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Apple iPhones are known for their quality and how useful their features are. FaceTime and iMessage changed the game when it comes to communicating with friends and family, the Siri virtual assistant is an irreplaceable tool for busy people, and the beautiful screens offer crystal clear views when you’re streaming Netflix shows or YouTube videos.

The problem is that this quality comes at a cost. According to a report by Business Insider Intelligence, the average selling price for a brand new iPhone is $800. While that average price is driven by the iPhone X, which retailed for a massive $999 when it was released in November 2017, it underscores the fact that overall, iPhones can be pretty expensive.

However, they don’t need to cost so much money. Price-savvy phone users can shave a considerable amount of money off of their next iPhone, helping you to stay in budget when buying a new handset. Take a look at our unmissable iPhone-buying tips below.

Buy Refurbished iPhones

A refurbished phone is a previously used phone that has been tested extensively, cleaned, and repaired before being sold again. All of the personal data on the phone will have been deleted and it may receive new hardware parts (e.g. a new battery or screen) if necessary. Because phones are unable to be sold as brand new if they have been used at all (even if they have only been used for a single day), retailers opt to test and repair the phones, selling them at a lower the price so that the returned handset doesn’t just languish on the shelves of its store room.

Because iPhones are such a popular device, there are generally some very good offers across the entire range of handsets. There are discounts at the lower-end with a refurbished iPhone SE available for just $169 which is a saving of $230 (58% off of the RRP) all the way up to more recently released handsets, with the refurbished iPhone 7 Plus being available for $470 which is a saving of $190 (28% off of the RRP). You can even find offers for refurbished iPhone X units, bagging yourself a discount of more than $100 despite the device releasing less than a year ago.

What’s important to note however, is that it’s important to check out the reviews of refurbished iPhone retailers before you buy and to make comparisons. This is because different retailers will offer varying prices (products through Apple may be hundreds of dollars more expensive than a reputable third-party such as Amazon, for example) as well as different warranty offers and they may even have different product ranges on offer. So you’ll want to shop around or use a price comparison site such as Refurb.me to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.

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Buy an Unlocked iPhone

When buying a new phone, it can be tempting to just purchase the phone from your network carrier (e.g Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint) either outright or purchasing it on a contract deal that sees you pay for it over the course of 24 months. Many smartphone shoppers do this due to the convenience – you love the current data plan offered by your carrier so it makes sense to buy a phone through them that is locked to that network.

But if you’re looking to save money, buying a locked phone through a carrier isn’t recommended. The problem with locked phones is that they can only be used with a SIM card from that carrier, meaning that if you were to ever switch from that network, you’d find yourself in trouble. What happens if you find a better deal on your data plan and want to switch networks (while using the same iPhone) in future? You will then have to pay an additional fee to have that phone unlocked.

Furthermore, if you want to sell that phone on to someone, you’ll be limited to buyers who are on the same carrier the phone is locked to. Or, you’ll have to pay to get it unlocked, eating into the potential profit you’d have made by selling the phone to your buddy, your next door neighbor or anyone else who may want to buy it. So, it makes sense to just buy an unlocked phone in the first place, saving you all of this trouble.

Buy an Older iPhone

When buying an iPhone, it can be tempting to spend money on the latest, greatest and most powerful handset on the market. You may have been enticed by the slick, award-winning ads that pull on your heartstrings, or the YouTube videos that feature a group of people having fun with Animojis. While these features are great and are why Apple’s new handsets seem to set sales records when they’re released, in order to save money, it’s important to consider which features you actually need.

If you already have an iPhone then the best place is to start by checking your app usage (take a look at OSX Daily’s guide on how to do that).

if you find yourself mostly checking emails and watching YouTube videos, or playing games such as Candy Crush Saga which don’t require a lot of power to run well, it makes more sense to opt for something such as a refurbished iPhone 6S Plus or even a refurbished iPhone 6. These devices are capable and offer enough power to support your phone usage, without pushing the boat out.

If you play a lot of power-intensive games such as Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds then it makes sense to go for an iPhone X or something of that ilk. Even then, you can still save a bit of money by being patient and waiting for the latest phone to become available as refurbished (as detailed earlier in this post). It generally takes around three or four months for newly released phones to be refurbished, so a bit of patience can save you a substantial amount of money.

