If you're desperate for an iPhone but your budget doesn't quite stretch to Apple's newest models, buying an old, used or refurbished iPhone is a great way to pick up a bargain. While this might sound like a risky route to take, it doesn't have to be the case, as there are a number of specialist retailers that offer warranties and check all devices before sending them out.
Apple Refurbished Store
Now is a particularly great time to buy a refurbished iPhone, as Apple itself sells iPhones in its own Certified Refurbished Store in the UK, something that its been doing in the US Refurbished Store for some time.
One of the main reasons for buying from the Apple Refurbished Store, aside from the lower cost, is that the devices all come with the same one-year limited warranty that you'll find on the brand-new versions. It's also worth noting that any parts used in the refurb will be official Apple ones and all come with brand-new batteries.
The standard reduction on the Apple Refurbished Store is 15 percent.
Buying older models from Apple
If you're not worried about getting the absolute latest kit, an older Apple iPhone is an option and it doesn't have to be second-hand.
Apple may be touting the virtues of its latest iPhone 11 Pro models, but if you look on the Apple Store you'll see that the iPhone 8 is still on sale, even though it was released back in the autumn of 2017.
Of course, you'll miss out on some of the newer features offered in the latest models, but the iPhone 8 remains an excellent choice if you're happy with the 'old' design. At the time of writing you can pick up a 64GB iPhone 8 for £479/$479 or similarly specced iPhone 8 Plus for £579/$579, and these can be cheaper if you have a previous iPhone you can use as a trade-in.
Buying older iPhones on contract
Another way to dampen the financial impact of buying a new iPhone is to go down the tried and tested route of contracts offered by mobile providers. You'll find older iPhone models in the online stores of various UK carriers, on much cheaper tariffs than the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
Prices change all of the time, so we'd recommend reading our Best iPhone deals guide on a regular basis to see which offers are currently available.
Buying refurbished and pre-owned iPhones from retailers
Finally, one of the best ways to get an old or refurbished iPhone at a bargain price, including models such as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that are no longer available from Apple, is buying second-hand or refurbished devices from third-party retailers.
There is a wide selection of outlets to choose from, many of whom offer warranties, device checkups before dispatch, and even quality gradings so you can save a bit more money by opting for a device that's got a few minor scratches but still works fine.
We'd recommend the likes of Envirophone, Smartfone Store, 4Gadgets, and mResell, all of which have proven reliable in the past. Outside of specialist retailers there's also eBay (just be sure to check the seller's feedback and read the descriptions carefully), and CeX. Finally, Amazon now has its Amazon Renewed range which is similar to the Apple Refurbished Store in that you get a discounted iPhones that come with a year's warranty and peace of mind.
So, if you want an iPhone but price has been holding you back, hopefully one of these solutions will meet your needs without draining your bank account.