Everything You Need to Know About Buying the iPhone 8 and iPhone X: Carriers Compared


WhistleOut
17 October 2017

The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and new iPhone X are here. 

We've got the full breakdown on all the expected pricing and deals from wireless carriers and our forecasts for the best iPhone pick from every carrier.

iPhone 8 Release Date

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are now available for purchase in the stores of the major carriers and for pre-order with the smaller carriers Metro PCS, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Ting.

iPhone X Release Date

If you are looking to get the iPhone X, you'll have to wait over a month longer--the X will be available for preorder on October 27th. 

With so many new models available, there are lots of options for getting the best deal. We've compared all the iPhone deals and prices from the major carriers below, breaking down the payment options so you know what you'll be paying each month. For those dedicated to owning the latest and greatest devices, we've got all the details on their early upgrade programs. 

Here's our top 3 things to remember before we begin:

  1. Carriers offer better switching deals to win your business than the deals they offer to their current customers
  2. Knowing your iPhone model is important. Higher internal memory tiers cost more, but that extra investment pays you back later when your iPhone fills with photos and videos.
  3. There are many great deals on older iPhone models, like the iPhones 6s, which will save you hundreds of dollars. 

iPhone 8 and iPhone X Pricing

Firstly, how much does the iPhone 8 actually cost to buy without a carrier (RRP)?

iPhone 8 and iPhone X Retail Sale Pricing
Model Size Price
iPhone 8 64GB $699

256GB $849
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB $799

256GB $949
iPhone X 64GB $999

256GB $1,149

Yes, the iPhone 8 is expensive - the 256GB model will be almost $960 when you include sales tax, while the iPhone 8 Plus will be over $1,050 with sales tax. However, note (no pun intended) that this price is in range with the latest Galaxy Note 8. Hot new phones are expensive--but we've always known that. 

So, what about the carrier deals? At launch, typically only the 4 major carriers can get their hands on the latest iPhone, while smaller carriers normally have to wait. 

Click on each carrier's logo to jump straight to the deals on each carrier or scroll through each below. 

T-Mobile
Sprint
Verizon Wireless
AT&T

The good news is that wireless carriers and Apple both want your business this year, increasingly at the other's expense (Apple is increasingly trying to get you to come to them first). At the same time, carriers are getting more aggressive with their buy-one-get-one and trade-in deals. That leaves one key question...

What's the Best Way to Buy the iPhone 8?


There are two main ways to purchase the iPhone 8: though carriers, or directly through Apple. The vast majority of iPhones are sold by wireless carriers, and this trend will continue as the carriers offer better deals (e.g. AT&T's Buy One Get One Free on iPhone 7). 

Nine times out of ten, we would recommend a carrier deal over paying outright, based on the periodic special offers that carriers offer. 

You have four main options for purchasing the latest iPhone 8 this year. We recommend option #3, buying from a carrier and scoring a deal on a promotion at launch or soon after. 

  1. Buy directly from Apple (outright purchase for full retail RRP - starting at $699)
  2. Buy directly from Apple on a 'payment plan' or 'upgrade plan'
  3. Buy with a carrier on a plan and deal (recommended) 
  4. Buy outright from a Carrier (outright purchase for full retail RRP - starting at $699)

So what deals are out there from the carriers? Read on to learn what to expect. 

Carrier iPhone 8 Pricing


Wireless carriers want your business, and now the iPhone 8 is their way to get it. They typically offer interest-free financing on iPhones, as well as trade-in credits and buy-one-get-one promotions, depending on the carrier and the time of year. 

Common to each carrier are the following features with their iPhone plans:

  • Outright options to purchase at full RRP (not recommended)
  • Interest-Free financing (installment plans) where the RRP of the phone is divided by 24 equal payments (recommended)
  • Upgrade Plans where you can choose to pay half of the phone installments, then hand in the iPhone 8 for the iPhone 9 next year
  • Pay Out requirements where if you leave the carrier on a financing plan, the remaining amount of the financing becomes due (e.g. if you've paid half off and decide to leave, you need to pay out the 12 months of financing in one hit). 
  • Promotional offers throughout the year on iPhones, like Buy One Get One Free

Here's a breakdown of every carrier's plans and prices for the latest iPhone. 

T-Mobile iPhone 8 Plans



iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be availble in stores starting on September 22.

Why T-Mobile?

T-Mobile's focus is on 'all in' pricing where you don't pay additional taxes and fees on the monthly service plan.  Also, those with a line of Unlimited ONE data (not 55+ONE service) also get a free standard subscription to Netflix (a $9.99 value).

