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Best cheap iPhone deals in August 2021

iPhone deals
(Image credit: Future)

iPhone deals are currently in season. From the iPhone 12 to the iPhone XR, we're seeing some of the best cheap iPhone deals ever. Plus, with back to school season at its prime, we expect to see even more cheap iPhone deals in the coming weeks. 

Currently, one of our favorite iPhone deals comes courtesy of Verizon. The mobile carrier is taking up to $1,200 off all iPhone 12 models when you buy your iPhone 12 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 taking up to $700 off all iPhone 12 models 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 or existing customers. That said, you'll want to hurry as their offers could end at any given moment. 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.    

Back to school and iPhone deals

Back to school season has started and that means shoppers should expect to see a new wave of iPhone deals in the coming weeks. Apple's entry-level iPhones, such as the iPhone SE and base iPhone 12, will likely see the biggest price drops. Expect to see cheap iPhone deals that offer the iPhone for free with trade-in or when you switch to a new carrier. Verizon, for instance, has the iPhone 12 mini for free with trade-in and new line. Or you can get the iPhone 11 for $299 with a new Unlimited plan. Make sure to follow our back to school sales coverage for the latest deals. Plus, visit our back to school guide for all buying advice, deals, and more. 

Best iPhone deals right now

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: $1,200 off w/ trade-in @ Verizon
At Verizon, trade-in your current phone and sign up for an Unlimited plan to get up to $1,200 off any new iPhone. It's one of the hottest iPhone deals we've seen. (You'll get up to $700 for your trade in plus a $500 prepaid Mastercard for opening a new unlimited plan) Or buy one iPhone 12 at normal price, and get up to $1,200 off the cost of another. 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: $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: $0/month 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 our account and you'll pay just $0/month for the iPhone. That's one of the best iPhone deals we've seen for Apple's former flagship. 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 is the perfect iPhone for cash-strapped iOS fans. 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 $399 @ Boost Mobile
Boost has discounts on many iPhone models, knocking $100 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 under $400.View Deal

iPhone XR: $13/mo + Unlimited @AT&T
Sign up for any Unlimited plan on AT&T and you can get the iPhone XR for just $13/month. 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. 
Louis Ramirez

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. That means price checking against multiple retailers and searching 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.