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Buying a New iPhone Now? You Couldn’t Pick a Worse Time

What’s happening

Apple’s next iPhone release is likely in one month, making it a tough time to recommend a new iPhone purchase.

Why it matters

Customers that can wait a few weeks can benefit from either getting access to the next iPhone or from discounts that are likely coming to current iPhone models.

What’s next

Apple usually announces new iPhones in September and releases them shortly thereafter.

September is right around the corner, which likely means so is Apple’s rumored iPhone 14 line. In most cases, Apple typically announces its new wave of iPhone models in September and releases them shortly thereafter. But even if you don’t care about having the newest iPhone, there are good reasons to be patient before splurging on an iPhone 13 or 13 Pro.

Apple’s iPhone 14 is probably launching soon

If Apple maintains its current pattern, it will likely announce the iPhone 14 in the first half of September alongside iOS 16 and launch it in the second half. For example, Apple debuted the iPhone 13 on Sept. 14 before making it available in stores on Sept. 24. Timing was similar for the iPhone 11iPhone 8 and earlier models.

That said, there have been some exceptions. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro launched in October 2020, while the 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max became available in November that same year. The iPhone X also launched in November 2017.

As for what to expect from the iPhone 14, rumors indicate the Pro model could have an upgraded 48-megapixel main camera and a new notch-free look. Apple is also rumored to release a new larger size of the standard iPhone 14. 

Read a more in-depth analysis of when we think the iPhone 14 will launch based on Apple’s history here

The next iPhone line will likely arrive when iOS 16 gets a wide release.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Older iPhones might get cheaper

Don’t care about having the newest iPhone? You should still wait. Apple usually reduces the prices of previous iPhone models when introducing new models, just like it did with the iPhone 12 last year. The 64GB iPhone 12, for example, got a price cut to $700 from $800 after the iPhone 13 was announced. The iPhone 11, meanwhile, dropped to $500 in 2021.

This year’s iPhone launch could be even better for those who would rather save money on an older model. If Apple follows 2021’s pattern, it will likely keep the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in its lineup and drop the Mini’s price to $500. That’s significant, because it would make the iPhone 12 Mini one of the cheapest 5G iPhones available. Yes, the iPhone SE is cheaper at $430 and also supports 5G. However, it also comes with a much smaller screen than Apple’s other phones, only has one main camera (most new phones have two) and lacks Face ID. 

While 5G isn’t a necessity, it’s a good idea to make sure your next phone has 5G if you plan on keeping it for the next three years as those networks continue to develop. You can read more about whether it’s OK to buy a non-5G phone in 2022 here

If you really need an iPhone right now

Not everyone is in a position to wait. If you really need a new iPhone right now and want to save a few bucks, consider buying a refurbished iPhone. Apple offers refurbished models on its website that come with a one-year warranty. Apple says these previously-owned devices are inspected, cleaned and include the option to extend customer service with an AppleCare plan.

You can also check for refurbished models on websites like Gazelle and Amazon, which will have their own disclosures on device condition and terms for warranty length.

If you’re having a hard time figuring out which iPhone is right for you, check out our guide.

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