However, to T-Mobile's chagrin, the new iPhone 8 has no mention of working on T-Mobile's new 600Mhz network spectrum--that's T-Mobile's latest and greatest network range, designed to provide their "best coverage ever." Thus, you're stuck with the same coverage footprint as iPhone 7, which is still excellent. 

Here's T-Mobile's plans and prices for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

iPhone 8 64GB Plans

With unlimited data | Filters
iPhone 8 64GB
Carrier Inclusions  
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $99.17/mo + $25 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE Plus
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $109.17/mo + $25 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos) + Upgrade
  • $111.17/mo + $25 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE Plus
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos) + Upgrade
  • $121.17/mo + $25 Upfront

iPhone 8 256GB Plans

With unlimited data | Filters
iPhone 8 256GB
Carrier Inclusions  
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $98/mo + $202.99 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE Plus
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $108/mo + $202.99 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos) + Upgrade
  • $110/mo + $202.99 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE Plus
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos) + Upgrade
  • $120/mo + $202.99 Upfront

iPhone 8 Plus 64GB Plans

With unlimited data | Filters
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB
Carrier Inclusions  
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $100/mo + $104.99 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE Plus
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $110/mo + $104.99 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos) + Upgrade
  • $112/mo + $104.99 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE Plus
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos) + Upgrade
  • $122/mo + $104.99 Upfront

iPhone 8 Plus 256GB Plans

With unlimited data | Filters
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB
Carrier Inclusions  
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $100/mo + $254.99 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE Plus
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $110/mo + $254.99 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos) + Upgrade
  • $112/mo + $254.99 Upfront
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • ONE Plus
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos) + Upgrade
  • $122/mo + $254.99 Upfront

T-Mobile iPhone 8 and iPhone X Deals


There is a trade in deal and a free upgrade program available to customers that purchase a new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X  via T-Mobile's payment plans.

Trade in deal: Customers who trade in their eligible (in good condition) iPhone 6 or newer will get up to $300 off a new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X via 24 monthly bill credits on T-Mobile interest-free installment payment plan.  

Early Upgrade benefit: Customers who pre-order their new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X on T-Mobile's installment plan get the early upgrade benefit for free which allows them to trade-in their current phone when its 50% paid off and receive new iPhone and begin another payment plan.  

What Else to Expect for iPhone 8 Promotions

Whilst a Buy One Get One Free has not happened out of the gate on T-Mobile, there will be trade-in deals for earlier iPhone models. For the more expensive iPhone models, you'll most likely need to pay an amount upfront --almost $300 upfront for the iPhone X. Also likely is a bundle with the Apple Watch or two free lines. 

To help you pin point your iPhone 8 purchase on the calendar, here's T-Mobile's most recent iPhone promotions:

  • At iPhone 7 Launch in 2016: Get a Free iPhone 7 with an iPhone 6s trade-in
  • Christmas Promotion: Get the iPhone 128GB for the same price as 32GB ($200 saving)
  • May 2017: Free iPhone SE when you purchased and iPhone 7

T-Mobile also offers a range of iPhone upgrade options. These are most suitable if you already planning on not owning the iPhone 8 for the next two years.

T-Mobile's iPhone Upgrade Plans (Jump!)

T-Mobile offers two upgrade programs where you can hand in your iPhone and get another iPhone (or any other phone for that matter). You need to choose these at the time of purchase for your new iPhone. 

Jump on Demand

This program allows you to upgrade once a month. Effectively, this is an 18 month lease program where you are leasing a phone and can hand it in and change it over multiple times as you don't actually own it - you're renting it. 

Upgrade anytime (up to once a month) to flagship devices (like the next iPhone). 

  • Trade-In of old phone is required to upgrade
  • Your monthly payments, and the total amount you pay during the entire lease agreement, will depend on your credit approval, the device and plan you choose, and any taxes and government fees.

Jump!

This program designed to allow you to pay off the iPhone faster to get to the next iPhone when it is released. 

  • When choosing Jump, you can trade in the iPhone after paying off at least half of the original purchase price of current device.
  • Jump! costs an additional $9-$12 per month beyond the installment payments on your phone
  • This price includes premium device protection (a form of insurance) featuring AppleCare services.

Buying Tip on T-Mobile

The Jump! upgrade plans are an extra fee of $10/mo on T-Mobile so if you are happy with committing to two years with iPhone 8, we'd recommend the regular installment plan. However, the benefit of adding the Jump option is that this includes phone insurance which also protects you in case of phone loss or theft! 

Sprint iPhone 8 Plans


 

Why Sprint?

