Now is a great time to get a discounted iPhone 12 or 13

Now is a great time to get a discounted iPhone 12 or 13


For iPhone users who got away with an aging model, the new iPhone 14 series may not be the smartphone to consider after Apple’s latest move to the market.

Instead, their upgrade could be the older iPhone 12 and 13, both fully compatible with US 5G networks and Apple iOS, and both now sold by Apple for $100 less.

This brings the starting price of the 2020 iPhone 12 down to $599, while last year’s iPhone 13 now starts at $599 for the mini version and $699 for the standard size. The new iPhone 14 will start at $799 when pre-ordered on September 9.

The updated iPhone SE that Apple introduced in January remains unchanged at $429, but its 4.7-inch display may be a compromise for people who are now used to larger devices like the 13 mini with a 5.4-inch screen or the 12, 13. and 14 with their 6.1-inch screens.

The 12 and 13 lack the improved camera hardware and software of the 14, as well as the emergency SOS feature to call for help via satellite.

But those older models offer the same support for the most useful 5G: fast mid-band frequencies that T-Mobile sells as “Ultra Capacity,” AT&T sells as “5G+,” and Verizon sells as “Ultra Wideband.”

However, AT&T customers should note that in addition to the “C-band” frequencies, the carrier is now also lighting up a separate chunk of the mid-band spectrum that it will support on the iPhone 14, but not the 13 or 12.

Both a recent iPhone would provide a huge speedup compared to an older 4G-only iPhone, assuming your carrier has mid-band 5G in your usual location.

Both would provide a huge speedup compared to an older 4G-only iPhone – assuming your carrier has mid-band 5G in your usual location.

And yes, people still hanging onto a five-year-old iPhone 8 do exist.

“The average amount of time people spend on their phones continues to increase,” said analyst Avi Greengart, founder and chief analyst at Techsponential, after attending the Apple event. “And there are certainly a lot of latecomers.

Another industry analyst, Wave7 head of research Jeffrey Moore, agreed in an email. “The big picture is that the upgrade rate for smartphone purchases has been going down,” he said, adding that he saw declining interest in the iPhone 14 in stores with carriers ahead of Wednesday’s unveiling.

Apple has made aging iPhones easier to maintain by providing long-term software support, but that comes at the cost of limited features. However, this is not the case with the iPhone 12 or 13; when iOS 16 ships on Tuesday, it won’t star any of its advertised capabilities from those models, which is not the case with many older iPhones.

Greengart advised against using a model older than two years, citing network compatibility and especially battery life.

“Newer phones use more efficient processors and often have slightly larger batteries as well,” he said. He suggested not going with a model older than the iPhone 13, which also has the advantage of starting with 128GB of storage instead of the iPhone 12’s more easily depleting entry-level 64GB storage.

The iPhone 14 lineup, meanwhile, removes one feature that already irked some Apple users when they have multiple stamps in their passports: a SIM card slot that frequent travelers can use to avoid international roaming charges by buying cheap prepaid SIM cards overseas.

Greengart predicted that rapid adoption of the iPhone 14 will prompt more wireless carriers to offer services through the eSIM standard, which Apple has now unequivocally endorsed. But by the time that happens, we could very well be looking at the launch of the iPhone 15, making the iPhone 14 a bargain model.

Rob Pegoraro is a technical writer based in Washington, DC To submit a technical question, email Rob at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at

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