iPhone 13 Pre-Orders: How to Buy and Get the Best Deal

Pre-orders for Apple's iPhone 13 begin on Sept. 17. Here's how to the best price from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

September 14, 2021

A new iPhone lineup is upon us, and if you can't wait to get your mitts on Apple's latest flagship devices, the smartphones will be available for pre-order on Friday, Sept. 17.

Pricing is similar to previous iPhone launches; the most affordable version is the iPhone 13 mini, which starts at $699. But you can easily spend over $1,000 if you want a top-of-the-line, camera-focused Pro phone with maxed-out storage.

These are brand-new smartphones, so you're unlikely to get a discount out of the gate. But if you have a phone to trade in, or you re-up your contract with a carrier, you can probably shave a few dollars off the price of a new Apple smartphone via bill credits.

When Can I Pre-Order an iPhone 13?

Back in the day, iPhone pre-orders would go live a midnight PT / 3 a.m. ET, dooming East Coast iPhone fanatics to a bleary-eyed morning. But Apple has had mercy on us in recent years, and this time around, it's our West Coast friends who will have to set an early alarm.

iPhone 13 pre-orders are scheduled to go live at 5 a.m. PDT / 8 a.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 17 in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, the UK, and the US.

Pre-orders in Turkey begin on Oct. 1 and they open in Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and a few other countries on Oct. 8.

Pre-Order From Apple

Apple will sell the iPhone 13 via apple.com/store, the Apple Store app, and at Apple Stores. You can pay full price or in installments. Prices go up depending on how much storage you select (see the chart above).

  • iPhone 13: $33.29 a month for 24 months or $799 before trade-in

  • iPhone 13 mini: $29.12 a month for 24 months or $699 before trade-in

  • iPhone 13 Pro for $41.62 a month for 24 months or $999 before trade-in

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max for $45.79 a month for 24 months or $1,099 before trade-in

Apple offers trade-ins if you want to swap an older iPhone for a new one.

Pre-Order From AT&T

AT&T says you can get the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 mini for $0; the iPhone 13 Pro Max for up to $1,000 off; and the iPhone 13 for up to $700 off. But you can't just waltz into any AT&T store and walk out with a free iPhone 13.

The carrier says those discounts will be available with an eligible trade-in, on an unlimited plan, and purchased on an installment plan. That means you'll have to buy the phone using a monthly payment plan and AT&T will apply credits to your account over 36 months.

AT&T doesn't specify what time of day it'll start accepting pre-orders, but they begin on Friday, Sept. 17, with general availability on Friday, Sept. 24. The iPhone 13 series will also be available at AT&T Prepaid and Cricket starting on Sept. 24.

Pre-Order From Verizon

Verizon says current and new customers can get up to $800 off an iPhone 13 with select trade-in on certain unlimited plans. Like AT&T, you'll need to commit to an installment plan and will get a bill credit over 24 or 36 months. Verizon's also offering up to $500 to help cover the cost of switching from another carrier, via a virtual prepaid Mastercard. (Certain unlimited plans also offer extended free trials to Apple Music and Apple Arcade.) Pre-orders start Sept. 17.

Pre-Order From T-Mobile

T-Mobile is offering something called the "Forever Upgrade." Trade in your eligible smartphone, and get a free iPhone with 5G (12 or 13) on an eligible plan, and every two or so years thereafter, you get up to $800 off in trade-in value. T-Mobile claims you can "repeat that forever," if you plan on making a lifetime commitment to the carrier.

If you don't have a phone to trade in right now, you can still buy a new iPhone 13 and get Forever Upgrade status for your next purchase down the line.

If you're on a Magenta Max (or Sprint Max) plan and trade in a qualifying phone, you can get a free iPhone 13 Pro (or up to $1,000 off an iPhone 12 or 13 series) via bill credits over 30 months. For other plans, get up to half off the iPhone 13 Pro or up to $500 off any new iPhone 13 series via bill credits over 30 months.

iPhones weren't the only thing Apple unveiled today. Check out this video for the full rundown:

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