Apple will stop releasing iPhones every year

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This is how you can get your iPhone cheaper

Arne Düsterhöft
Telecommunications expert As of January 4th, 2021

Arne Düsterhöft

Arne Düsterhöft is an editor for telecommunications and digital. Before that he was a volunteer in the editorial team of Finanztip. He gained his first practical experience in the online editorial team of, where he also wrote about digital technologies and telecommunications. After spending semesters abroad in Dublin and New York, Arne Düsterhöft completed his master's degree in theater studies at the Free University of Berlin.

  • You can get the new iPhone one to two months after the start of sales from independent dealers, often a little cheaper than from Apple - even without a contract.
  • You can save even more with the previous year's model. At the start of a new iPhone generation, Apple usually lowers prices by 100 to 200 euros.
  • You pay the least when you buy a used iPhone. Specialized dealers sell tested smartphones with warranty and guarantee.
  • For the very latest iPhone in particular, there are often cell phone contracts with which you ultimately pay less than with Apple.
  • The cheapest way to find the latest iPhone is a few weeks after sales start on Idealo or After two months it is already about 8 percent cheaper - the previous model, by the way, more than 20 percent.
  • The cheapest way to get your iPhone is from a used dealer on the Internet. Asgoodasnew and Rebuy have a particularly long guarantee.
  • If you want an iPhone with a contract, compare the prices beforehand. Comparison portals such as Check24, Verivox or Tariffuxx can help.

An iPhone like that looks great. Hardly any other company pays so much attention to a stylish design and ease of use for its smartphones as Apple. But unfortunately the Apple devices are always quite expensive in comparison. There are certainly cheaper alternatives for bargain hunters. If, on the other hand, you are magically attracted to the iPhone, you can find out from us the cheapest way to get your iPhone.

Which iPhone should it be?

It's now more than twelve years since Apple released its first iPhone. In 2020, the company introduced another generation: the iPhone 12.

In the first few weeks, you can get the very latest iPhone without a contract hardly cheaper than at the original price from Apple. If you don't want to wait, the particularly expensive, new iPhone variants are worthwhile iPhone with contract. But only if you really need a new mobile phone contract. Comparison portals such as Check24, Verivox and Tariffuxx help to compare the offers.

You can get the iPhone 12 in the Apple Shop from around 899 euros. In contrast to other smartphones iPhone prices fall much more slowly. Nevertheless, the following applies: As soon as the trade in the current iPhones has stocked up, the dealers often offer the devices for less than Apple itself. Two months after publication, prices drop by around 8 percent. More on this below in our detailed price comparison.

You can save even more if you use the previous year's model. With the appearance of the new iPhone generation, Apple traditionally reduced the price of its older models. The iPhone 11 is available from Apple from around 679 euros. The slimmed-down entry-level version, the iPhone SE, still costs around 479 euros.

You will find the previous models at the cheapest price at used dealers on the Internet. The specialized online shops put the smartphones through their paces beforehand and replace defective parts. Asgoodasnew and Rebuy guarantee that the iPhone will continue to work for at least 30 months without any problems.

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What's new on the iPhone 12?

The iPhone 12 is one step-by-step further development of the previous model, the iPhone 11. The standard version of the iPhone 12 costs 899 euros. The price of the most expensive model, iPhone Pro Max, ranges from 1,249 euros to 1,599 euros, depending on the size of the hard drive. The cheapest option is the iPhone 12 Mini for 799 euros.

The design is a bit more angular than its predecessor and it should have a more resistant display glass. A new generation of Apple's own processor, the "A14-Bionic", is installed under the housing. But above all, all new iPhones can for the first time use the new 5G cell phone network.

The screen of the iPhone Mini measures 5.4 inches (14 cm) diagonally, 6.1 inches (15.5 cm) for the normal iPhone 12 and 6.7 inches (17 cm) for the iPhone Pro Max.

The iPhone 12 comes with a familiar high quality dual camera with wide angle and ultra wide angle. In the Pro version, the iPhone also has a telephoto lens with four times optical zoom.

Apple continues to do without a home button with a fingerprint sensor on all of its new models. Instead, iPhone owners can use their smartphone unlock with facial recognition ("Face ID"). Apple has not included an adapter for headphones with a classic jack plug in the package for a long time. What's new is that headphones and power supply are also missing.

iPhone 11, Xr: The technology from previous years is not a thing of the past

If you don't care to have the latest of the new, you can save around 200 to 300 euros with the models from previous years. Even more with the Finanztip buying tips.

