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Should I buy an old iPhone? Guide to buying a second-hand, old or refurbished iPhone ahead of the iPhone 6s launch

Lou Hattersley | Aug. 24, 2015
Should I buy a second-hand iPhone to save money, or is it safer to buy one that's brand new?

Should I buy a second-hand iPhone to save money, or is it safer to buy one that's brand new?

If you're desperate for an iPhone but your budget doesn't quite stretch to Apple's newest models - such as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, or the iPhone 6s or iPhone 7 we expect to launch on 9 September 2015 - buying an old iPhone is a great way to pick up a bargain. And with those new models about to launch, now is a great time to pick one up: lots of people will be trading in their older models.

Armed with our guide to buying an old iPhone you'll be able to buy old-gen Apple products with confidence. 

Apple makes prestigious products, but the latest Apple kit tends to command a premium price. It's true that, if you visit an Apple Store (online or on your high street) to buy an iPhone, you'll get all the support that comes with buying direct from the manufacturer, and you'll get good advice if you speak to anyone in store. However, you're not going to get any special discounts or deals on iPhones in the Apple Store - it's full price or nothing, I'm afraid.

Because of this many people on a budget consider switching to non-Apple kit, which we think is a mistake. It's often better to pick up an older model of Apple than move to other manufacturers.

Apple typically releases kit using the very latest technical hardware, often to the highest specification and build quality, and you can get a smashing Apple device just by browsing last year's models. Typically older Apple models still have fantastic specifications, and run most of the same features as the latest Apple products. And you'll still get Apple's premium build quality, of course.

How to buy an old or second-hand iPhone: Direct from Apple or third-party retailers

With the upcoming release of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (or similarly named devices), now is a good time to pick up an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus - although it'll be even better if you wait until just after the new models are announced.

Apple does still offer the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C, the smartphones that were released in September 2013. You can pick up an iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C from the Apple Store or the Online Apple Store if you're looking for a SIM-free model, but there are also carriers and other third-party retailers that sell those older iPhones.


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