Aside from iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple unveiled a new version of its smartwatch, which it described as the “ultimate fitness device”.

The company said the Apple Watch Series 2 is water resistant to164ft, meaning it can be used while swimming or surfing.

It also introduces:

  • a built-in GPS location tracker, letting running routes be tracked without carrying a paired phone
  • a more powerful processor, letting it show more detailed graphics in apps than its predecessor
  • a brighter screen
    Image source Apple

    Image source Apple

According to IDC, the original Apple Watch is the best selling smartwatch on the market, but shipments of the device dropped more than 50% between the April-to-June quarter of 2016 and the same period the previous year.

Apple said it thought the device would have particular appeal to runners, and may be able to stoke interest through a partnership with Nike.

Nike has created an app that lets its owner share details of their runs with others, and has also launched its own bands for the timepiece.

Although many of the details of the new devices had leaked in advance, there was one major surprise at the start of the event.

Video game character Mario’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, appeared to announce that Nintendo’s plumber would appear in his first iPhone video game before the end of the year.

Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that the running-themed adventure would be an iOS exclusive at launch.

It follows the success of another Nintendo franchise, Pokemon, on the platform.

It was also revealed that the Apple Watch would soon gain the ability to tell owners how close they are to nearby monsters in Pokemon Go, and to show which characters have hatched from eggs in the augmented reality title.

Apple’s newly unveiled iPhone 7 will not have a traditional headphone jack.

The company said its lightning connector could be used instead, which would make room for other components. It will also promote the use of wireless earphones, and has released a set of its own called AirPods.

Apple said it had taken “courage” to take the step.

However, the company risks annoying users who will now require an adapter for existing headphones.

Apple has unveiled its latest handsets at an event in San Francisco following a year in which its phone sales and market share shrank.iphone-7-launch-2016

Other new features include:

  • the home button can now detect how firmly it is being pressed and provide vibration-based feedback, but no longer moves into the phones
  • the handsets can be submerged in water up to depths of 3.2ft for 30 minutes at a time
  • the larger iPhone 7 Plus model gets a two-lens camera on its rear, allowing it to offer a choice of focal lengths

The iPhone 7 launch comes a week after the European Commission demanded Apple pay up to €13 billion in back taxes to Ireland – a ruling the company is appealing.

The 3.5mm headphone jack was made popular by Sony’s Walkman cassette players, but was first introduced in one of the Japanese company’s transistor radios in 1964.

Apple has repeatedly been willing to ditch connectors and other ageing tech from its products earlier than its rivals.

The company suggests there are advantages to using its Airpods, which will cost $255.

It demonstrated that the wireless headphones could be paired with the phone much more quickly than is normally the case with Bluetooth sets.

The Airpods also contain infrared sensors to detect when they are in the user’s ears. This allows them to automatically stop music when they are taken out.

Motion sensors in the buds also allow Apple’s virtual assistant Siri to be activated for voice commands by double-tapping their sides.

Users will, however, have to get used to charging another device.

Apple said the Airpods would last “up to five hours” on a charge, and come with a recharging case that can extend their life up to 24 hours before a plug socket is required.

Another related change is the introduction of stereo speakers – one at each end of the handset – which Apple said meant the iPhone 7 could deliver twice the volume of the iPhone 6S.

The iPhone 7 Plus has both a wide angle and telephoto lens on its back, both using their own 12 megapixel sensor.

This allows the owner to quickly switch to a tighter shot without sacrificing image quality, and also allows the device to offer 10x zoom – double the amount than before – by digitally cropping the photo in the camera app.

A similar feature is already available on LG’s G5 phone.

Apple says it will also be able to combine data gathered by both camera sensors to simulate an effect associated with larger DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras.

It said software would be able to automatically pick people’s faces out from the background, keeping the humans in focus while blurring the rest of the shot in order to enhance the portraits.

The feature will not, however, be available at launch but will rather be provided as an update later on.

The iPhone 7 ranges from $955 to $1,275, depending on the amount of storage. The iPhone 7 Plus ranges from $1,150 to $1,470.

That marks an increase on 2015 prices, when the entry-level iPhone 6S was $862 and the iPhone 6S Plus was $990, albeit with less storage. US consumers have not seen such significant increases.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are available to buy from September 16.