The 2019 iPhone 11 and 2018 iPhone Xr have one similar design to the iPhone 12 and a 6.1-inch screen of the same size. In terms of camera and battery life, the iPhone 11 in particular can keep up with the successor model. The older models have to cut back a bit in terms of processor performance.

The main thing you have to do without with the older models is the new 5G cell phone network. But it's not that bad: it will take a few years before the “network of the future” really arrives in Germany.

Apple itself sells the iPhone 11 from 679 euros and the iPhone Xr from 579 euros. You can find them at other retailers iPhones much cheaper.

Apple also supplies its predecessor models with updates for years to come. You will therefore most likely not have any security problems even with the previous year's models for three years or more.

That’s what the little iPhone SE has on its box

Apple reissued its entry-level version of the iPhone in 2020: the iPhone SE. It is cheaper than its bigger siblings (iPhone 12 or iPhone 11), but technically it is also simpler.

The iPhone SE with 64 GB of storage space costs 479 euros by Apple standards. If you need more storage space, you can increase it to up to 256 GB for around 649 euros.

The iPhone SE comes in the old iPhone design with a home button and fingerprint sensor underneath the 4.7-inch touchscreen, but with a modern interior. It is visually very similar to the iPhone 8, but technically equipped with modern components. Like in the iPhone 11, Apple installed the A13 Bionic processor. The iPhone SE can also be charged wirelessly.

Why is it worth being patient?

Whenever a new generation of iPhone comes onto the market, it takes a while for the regular device trade to stock up on. Because of initial delivery bottlenecks, some retailers are charging completely excessive prices shortly after the publication. With time the price goes down noticeably below the price in the Apple shop.

This is how much you can save if you are patient with the purchase

The price drop over time is less with the iPhone than with the top models from Samsung, the Galaxy S series, for example. While the iPhones are on average 24 percent cheaper twelve months after they go on sale, the Samsung smartphones were already 35 percent cheaper. This is also regularly shown by the price forecasts of comparison portals such as Idealo, most recently in September 2020 for the iPhone 12.

A year is a long time to wait for a cell phone. But even after two to four months, the price drops by 8 or 14 percent. After that, the price trend slows down noticeably.

Wait for the new generation to be released

Shortly before the release of the new generation, the iPhone is still quite expensive in stores, even if it is already a year old. For example, at the end of September 2020 we will have prices for theiPhone 11 with 64 gigabytes We asked various retailers about storage: We would have saved 17 percent of the purchase price if we hadn't bought the device from Apple but from Ebay. At Media Markt or Saturn it would have been almost 15 percent less - both far less than the 24 percent that an iPhone is cheaper on average after a year.

Example: iPhone prices at different retailers


iPhone 11

(64 GB, black)

iPhone SE

(64 GB, black)

Apple779 €469 €
Media Markt / Saturn666 €469 €
Amazon (retailer)670 €436 €
Ebay dealer644 €419 €
possible savings135 €53 €
Savings in percent17 %11 %

Price including shipping
Source: Finanztip research (as of September 28, 2020)

The prices of the smaller iPhone SE are also much more stable. Even after five months on the market, you can hardly find the iPhone SE below the original Apple price. We could only have saved 11 percent at a retailer on Amazon at the end of September if we compare with Idealo.

This is how much you save, depending on where you buy your iPhone

Where can you find the iPhone at the cheapest price?

The easiest way to find the currently cheapest dealer is with a price search engine. In 2020 we took a close look at the 15 most important price comparison portals. We were most impressed by Idealo and

For our price comparison, we asked about nine popular smartphone models in the upper, mid-range and entry-level range, among other products, including iPhones. At Idealo and we found all the cell phones we were looking for at good prices. Both portals clearly displayed the search results and, if interested, directed us directly to the cheapest dealer.

After purchasing, you can try out the phone and decide within 14 dayswhether you want to keep it or send it back.

  • good prices in our sample
  • very clear search
  • Price development displayed
  • Clothes and shoes can be sorted by size and color
  • larger deviations from the best price possible
  • good prices in our sample
  • very clear search
  • Price development displayed
  • Clothes and shoes can be sorted by size and color
  • larger deviations from the best price possible

Inexpensive offers on Amazon and Ebay

The price search engines often refer to Amazon and Ebay, as there are numerous cheap retailers there. Your advantage: You only have to register once with your data and you can then shop at many online retailers. If there are problems, you can report them to the online marketplace so that they can help you clarify. If you buy new goods from a dealer, you also have a 24-month warranty - this is guaranteed by law.

