Those who are in the market for a new handset are probably wondering whether now is a good time to buy a new iPhone. Are prices likely to go up or down in 2020? And is there any danger that a new model will be released in the near future?
The short answer is yes: now is a solid time to buy an iPhone. New handsets were announced fairly recently, in September 2019, and we don't expect any more until autumn 2020. But there's a little more to it than that.
In this article, we answer all of your questions about when you should and shouldn't buy a new iPhone - including advice on when Apple is likely to discount the price of older iPhone handsets.
How long is it since the last iPhone launched?
Apple unveiled three new phones in September 2019: the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Max Pro.
(The generation before that was announced on 12 September 2018: the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. And in September 2017 we saw the launch of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X.)
The late-2019 iPhones are available to buy direct from Apple. Prices start at £729/US$699 for the iPhone 11, £1,049/US$999 for the iPhone 11 Pro and £1,149/US$1,099 for the 11 Pro Max.
If you're wondering which of these models is best for you, read our iPhone buying guide.
How frequent are iPhone updates?
It's almost always a single launch event per year, in September. In 2016 Apple broke with tradition and introduced an iPhone SE in March, but there was no new iPhone SE in March 2017, 2018 or 2019.
When will Apple update the iPhone?
It's unlikely that Apple will release another iPhone before September 2020.
When is the best time to buy an iPhone?
The best time to buy an iPhone isn't necessarily when a new model launches - unless you're desperate to have the very latest hardware. You might be happy to wait a month or two after the launch and wait for supply to catch up with demand, and for any problems with the new phones to be identified and (hopefully) fixed.
We'd say that it's fine to buy a new iPhone at any time within nine months of it launching. But by the time we get round to June/July, we start advising people to wait. It makes sense at this point to put off your purchase until the autumn, if at all possible - in other words, unless your current iPhone is broken and you absolutely have to replace it.
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 don't buy an iPhone in August, unless you want to be kicking yourself a month later.
What if I want to buy an older iPhone?
Just want an iPhone and aren't too bothered about it being the latest model? So why not buy now?
Again, you may wish to avoid the months of July and August. After a launch event the prices of the previous-generation iPhones are likely to drop. And if you're really not bothered about specs, you might be able to pick up an even older iPhone that Apple has discontinued, as mobile phone companies discount those models to clear stock.
For example, the iPhone XS has been discontinued by Apple but the price has dropped across the web. Take a look at the best iPhone XS deals and see for yourself.
Wait until Black Friday
Another tip: buy your iPhone in the Black Friday sales at the end of November. Apple itself won't give discounts but will offer an additional gift card. Other retailers will offer discounts on iPhones and iPhone contracts.
Conclusion: Is now a good time to buy a new iPhone?
Now is a good time to buy a new iPhone, since the chances are good that there won't be another new model for another eight months.
We hope this article has proved helpful in reaching an informed buying decision. Remember that good prices can be found all year round, if a retailer is feeling generous and you know where to look: read our guide to the best iPhone deals for more on that.
Finally, for similar advice that applies to your tablet purchases, see When is the best time to buy an iPad?