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Cyber Monday iPhone deals: what discounts we can expect

Cyber Monday iPhone deals

We're sorry to break this to you, but Black Friday iPhone deals are usually not very good. The popular discount weekend brings minimal price cuts to iPhones, and that's if they get a discount at all - sometimes you'll just get a three extra thrown in with a purchase, a 'new trade-in price' which isn't actually that good, or a deal on your mobile contract, not the phone itself.

So if you're thinking Black Friday 2021, which falls on November 26 this year, will bring you huge savings on a new Apple smartphone, you're going to be sorely disappointed - especially if you're hoping to buy a recent iPhone.

That makes sense for some devices - the iPhone 13 will still be new when the iPhone Black Friday deals begin - but lots of older generations of iPhone will probably be included in the sales too, but with negligible savings.

In general, Apple devices don't see great Black Friday deals, so this should come as no surprise to people who closely follow the tech market. But if you're hoping your hard-earned money may stretch further over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you might be in for a shock.

To help you prepare for the Black Friday iPhone deals - what few offerings may show up - we've answered all your pressing questions below, and also included some choice examples of the deals from last year's Black Friday, to back up our point about the lack of impressive savings.

Cyber Monday iPhone deals: FAQs

An iPhone standing next to a tree

(Image credit: TechRadar)

When will the best iPhone Black Friday deals start in 2021?

Black Friday iPhone deals typically don't start until the weekend itself, which would be November 26 in 2021, so don't expect the early discounts to affect the price of iPhones much.

The best deals, though, may be on Cyber Monday - at least in the US, which observes that 'holiday' most, though in the UK that might not be the case.

What are the best places to find Black Friday iPhone deals?

In general, most iPhone Black Friday deals come from networks like Verizon or EE, which are looking to sway you into buying a new phone alongside a contract. These could reduce the up-front cost of a new iPhone, offer incentives like free headphones, or give you money off if you trade in your new phone.

Savvy buyers will save money in the long-run by buying an unlocked, or SIM-free, phone and then buy a SIM separately, though this costs more up-front. Unlocked iPhones will see some discounts over Black Friday from shops like Walmart in the US or John Lewis in the UK, though only expect the biggest savings on older models.

What iPhone deals do we expect to see over Black Friday 2021?

Firstly, don't expect any good iPhone 13 or iPhone 12 deals, as the Black Friday season usually brings pithy 'discounts', if we can call them that, to the most recent two generations of iPhone. 

We might see better iPhone deals for the iPhone 11 range, including the Pro and Pro Max, and possibly the iPhone SE (2020) too. These will be slightly older, therefore more susceptible to price-cutting.

Most shops don't even sell older iPhones than that any more, but if any do have leftover stock of an XS or XR model for example, they might choose to offer it much cheaper for a limited time, to use it all up. Keep an eye out for those deals. Occasionally, a retailer will also discount a much older iPhone, and last year we saw the iPhone 7 discounted a bit, though these sales are as random as they are unexpected.

Should I wait for the iPhone Black Friday deals?

If you need a new iPhone, we wouldn't recommend waiting for Black Friday to buy one - the deals aren't worth waiting for, and depending on your network of choice, you might be able to get an equal discount ahead of time.

You may want to wait for another event though - the iPhone 13 launch, expected in mid-September, could bring with it price cuts for previous models of iPhone that Apple chooses to keep as part of its official line-up.

Black Friday might also be great if you want to buy a new case, charger or power bank for your iPhone too, as we'll likely see reductions from the top brands and smaller retailers in those departments.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

(Image credit: Future)

Last year's Cyber Monday iPhone deals in the US

Apple iPhone 12 Mini: buy-one get-one free with new unlimited data plan at Verizon
Verizon's iPhone Cyber Monday iPhone deals also apply to the brand new iPhone 12 Mini - one fantastic little device. If you're not interested in bagging a free additional device then you can still get $440 off with an upgrade right now - another great option this week.
View Deal

Apple iPhone 12: switch and get a free pair of Apple AirPods Pro at Visible
For a cheap(er) option in entirety you should definitely check out Visible - which is Verizon's pre-paid sub-carrier. You won't get a price cut on your device, but you'll get a choice of free gifts right now plus a device that will be paired with a plan that costs just $40 a month for an unlimited plan.
Total cost: $840View Deal

Our top iPhone 11 pick

Apple iPhone 11: $599 $389 with eligible trade-in plus $50 gift cards at Apple
We'd actually recommend checking out the Apple trade-in program for the iPhone 11 - not least because its price has been shaved by $100 recently thanks to the iPhone 12's launch and that trade-in can really drive the price down. Also, because it's Cyber Monday Apple will also throw in a little bonus $50 gift card with every purchase.
Total cost: $389 (unlocked)
View Deal