Do you get the previous models cheaper?

While Apple revolutionized the world of mobile communications with the first iPhone in 2007, the later models were more of a further development in smaller steps. You can therefore do nothing wrong with a previous model. Just one year after publication, an iPhone costs an average of 24 percent less. After two or three years the price falls further.

If you don't always have to have the latest iPhone, you can safely switch to the iPhone 11, iPhone Xr, iPhone SE or the slightly older iPhone X - these smartphones still run fast and are inexpensive by Apple standards. Besides, they still will supplied with updates for several years.

With earlier iPhone versions in particular, it saves money not to simply walk into the Apple Store, but to compare the prices on Idealo and Co.

From buying older models than the iPhone 8 we advise against it. At some point these smartphones will no longer work with new versions of iOS. Sooner or later it will therefore be difficult to install new apps.

You can find the biggest bargains at used dealers

You can save the most if you also consider a used device. Specialized dealers professionally recondition used cell phones and sell them with a guarantee and a right of return.

We especially recommend Asgoodasnew and Rebuy. Both providers give one particularly long guarantee of 30 months or 36 months. During this period, the dealers will take care of a free repair, if you haven't treated the iPhone too brutally. Which smartphones are available can vary greatly depending on the time. If you can't find your dream phone at the first retailer, take a look at the second one or get a notification as soon as it is in stock.

If your smartphone is a lifestyle object for you and you want it to look good, it is best to opt for used goods in the condition “like new” or “very good”. This is suitable also as a gift. The “good” condition is a compromise between price and appearance. If the function is most important to you, you can save a lot of money with "acceptable" goods.

Pay particular attention to warranty and guarantee for used devices. The Guarantee You are legally entitled to the dealer - one year for used devices, two years for new ones. The warranty however, is a voluntary service by the manufacturer or dealer.

More on this in the guide to buying a used cell phone

  • Used cell phones are easy on the wallet and the environment. Specialized dealers offer used smartphones with a right of return and warranty.
  • Best used dealer: Asgoodasnew, Rebuy

To the advisor

Should you buy an iPhone with a contract?

Normally you can get your iPhone cheaper if you buy it individually - without a mobile phone contract - and grab a prepaid card or an all-network flat rate from the discounter. However, shortly after its release, the very latest iPhone may look a little different.

There are definitely combinations for the latest Apple smartphones Contract and devicethat are cheaper than buying the iPhone without a contract. For example, if you don't want to wait until the iPhone becomes cheaper in stores, you can often get the brand new device cheaper with a mobile phone contract.

Who knows very well, can also find a bargain in the rest of the year from time to time among the many combination offers from iPhone and mobile phone contract. To do this, you have to compare the prices carefully and pay attention to the pitfalls in the small print. Or you simply subscribe to the Finanztip newsletter and let us look for the really good mobile phone bargains for you.

This is how you can find a cheap mobile phone contract with iPhone

At the beginning there is the question of which mobile phone contract it should be. Voice and SMS flat rates are very common, especially for combined tariff and device contracts. But the data volume should also suit your needs. Small tariffs for occasional surfers and those who use the phone infrequently are rarely available with smartphones. The best thing to do is to compare the offers Price portals like Check24, Verivox or Tariffuxx.

Make sure the contract isn't oversized. For example, if it offers significantly more surfing volume than you need, you pay unnecessarily on top of it every month.

Danger: Hardly any mobile phone contract is automatically cheaper after two years - even though you have actually already paid off the mobile phone. You should therefore your Terminate the contract in good time.

Arne Düsterhöft

Arne Düsterhöft

Arne Düsterhöft is an editor for telecommunications and digital. Before that he was a volunteer in the editorial team of Finanztip. He gained his first practical experience in the online editorial team of, where he also wrote about digital technologies and telecommunications. After spending semesters abroad in Dublin and New York, Arne Düsterhöft completed his master's degree in theater studies at the Free University of Berlin.

Daniel Pöhler

Daniel Pöhler

Daniel Pöhler mainly works on the Finanztip newsletter and, as deputy head of text, contributes to the linguistic quality of all Finanztip texts. His focus is on mobility and the digital. In his traineeship at the trade newspaper Telecom Handel, he learned what makes the telecommunications industry and retailers tick. Daniel holds a degree in business administration from the University of Bayreuth.

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