The lock screen on the iPhone XS.
Enlarge / The iPhone XS can be to be had to pre-order on Friday.

Valentina Palladino

It’s iPhone season, which means that it’s as soon as once more time for thousands and thousands of Apple diehards to drop what they’re doing and straight away improve their day-to-day drivers.

To be transparent, we advise looking forward to the Ars assessment of the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max—which cross up for pre-order at 3am ET on Friday and start delivery to consumers on September 21—sooner than throwing more money in Tim Cook’s route. But we additionally acknowledge that a number of folks made up our minds they might purchase one in every of the new handsets once Apple offered them.

So for many who are useless set on grabbing an iPhone XS in an instant—and don’t need to look ahead to the extra reasonably priced iPhone XR subsequent month—we’ve damaged down the place to get the new handsets and what the main dealers and cell carriers are providing on your acquire.

There’s no indication that offer is constrained for both of those telephones, however for many who will have to have the new type on day one, pre-ordering is generally required. Plus, no longer all of the offers presented at the side of those pre-orders are wholly simple. Let’s ruin all of it down.

Note: Ars Technica might earn repayment for gross sales from hyperlinks in this publish thru associate methods.

Buying from Apple

For most of the people, the most straightforward way of shopping for a brand new iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max is to get one at once from Apple. You can pull up the telephones’ product web page in your Web browser and furiously hit refresh at Three:01am ET, regardless that the use of the Apple Store app is most often the quicker way for many who have an iOS software already. In both case, it’s highest to make sure your login and fee data is all squared away forward of time, simply to higher your probability of warding off unexpected delivery delays. That tip applies for some other store discussed under.

As a refresher, right here’s how a lot every variant of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max prices outright:

  • iPhone XS: $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB)
  • iPhone XS Max: $1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB)

That’s no longer precisely affordable! If you don’t need to pay that a lot in advance, right here’s the necessary reminder about Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program. This will value you extra in the longer term, however it allows you to repay your telephone in per 30 days installments over 24 months, with a easy solution to improve to a brand new iPhone after 12 bills. It additionally applications in the corporate’s AppleCare+ insurance coverage program, which on this case would pressure up the worth of the telephones over the complete 24 months. Like the equivalent methods presented by way of the large 4 cell carriers, the Upgrade Program is highest used in case you’re certain you wish to have to shop for a brand new iPhone every yr.

If you cross this path, right here’s how the pricing of the iPhone XS will ruin down:

  • iPhone XS: $49.91/month (64GB), $56.16/month (256GB), $64.50/month (512GB)
  • iPhone XS Max: $54.08/month (64GB), $60.33/month (256GB), $68.66/month (512GB)

Apple arrange a pre-approval procedure for many who sought after to pre-order the iPhone XS and XS Max once they turn out to be to be had, however the time limit for that expired on Thursday.

Trading for your previous telephone

As with maximum large telephone launches, the majority of offers surrounding iPhone XS pre-orders contain buying and selling for your previous software for credit score towards a brand new telephone. The large 4 carriers have their very own trade-in methods: the ones may also be fruitful, however they generally pay you in credit score this is returned over the process a number of months. This is most often an try to stay you tied to their carrier longer.

If you don’t need to maintain that, you’ll be able to promote again your software thru different outlets. Apple, for one, has a trade-in program referred to as Apple GiveBack. Currently, the corporate is providing as much as $525—in the type of an Apple Store reward card or a partial refund of your acquire—for an iPhone X in applicable situation. (The iPhone XS’ upgrades in reality don’t appear main sufficient to be warrant the bother, regardless that.) My iPhone 7, in the meantime, would fetch $200. The program accepts a number of non-iPhones, too, at the side of different forms of units altogether.

Note that you just gained’t be capable to benefit from your trade-in credit score straight away on this case; you’ll nonetheless need to ship your previous telephone to Apple and allow them to check up on it to make sure the whole thing’s kosher. Apple says it’ll take 2-Three weeks for the complete procedure to wrap. Still, it’s a option to offset prices, and it will probably make the trade-in procedure more practical in case you plan to shop for thru Apple as it’s.

You have lots different choices, regardless that. Best Buy has a rather in depth trade-in program that will pay you again in shop credit score, which may also be useful right here since the store will promote iPhone XS fashions that paintings with the main carriers. Gazelle is a specifically sexy choice since it will probably pay you in money as an alternative of shop credit score. Others like Swappa and Glyde might be offering excellent worth as smartly. Or you’ll be able to attempt to promote it on eBay, in case you’re keen to courageous that minefield.


Now let’s transfer to the carriers. First, Verizon says it’s going to be offering the iPhone XS for $999.99 outright or $41.66 a month for 24 months. The iPhone XS Max, in the meantime, will value $1,099.99 outright or $45.83 a month for 24 months.

The service is selling a deal wherein it’s going to take $700 off a 2d iPhone acquire for many who purchase an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone eight, or iPhone eight Plus on a tool fee plan and turn on a brand new line of carrier. Verizon says the deal will follow to each new and current consumers, however, as anticipated, that $700 is returned in the type of invoice credit unfold out over 24 months, no longer as one immediate cut price.

Beyond that, Verizon says it’s going to give at least $100 in trade-in credit score towards the acquire of a brand new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone eight, or iPhone eight Plus. An organization spokesperson may no longer ascertain precisely which telephones will give again what quantity of credit score. Again, that worth is returned in the type of 24 per 30 days invoice credit.

The service may have a pair different provides. Verizon says those that purchase an iPhone on a tool fee plan can take $100 off an iPad with a fee plan or $50 off an Apple Watch on a fee plan. Finally, the corporate says it’s going to take 25 % off “select Beats products” with the acquire of a brand new iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, regardless that it’s value making sure any discounted product is in truth inexpensive than its boulevard worth somewhere else.


T-Mobile will promote the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max outright for the identical costs as Apple. It will promote every variant on an installment plan, too: the iPhone XS will vary from $280 to $630 down with 24 per 30 days bills of $30, whilst the iPhone XS Max will vary from $380 to $730 down with the identical 24 per 30 days bills of $30.

The magenta service says those that commerce in an older iPhone towards the acquire of a brand new type can stand up to $300 off to their acquire. That, too, is available in the type of invoice credit unfold out over 24 months.

Here’s how that trade-in credit score will ruin down, in keeping with a T-Mobile consultant:

  • $300 off: iPhone eight, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
  • $200 off: iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus
  • $100 off: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or any previous iPhone in “good working condition”

AT&T and Sprint

Both AT&T and Sprint will be offering the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max on Friday, however neither service has introduced any particular pre-order offers as of this writing.

The others

  • Best Buy says it’s going to be offering a shop reward card value as much as $275 with the trade-in of an iPhone 7 or more recent, however notes that the deal is handiest to be had in-store, no longer on-line. The store has listings for Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max units on its website online.
  • Walmart has a touchdown web page for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max continue to exist its site, however hasn’t specified any pre-order offers.
  • Target is in the identical boat at Walmart.
  • Sam’s Club says those that turn on a 24-month fee plan with the acquire of a brand new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max gets a $100 shop reward card.
  • US Cellular may have each new iPhones to be had for pre-order, however gained’t be offering a unique trade-in promotion.
  • Comcast says its Xfinity Mobile MVNO will be offering a $300 reward card for many who acquire a brand new iPhone (or Samsung telephone), turn on a brand new line, and port their quantity over to the carrier. You’ll have to stick with the carrier for no less than 90 days to be eligible for the reward card, and it gained’t ship the card for a whopping 16-18 weeks after the new line has been activated. Once the card has been despatched, Comcast says it’s going to be excellent for 180 days.

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