The rumors were right: iPhone X, the phone Apple was clearly most excited about, is the priciest iPhone yet at $999. Apple is calling it “the future of the smartphone,” and it features an edge-to-edge display, Face ID, and a new “swipe up” interface in place of the home button. iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which were overshadowed by X but bring welcome upgrades to the similar iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, are more reasonable, though still expensive, at $699 and $799 respectively.
If the idea of spending your entire paycheck (and then some) on a new phone sounds crazy, you aren’t alone. Plenty of people have taken to Twitter with questions of how they'll justify their desire for the newest iPhone given the hefty price tag.
However, if you're considering which of the three phones to preorder, there are a few things you need to take into account that will make the price a little easier to stomach. If you already own an iPhone (or any smartphone) for that matter, the cost of one of the new phones will not be $1000, $699, or $799 — at least, not all at once.
Through Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program you can break the cost of the iPhone 8 into 24 monthly payments of $34.50, 8 Plus into 24 monthly payments of $39.50, and X into 24 monthly payments of $49.91. That includes the extra protection of AppleCare+, which on its own costs $129, $149, and $199 for each respective model.
Monthly pricing is slightly better at carriers, though it's always important to read the fine print of plans if you're deciding to buy your phone through one of these. At T-Mobile, you can opt for 24 monthly payments of $29.17 for the 64 GB iPhone 8 (plus, $0 down payment for a limited time), $30 per month for the 64 GB iPhone 8 Plus with a $79.99 down payment, and $30 per month for the iPhone X with a $279.99 down payment.
If you want more time to pay off the phone, AT&T offers plans that let you break the cost up into 24 or 30 monthly payments with $0 down payment. Depending on which plan you choose, the 64 GB iPhone 8 starts at $23.34 per month, the 64GB iPhone 8 Plus starts at $26.67 per month. The 64 GB iPhone X starts at $33.34 per month. (You can also get a 32 GB iPad for $99.99.)
Sprint is offering a competitive pricing plan, including a "best price guarantee": If you find a better deal from another national carrier, Sprint will match it. You can lease the 64 GB iPhone 8 for $29.17 per month and the 64 GB iPhone 8 Plus for $33.34 per month. Pricing for iPhone X has not been announced yet.
Target has the same monthly pricing for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as Verizon, but is also offering exclusive extras. If you have a REDcard, you'll get $120 in Target eGiftCards during the 24 months you're paying off the phone as well as 10% off a phone case.
In addition to looking at monthly plans, it's also important to consider how much you'll get back through trade-in deals. Those with an iPhone 6s Plus or earlier can get up to $260 towards one of the new phones by trading in their current version at Apple. For an iPhone 7 Plus in good condition you can get up to $425 back (get an estimated trade-in value here), which would bring iPhone X to a more bearable $575 or iPhone 8 Plus to $374.
Amazon, Best Buy, and most carriers offer trade-in programs, too, which will give you $300 to $400 credit (for an iPhone 7 in good condition) to use towards a new phone. If you have an iPhone 6, T-Mobile has one of the better trade-in deals: Anyone trading in a 6 or newer in good condition will get $300. Target is offering $200 in exchange for an iPhone 6 or newer. Trade in an eligible phone at Sprint and you'll save 50% on monthly lease payments for a new iPhone.
iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and, especially X, are still costly even when you slash the price by $300. If you aren't dying to get one of the new phones right away, it's worth your while and your bank account's happiness to wait until reviews of all three phones roll in. One thing that is completely free: Upgrading your phone to Apple's more advanced operating system, iOS 11, on September 19.
This article was updated with news about Target's iPhone 8 and 8 Plus deals.