If you really want to buy any of the new iPhone 15 handsets when they go on sale, it won’t be cheap. But it can be less expensive.
You probably either love or hate Apple, but if you love Apple you probably waited excitedly to see what the new iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Plus handsets would be like when announced at the annual Apple event.
I watched the (rather long and uninspiring) video so you didn’t have to, and I’ve shared below what the new handsets will cost and how you can make them slightly less expensive (though not necessarily affordable!).
Here’s what you need to know and a few tricks to help you save money on the latest Apple mobile phones.
The new iPhone 15 range
You can order the new handsets from Friday 15 September, and they’ll be available to collect from 22 September 2023.
The first phone announced was the iPhone 15. It’s pretty much the same design to the 14, and comes in five colours. The significant change was replacing the Lightning slot for a USB C one. Elsewhere there are some improvements to the chip, camera and charging. Once again there’s a 15 Plus that’s slightly bigger.
And a welcome surprise is that the handsets are actually cheaper than their equivalent iPhone 14 models last year – though they’re still not cheap!
The “standard” iPhone 15 is down by £50 to £799 (for 128GB). It’s then £899 (down from £959) for 256GB and £1,099 (vs £1,179) for 512GB. You’ll pay more again for the Plus version, which start at £899 (also £50 less than the 14 Plus launch price).
The iPhone 15 Pro & Pro Max
The changes for iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max include a titanium casing (making it smaller, stronger and lighter) and a faster chip that allows improved gaming. There’s also a new “action” button on the side.
As ever, you’ll really pay to get these Pro models, but once again they’re less than a year ago. The iPhone 15 Pro is starts at £999 for the 128GB model (down £100), and goes up to £1,499 (down £150) for a huge 1TB of storage.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max beings at £1,199 (for 256GB, at the same price as the 128GB 14 Pro Max last year) and hits a massive £1,599 for the 1TB model (down £150)
Other iPhones are still available
Each time there’s a new release, Apple also removes a group from sale in its official range.
You can still get the iPhone 14, iPhone 13 and iPhone SE, all of which will fall in price. The 128GB iPhone 14 for example is now £699 – £150 less that at launch. You can get the 13 and 14 Plus too.
Though the older Pro models have gone when sold direct by Apple, you might be able to pick them up elsewhere. The same goes for older models which are also gone from the official Apple range (such as the 12) could mean other retailers will possibly reduce them further to clear stock.
Should you get one of the new iPhones?
It’s tempting right? But you need to ask if you’re buying it because you like shiny new things (understandable), or because it’s actually going to be significantly different to your current handset.
Yes, there are improvements to previous models, but can you justify hundreds of pounds of expenditure to get them? I’d say it’s unlikely if you last got a new model a year or two ago.
I used to upgrade my phone every couple of years, but now I tend to wait another year or two. And you know what? My phone still worked fine and did everything I need it to for those extra years.
So if your current phone is absolutely fine then keeping it is going to be the best value for money.
There’s an argument that you’ll get more money by selling your current phone now rather than in a year – which is true. Even so, I still think waiting is the best bet.
But if you’re adamant you want (or need) to upgrade your phone when the new iPhones are available, here’s how to save some cash.
How to get a new iPhone for less
Avoid upgrading or buying on a contract
One of the most expensive ways to buy any new phone, not just the iPhone, is to buy it through your mobile network.
Instead, you should try to buy it upfront, and get a separate SIM-only contract. This is almost always cheaper. More on this further down the article.
I’m not even going to bother comparing contract prices at the different networks as there are far cheaper ways to get your hands on the new phones.
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Why mobile contracts are bad for your pocket
Lots of people get a new phone as part of an upgrade via their network. That’s usually as part of a 24-month contract – or even longer.
This actually costs you more money! By doing this you’ll essentially be taking out a loan on the handset and paying interest each month. The extra they charge can easily be hundreds of pounds.
If your monthly charge is a combination of handset and tariff then it’s also easy to get caught in the trap of continuing to pay for the handset after the contract ends. Again, quickly adding up if you don’t switch straight away.
Buy the handset outright
Don’t be tempted to get a higher specification than you actually need. Most people won’t use 256GB storage, let alone 512GB or 1TB. Realistically, last year’s 14 will probably be fast enough for most people, so it might be hard to justify paying more for any of the 15 series.
You also don’t need to buy direct from Apple, handy if they’re out of stock. Check anyone from Amazon to John Lewis – and see if there are any codes or discounted gift cards that might help you bring down what you pay.
Even so, you’re probably thinking, how the hell can I afford a £799+ phone?!
Here are a few ways to make it more affordable:
Use your savings
If you’ve got savings, and they aren’t earmarked for something else, I’d normally suggest using these.
BUT only if you can afford to. There’s no point having to borrow money in a few months because you’ve spanked it all on a phone.
Pay with a 0% interest offer
It’s better perhaps to spread the cost out with a 0% interest deal.
Apple often has 0% finance on new handsets. You can always get this in Apple stores (take photo ID with you) with the iPhone Payments scheme offering 20 months interest free.
The online offer comes and goes, but it’s back for launch of these new handsets. Do this and you’ll spread the cost of the phone out over 24 months without any extra charges.
Or you could look at a 0% purchase credit card. As long as you make the minimum repayment each month and know you can afford to pay the card off before the 0% period ends, you can again spread the cost out.
This could also be an option if you want to keep earning interest on your savings, via a process known as stoozing.
Of course make sure with both of these that your credit report is up to date and your score reasonable. A rejection for the credit could hurt your score.
Watch out for “upfront” that costs more
If you buy the handset outright from Apple or another store like John Lewis, you’ll pay the real price.
However some networks, including O2, have the cheek to charge you even more when you do – even if it’s not part of a contract.
Get cashback on a contract
Buy it abroad
This one won’t be possible for everyone, and it’s harder to get a deal in recent years thanks to awful exchange rates, but most years buying your phone abroad can be cheaper.
Prices for handsets in pounds and dollars are slightly different (eg $799 vs £849 for the 14, and from $999 vs £1099 for the Pro), and you have to add tax on top which varies depending on the state you visit, to work out the actual price. Even so, you can potentially save £100 or so, depending on the model phone you go for.
Of course, to save money you need to be going to the States anyway. But if you do have a holiday planned, wait until then and you’ll make a decent saving. I did this four years ago when buying an iPhone 11, saving me around £120.
If you are going to do this, make sure you pay with a specialist travel card, and if it’s on a credit card, pay it off in full ASAP to avoid interest charges.
Buy last year’s model
If you are going to buy a now older model, do shop around, or even wait a little bit longer so prices drop again.
If you’re happy to go second hand or refurbished there will soon be a rush of people who have just upgraded who are looking to get rid of their 14 or earlier. So you’ll get an improved handset but at a lower price.
Sell your old phone to fund the new one
If you really do want the new phone, then try to offset it by selling your old phone. From my experience, you’ll get the most money from eBay.
However as soon as a new phone is announced prices for older handsets fall in value, so don’t leave it too long. Here’s how to get the most money from selling your old handset
If you do buy the handset outright then you’ll need to get your network contract as SIM-only offer.
You can choose between a 30-day or 12-month SIM and most people should be able to get by paying less than £8 a month for your minutes, texts and at least 8GB of data. Here’s more on how it works.
Don’t forget to go via a cashback site to save even more money, and there are new member deals too.