Apple iPhone 11: $699 $599 at Walmart
If you want to keep it simple, Walmart has a ton of great upfront purchase deals for a range of prepaid carriers. Sure this Cyber Monday iPhone deal isn't as eye-catching as the others, but if you want to have a cheap phone plus plan bill while still having a flagship device, this is a very strong option.
Total cost: $599 (excl plan)View Deal

Today's top iPhone SE pick

Apple iPhone SE: save up to $140 with a trade-in plus free $50 gift card at Apple
OK, so the Apple trade-in program isn't exactly new for Cyber Monday, but, right now you can get a free $50 Apple gift card in addition to your phone if you purchase today. A good option in our books, especially if you're thinking about getting an unlocked phone to pair with a cheap pre-paid carrier or want some flexibility down the line.
View Deal

Apple iPhone SE: $399 $249 at Walmart
Walmart is currently offering some hefty price cuts for those looking to pick up their iPhone SE's upfront with the choice of two excellent pre-paid carriers. Straight Talk and Total Wireless are your options right now but they've both got cheap plans that can really cut down your phone bill in its entirety.
Total cost: $249 (excl plan)View Deal

Apple iPhone XR: $5/month with switch and new unlimited line at Verizon
And, there's even a cheap iPhone XR in Verizon's Cyber Monday deals today too. Sure, it's not free, and you'll need to be switching over too, but it's yet again another great option for those who don't happen to have an old phone to be trading in to score the newer entries above.
Total cost: $120 | Monthly cost: $5 (24 mo)View Deal

Apple iPhone XR: up to $210 off with trade-in plus $50 gift cards at Apple
Apple's iPhone trade-in program is still in effect over Cyber Mondayand what's more you can actually score yourself a $50 Apple gift card with every purchase right now. Ok, so it's not that generous, but it's still quite a nice little bonus if you were going for an unlocked device.
View Deal

Last year's Cyber Monday iPhone deals in the UK

iPhone 12 : at Affordable Mobiles| EE | 100GB | Unlimited minutes and texts | £49 £19 upfront with code TR30 | £44/pm
Few people were expecting to find an iPhone 12 on EE for pennies over Black Friday, but in the grand scheme this offer from Affordable Mobiles is as close as you're going to get. 100GB will be plenty for all but the most avid streamer, plus the code TR30 helps cut costs by trimming £30 off the upfront payment. All in all, it's really very tempting.
View Deal

TechRadar exclusive code

iPhone SE: at Fonehouse | EE | 24 months | £20 upfront (use code TRBF79) | 2GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £20 per month
Don't need much data? There is absolutely no beating this iPhone SE deal. It costs just £20 a month and when you use the code TRBF79 you'll save £79 upfront, leaving you paying just £20 at the start. That price gets you 2GB of data on EE - the UK's fastest 4G network.
View Deal

iPhone 11: at Mobiles.co.uk | Vodafone | £80 upfront (with code 10OFF) | 60GB data | Unlimited minutes and texts | £30 per month
An affordable monthly rate that doesn't skimp on the data can be a hard compromise to find, but Mobiles.co.uk has nailed it with this generous 60GB tariff for just £30 a month. Better still, you can reduce the upfront payment by a tenner utilising the code 10OFF.
View Deal

iPhone 11 64GB: £729 £579 at Amazon | £150 off RRP
Apple's 2019 flagship phone brought with it an improved camera, better battery life and - all important - an array of new colours! The £729 improved on previous years, too, but now it's cheaper still thanks to Black Friday iPhone deals. No fan of Bezos and co? Very has the exact same price at the moment.View Deal

iPhone 12 Pro : at Affordable Mobiles | Three | FREE upfront with code TR30 | unlimited data, minutes and texts | £55pm
For unlimited data on Apple's flagship device, £55 is a seriously good price – especially when you factor in the saving from having nothing to pay upfront thanks to the TR30 code. Plus, all that data is 5G-ready too, so you can make full use of the Pro's awesome power right out the box.View Deal

iPhone 12 Pro Max: at Three | £79 upfront | 100GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £59 per month
The Pro Max has spent less than a week on the virtual shelves, and this is the offer that has impressed us most so far. This massive mobile is more like a small tablet in structure, making it a fabulous device for your working and streaming needs.
View Deal

iPhone XR 64GB: at Affordable Mobiles | EE | FREE upfront | 25GB data | unlimited minutes and texts | £29pm
There's a reason the iPhone XR was an incredibly popular phone. Running the powerful A12 Bionic, the XR comes with a single sensor camera and LCD display. Now a few years old, you can snap it up for under £30 per month.
View Deal

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more.