Sprint offers both aggressive deals and what we think is one of the best phone financing options--Sprint's FlexLease which gives you a low monthly cost with plenty of upgrade and buying options. Sprint's network is has enjoyed massive improvement over the last two years. 

Here's Sprint's plans and prices for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.


iPhone 8 64GB Plans

With unlimited data | Filters
iPhone 8 64GB
Carrier Inclusions  
Sprint
Sprint
  • Unlimited Freedom Plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • Lease (18 mos) + Upgrade
  • $89.17/mo
Sprint
Sprint
  • Unlimited Freedom Plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $89.17/mo

iPhone 8 256GB Plans

With unlimited data | Filters
iPhone 8 256GB
Carrier Inclusions  
Sprint
Sprint
  • Unlimited Freedom Plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • Lease (18 mos) + Upgrade
  • $89.17/mo + $150 Upfront
Sprint
Sprint
  • Unlimited Freedom Plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $89.17/mo + $150 Upfront

iPhone 8 Plus 64GB Plans

With unlimited data | Filters
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB
Carrier Inclusions  
Sprint
Sprint
  • Unlimited Freedom Plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • Lease (18 mos) + Upgrade
  • $93.34/mo
Sprint
Sprint
  • Unlimited Freedom Plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $93.34/mo

iPhone 8 Plus 256GB Plans

With unlimited data | Filters
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB
Carrier Inclusions  
Sprint
Sprint
  • Unlimited Freedom Plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • Lease (18 mos) + Upgrade
  • $93.34/mo + $150 Upfront
Sprint
Sprint
  • Unlimited Freedom Plan
  • Unlimited Data
  • Installments (24 mos)
  • $93.34/mo + $150 Upfront

Sprint iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Deals


Along with a trade-in deal  on the iPhone 8, Sprint's offering a Best Price Guarantee, promising the best price on the iPhone 8 64GB and iPhone 8 Plus 64GB.  If there's a better price from a national carrier, they provide the difference via a prepaid card.

New iPhone purchases also include:

  • the option to upgrade to the latest iPhone every year once you've made 12 lease payments or when 50% of device's balance has been paid  
  • $30 activation fee waived if you order online or call

Trade-in deal:  an eligible device and get $350 off the iPhone 8  and iPhone 8 Plus with Sprint Flex lease via 18 monthly bill credits of $19.45.  Bill credit is applied within 2 bills. This deal excludes device's sales taxes.

Need to Knows:

  • the $350 discount is applied via 18 monthly bill credits of $19.95. (18 x $19.45 = $350.10) To get the full $350 discount, you will need to stay on your Flex lease for the full 18 months.
  • At the end of your 18-month lease, if you wish to own the device, you'll need to pay the remaining balance which is equivalent to 6 months of the regular lease amount. You can either pay the remaining balance upfront or in 6 monthly installments. 
  • eligible trade-in devices include: iPhone 7, iPhone 7 plus, iPhone 6 and 6 plus, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, GS8, GS8 Plus, GS7, GS7 Edge, Blackberry KeyONE & HTC U11, LG G5, LG G6, Samsung Note 5, LG V20, Moto Z2 Force, Pixel, Pixel XL, Moto Z Droid, Z Play, Z Force Droid, Z2 Play. 
  • requires a new line of service or eligible upgrade to qualify
  • if you cancel service, full balance is due

What to Expect Next?

Sprint's deals have been the most aggressive at launch over the past two iPhone launches so if a carrier is going to offer a Buy One Get One Free for the iPhone, Sprint's a likely candidate (however, we're yet to see a promotion this aggressive at an iPhone launch). 

Sprint's iPhone Upgrades: iPhone Forever 

Sprint's iPhone Forever program is a dedicated iPhone upgrade program where you can lease the current iPhone and upgrade every 12 months (every new iPhone model).

  • Upgrade to the latest iPhone after making 12 payments on the device (or sooner as long as the equivalent of 12 monthly lease payments has been made)
  • The Sprint Flex lease is an 18-month payment term --the monthly payment, however is the original purchase price of the device divided over 24 months.
  • If you have not upgraded, at the end of the 18-month financing period, you have option of:
    • Trading-in your current iPhone and upgrading to a new one (not recommended)
    • Owning the phone by paying the remainder of the balance at once (recommended if you have paid off 18 months already)
    • Continuing to pay month-to-month for 6 more month when the phone will be paid in full (recommended if you have paid off 18 months already

Sprint also offer a range of plan discounts for switching to Sprint including 5 lines of unlimited data for $90/mo for 12 months.

Buying Tip on Sprint!

