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. View Deal

iPhone 12: $1,500 off w/ trade-in @ Verizon
At Verizon, trade-in your current phone and sign up for an Unlimited plan to get up to $1,500 off any new iPhone. It's one of the hottest iPhone deals we've seen. (You'll get up to $1,000 for your trade in plus a $500 prepaid Mastercard for opening a new unlimited plan). View Deal

iPhone 12 Purple: up to $700 off w/ trade-in + new line @ AT&T
The iPhone 12 Purple is finally here. Even better — AT&T already has iPhone deals available for Apple's latest phone. 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. View Deal

iPhone 12: up to $700 off with Unlimited + trade-in @ AT&T
AT&T is offering major discounts on the iPhone 12 family. Currently, new and existing AT&T subscribers can take up to $700 off iPhone 12 phones with an AT&T Unlimited Plan and trade-in. It's one of the best iPhone deals from AT&T and we especially like it because these iPhone deals apply to new and current members. (For reference, an iPhone 8 or newer will fetch you the full $700 credit). View Deal

iPhone 12: up to $830 off w/ trade-in @ T-Mobile
50% off family plans: Purchase any iPhone 12, open a new line, and trade-in your old device to get up to $830 off your new iPhone. The promo is valid on any T-Mobile plan, which makes this one of the best iPhone deals we've seen. Plus, T-Mobile is taking up to 50% off family plans. This includes its Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Max lines. View Deal

iPhone 12: $100 Mastercard + Nimble charger @ Visible
Verizon-owned carrier Visible has some epic iPhone deals. Currently, purchase any iPhone 12 via Visible and you'll get a free $100 prepaid Mastercard and Nimble fast-charging bundle. This deal applies to all models of the iPhone 12.View Deal

iPhone 12 mini Purple: $0/month w/ trade-in + new line @ AT&T
iPhone deals are now available for Apple's new iPhone 12 mini purple. New and existing customers can get the iPhone 12 mini purple for free with trade-in of an old phone and the opening of a new Unlimited plan. That's the best offer we've seen for Apple's newest phone. View Deal

iPhone 12: up to $500 off w/ trade-in @ Apple Store
The Apple Store is offering credits of up to $500 when you purchase a new iPhone 12 and trade-in your old phone. A Galaxy S10 would get you up to $180 in Apple credits, whereas an iPhone XS would get you up to $300 in Apple credits. The credits can be used for your iPhone 12 purchase. View Deal

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 deals we've seen from Mint (or any carrier). You'll wind up paying $30/month for the iPhone 12 mini and $30/month for unlimited 5G data. By comparison, other carriers can charge upwards of $60/month just for 5G data alone. Mint Mobile operates on T-Mobile's network.View Deal

iPhone 11

iPhone 11: free  w/ Unlimited @ Verizon
Best cheap iPhone deal: The Editor's Choice iPhone 11 packs a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display (1792 x 828), Apple's A13 Bionic CPU, and dual 12MP ultra wide and wide cameras. (Unlike the "Pro" models it lacks the third rear lens). It also features a 11:16-hour battery life. Add an Unlimited line to your account and you'll get the iPhone 11 for free at Verizon. That's one of the best iPhone deals we've seen for Apple's former flagship. View Deal

iPhone 11: $299 w/ two months payment @ Cricket
Cricket Wireless has the iPhone 11 on sale for $299 when you pay for two months of the Cricket $60/month plan. You must port your number to get this deal. It's one of the best cheap iPhone deals we've see from Cricket. View Deal

iPhone 11: $10/month w/ Unlimited @ AT&T
Get the iPhone 11 for as little as $10/month when you open a new Unlimited line at AT&T. This deal applies to new or existing members. No trade-in is required. It's one of the best iPhone deals we've seen from AT&T. View Deal

iPhone 11 Pro : $8/month w/ new line + Unlimited @ Verizon
Verizon is offering a wide variety of iPhone deals. For instance, you can get the iPhone 11 Pro for just $8/month when you open a new line with Unlimited. That's one of the best iPhone deals we've seen for Apple's former flagship. (Which is still a very capable smartphone). View Deal

iPhone 11 Pro: up to $700 off w/ trade-in @ AT&T
AT&T is offering up to $700 in bill credits spread out over 30 months when you buy an iPhone 11 Pro and trade in a qualifying phone. You're required to port-in your current phone number and open a new line of data under AT&T's unlimited plan. Alternatively, you can get $400 in bill credits when you add a line without porting in a number. View Deal

iPhone 11: free w/ 2 new lines @ T-Mobile
At T-Mobile, activate two new lines and you'll get a free iPhone 11. It's one of the best iPhone deals we've seen from T-Mobile, albeit on Apple's last-gen smartphone. Nevertheless, the iPhone 11 is still a powerful phone and an excellent option for Apple fans that are strapped for cash. View Deal

