If you are in the market for a new phone you may be wondering whether now is a good time to buy. Is a new iPhone coming out soon? Will the next iPhone be better? Here, we answer all of your questions about when you should buy a new iPhone to put your mind at rest.
How long since the last iPhone was launched?
The newest iPhone models are the iPhone SE, and the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The iPhone 7 models were announced at an event on 7 September 2016 and were available to buy from 16 September 2016. There was a minor update the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus on 21 March 2017 (on sale on 23 March 2017) when Apple added a Product RED version. This is not a spec upddate, just a new colour varient that includes a charity donation.
The iPhone SE was unveiled at an event on 21 March 2016 and went on sale on 31 March 2016. The iPhone SE was a successor to the iPhone 5s and is Apple’s smaller, lower-cost iPhone option. There was a minor update to the iPhone SE in March 2017 with Apple increasing the storage capacity from 16GB to 32GB and from 64GB to 128GB. This was a much neeed update, but not a new iPhone SE.
How long does Apple leave between iPhone updates?
Apple usually waits one year before introducing a new iPhone model. It has become an Apple tradition to hold an event in September at which new iPhones are demonstrated, and then put on sale a couple of weeks later.
However, in 2016 Apple broke with tradition and introduced a new iPhone in March. There was however no new iPhone SE in March 2017, suggesting that the company is returning to the September update schedule.
When will Apple update the iPhone?
We know that Apple is hosting a special event on 12 September, which we expect will be centred around a new iPhone. You can find out everything we know so far about the iPhone 8 here.
When is the best time to buy an iPhone?
The best time to buy an iPhone isn’t necessarily when a new model launches - although it might be if you have been waiting patiently for the new iPhone and absolutely have to have it yesterday.
It’s easier to say when the worst time to buy a new iPhone is - that is without a doubt in the months leading up to September. So our advice, don’t buy an iPhone in July or August and certainly not before the September Apple event tells you what to expect from the new model.
You may be thinking that since you just want a new phone and aren’t too bothered about the latest iPhone model why not buy a new iPhone now.
It is our experience that after the event the prices of the current generation iPhones will drop, so you may find that if you wait a month or two rather than get an iPhone 6s you can buy an iPhone 7 for the same amount of money you would have spent on the iPhone 6s.
Or, if you really aren’t bothered about the specs of your iPhone, you might be able to pick up an even older iPhone that Apple has discontinued as mobile phone companies discount those models to try and clear stock.
Another tip: buy your iPhone in Apple's Black Friday sales at the end of November.
For the first time in the UK since 2013, Apple participated in 2016's Black Friday event. Black Friday is an event that originated in the US and takes place the day after Thanksgiving and involves retailers giving ridiculous discounts on a range of products.
We can't be sure that Apple will participate again, but ahead of this year's sale you can take a look at our Black Friday deals hub where we'll be covering the best Black Friday iPhone deals, iPad deals, MacBook deals and more.
How can I get an iPhone for free?
You’ve probably seen fake stories suggesting that you can get an iPhone for free, these are usually shared by your less tech savvy friends on Facebook. Don’t ever follow a link to a site that tells you you can get an iPhone for free because this is usually a phishing attempt and they are seeking to exploit you in some way. However, it is possible to get an iPhone for free from some of the mobile phone networks - although it’s not really free.
The Carphone Warehouse, for example, offers a iPhone 6s for free on a two year contract. It’s not entirely free because you are spreading the cost of paying for the phone over the two years (at £47.99 a month), but it does mean that you don’t have to pay a big amount of money when you sign up for the contract. There are cheaper options: the iPhone SE is £22.99 a month with no initial outlay. Find the deals here.
Is now a good time to buy a new iPhone?
In short, no.
It's the worst time to buy a new iPhone because you've got just weeks if not days until you'll be able to get your hands on a better iPhone, or the current top-of-the-range iPhone 7 for much cheaper.