An amazing buying hack exists for Sprint if you're phone / account is currently with Verizon. You can pay for the iPhone 8 outright from Apple or Verizon (paying the full RRP) and then take advantage of the $0 plan on Sprint where you can get 5 lines of unlimited data for $0/mo (plus standard taxes and fees) for 12 months. 

Verizon iPhone 8 Plans



Why Verizon?

Verizon have not actively offered Buy One Get One deals on iPhone or many other deals / incentives on iPhone, you can either pay full retail price upfront or pay in monthly installments.

Verizon does have the best network in the country and a new unlimited plan, but you'll pay the premium prices at Verizon.

Here's Verizon's plans and prices for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Verizon iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Deals


Trade-In deal: Get up to $300 off on iPhone 8 when you sign up for an unlimited data plan and trade in select phones. Trade-in credit will be applied to your monthly bill over 24 months. 

  • $300 off:  iPhone 7,Phone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, Pixel XL, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+,Galaxy S7, LG G6,Moto Z2 Force
  • $200 off: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, Pixel, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy Note5, LG G5,LG V20, Moto Z, Moto Z Force, Moto Z2 Play
  • $100 off: iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note edge, Galaxy Note4, HTC 10, Moto Z Play

Need-to-knows:

  • the maximum $300 trade-in value will result in a $12.50 bill credit over 24 monthly payments
  • bill credits end when device balance is paid in full. If you pay off your device early, you will not receive that maximum trade-in value. 
  • must sign up for a line of unlimited data to be eligible
Verizon's Annual Upgrade Program

After grandfathering the Edge program, Verizon's current financing program now simply allows you to upgrade to the new phone after making a payment of at least 50% of device price and at least 30 days of Verizon service.

  • You need to turn in your current device to upgrade
  • Device payment agreement is a 24-month payment term 

Verizon's installment program is one of the most simple in the industry. Want to upgrade? Just pay off 50% and hand in the old phone and you are good to go.

Verizon Buying Tip: See Sprint Hack (Above)

If you are a Verizon customer, there's a great buying hack to know - you could dswitch to Sprint for the cheapest iPhone deal in the market. Note, there's a specific way that you need to do this. Firstly, buy the latest iPhone at full RRP (Verizon model) then switch to Sprint with your Verizon phone and pay nothing for 12 months for unlimited data. That's right, it is FREE for 12 months for the service plan. By saving $75/mo for 12 moths. That's your iPhone 8 price just there - paid for, all within 12 months!

AT&T iPhone 8


 

Why AT&T?

AT&T has had very aggressive iPhone 7 deals with Buy One Get One Free and this is expected to continue for the latest iPhone. However, AT&T is launching with a bundle add on deal only. Additionally AT&T has been under intense competitive pressure and has been losing customers over the past 12 months so we might see something more from them shortly. 

AT&T iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Deals


Trade-In Deal: Get up to $300 in credits  (or promo card) when you trade in your iPhone 7 Plus, or up to $200 in credits on other select devices. Value credited is based on device, make, model & condition and is available online or select locations only.

Bundle Deal #1: Buy One, Get One iPhone 8/8Plus free with AT&T Next or Next Year and DIRECTV (up to $699.99 credits). Each month your account will be credited the monthly payment for the second (free) device.

Deal Need-to-Knows:

  • must buy 2 iPhones on installment agreement with eligible line of service
  • new and existing customers need to sign up for two lines of service that costs at least $70 to be eligible
  • tax on full retail price of both devices are due at sale
  • maximum credit is $700 and after 30 months of credits (AT&T Next) or after 24 months of credits (AT&T Next year) the iPhone 8 64GB will be free
  • Maximum credit can be applied toward other iPhone 8/ 8Plus models priced up to $950, but you would need to pay the difference between the $700 max credit and the model price
  • there is up to $25 activation fee per line

Bundle Deal #2: Buy an iPhone on AT&T Next and get a 32GB iPad for $99.99 on a 2-year wireless agreement when you add eligible service on both.   

AT&T Upgrade program: AT&T Next
  • Upgrade to a new smartphone every 2 years or once 80% of device cost is paid
  • Trading in your eligible device required
  • Pay off your smartphone in 30 months
  • OR AT&T Next Every Year is another option. 

AT&T's upgrade programs have not evolved as nicely as the other carrier programs have over time.  

AT&T Buying Tip

AT&T's phone payment plans are for 30 month terms. 

The smaller carriers will offer good deals, but they won't have iPhone 8 from launch. If you love your smaller carrier (MVNO), you need to purchase the SIM FREE version of the iPhone 8.

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