iPhone SE

iPhone SE: $5/month @ AT&T
The iPhone SE 2020 is one of Apple's most affordable iPhones. For a limited time, AT&T is offering it for $5/month with no trade-in required. It's one of the best iPhone deals we've seen for Apple fans on a budget. View Deal

iPhone SE: free w/ new line + Unlimited @ Verizon
Open a new line of service with an unlimited plan at Verizon and you'll get an iPhone SE for free. It's one of the best iPhone deals you can get right now. Plus, make your purchase online and you'll get 50% off your activation fee. View Deal

iPhone SE: was $399 now $199 @ Walmart
The ultimate iPhone SE deal is here. Walmart is offering preorders of the new iPhone SE 2020 for $199. That's $200 off and the best iPhone SE deal we've seen period. The offer is valid with purchase and activation on AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. An installment plan is required with the carrier, although there's no penalty for early pay off. View Deal

iPhone XR

iPhone XR: free w/ new line @ Verizon
The iPhone XR has officially been cut from Apple's lineup, so any iPhone deals on this phone should be dirt cheap as retailers try to sell their remaining stock. Currently, when you port a new line into Verizon, you'll get the iPhone XR for free. That's $499 off and one of the best cheap iPhone deals we've seen. View Deal

iPhone XR: was $499 now $349 @ Boost Mobile
Boost has discounts on many iPhone models, knocking $150 off the cost of everything from the iPhone 11 to the iPhone 8. But the iPhone XR is a pretty compelling buy at Boost, since this discount lets you get a new 6.1-inch iPhone for just $349.View Deal

iPhone XR: free w/ unlimited @AT&T
Sign up for any Unlimited plan on AT&T and you can get the iPhone XR for free. A 30-month installment plan is required for this iPhone deal. View Deal

Refurb iPhones

Refurb iPhone: from $639 @ Apple Store
The Apple Store is an excellent place to shop for refurb iPhones. We recommend Apple's refurbs because they're backed by the same one-year Apple warranty that new products receive. Currently, the Apple Store only has iPhone XS and iPhone 11 refurbs. These iPhone deals start from $639. View Deal

iPhone Accessories

Otterbox iPhone cases: up to 55% off @ Amazon
Amazon is taking up to 55% off select Otterbox iPhone cases. After discount, prices start as low as $18. (Otterbox cases normally cost twice that amount). Otterbox makes durable cases for all models of the iPhone. The sale includes cases or the iPhone 12, iPhone SE, iPhone 8, and more. View Deal

Spigen Crystal Flex Case for iPhone 12 mini: was $14 now $7 @ Verizon
iPhone deals aren't limited to just phones. Verizon is taking 50% off the Spigen Crystal Flex Case for the iPhone 12 mini. The case features a slight raise that keeps the camera off flat surfaces to protect the lenses. You also get drop protection on all-four corners, which shields your phone from everyday accidents. The case is also wireless charging compatible, so you don't have to remove it to charge your phone.View Deal

Case-Mate iPhone cases: up to 50% off @ Amazon
Amazon has a wide range of iPhone cases on sale at up to 50% off. After discount, prices start as low as $21. It's one of the best iPhone deals we've seen on these Case-Mate accessories. View Deal

ZAGG iPhone 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 and guards your screen from nicks and scratches. View Deal

Incipio Duo Case iPhone 12: was $29 now $20 @ Amazon
Incipio makes a range of cases for the iPhone. 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 also protects your screen from accidental cracks. The case is compatible with MagSafe and wireless charging, which makes it one of the best iPhone deals available if you're on the prowl for a new case. View Deal

Tips on finding the best iPhone deals

  • Start with mobile carriers: Mobile carriers tend to offer the best iPhone deals. There is one catch — in order to get their best deals, you'll have to switch to their service. In some instances, you may also have to sign up for an unlimited plan. 
  • Trade-in your old phone for credit: If you have an older phone to trade in, many carriers will give you a generous credit that could range from $100 to as high as $1,000 off. As a result, it pays to keep your smartphone's cables, box, and accessories in good condition so you can get the most from your trade-in. 
  • Check out MVNOs: Short for mobile virtual network operator, MVNOs operate on the infrastructure of existing networks. For instance, Verizon-owned Visible works on Verizon's network, whereas Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's. MVNOs offer less costly plans than their bigger counterparts. In some instances, there are some trade-off such as less readily available customer support or slightly slower data speeds. 
  • Don't be afraid of refurbs: Apple offers some of the best refurbs in the industry. They refurbish their iPhone to look like new and we especially like the company's refurbs because they're all backed by the same 1-year warranty you'd get with a new Apple device. 
  • Wait for the new models (if you can): If Apple follows its traditional keynote timeframe, the iPhone 13 will likely to be unveiled sometime in September. Rumors indicate the new phone could have an always-on display, larger battery, faster A15 Bionic chip, and dynamic 120Hz display (on the Pro models). The launch of the new phone will likely bring about a price drop in the iPhone 12 family. If you can, we recommend waiting until Apple's September keynote before buying a new iPhone. 
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.