Apple’s iPhone SE is about to hit stores, and as veteran Apple fans are well aware, launch day can be crazy. Anyone who’s tried to get an iPhone on the first day it hits stores likely has painful memories of waiting in super long lines outside the Apple Store. It’s a harsh trial for the Apple faithful, and the long wait takes a turn for the worse if the new phones sell out before you get there.
Thankfully, you can pre-order the new iPhone and guarantee yourself an SE. Pre-orders kicked off on Apple’s site on March 24, but now carriers have jumped in, too. There are a few different places to pre-order, and new iPhones are prone to selling out ahead of time, so we’ve put together all the pre-order info we currently have available for the iPhone SE.
What is the iPhone SE?
Apple’s latest iPhone came as a bit of a shock. During a time when smartphone screens seem to be getting ever larger, Apple went small with a 4-inch display. While it may look like the tiny phones of ages past, the hardware inside is perfectly modern. It uses Apple’s latest A9 chip, which gives it twice the CPU speed of the iPhone 5S, and features Apple’s patented Retina display. Apple calls it the most powerful 4-inch phone ever built. The SE will also come in four colors, including Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Rose Gold.
There are two storage options for the SE: a 16GB model for $400, and a 64GB model for $500. Those are the prices to simply buy a phone outright. Various wireless carriers offer their own payment plans, and so does Apple. Apple also allows owners of older iPhone models to trade in their previous-generation devices for a discount on the SE, or as a means of lowering their monthly payments. Below are the estimated trade-in values for each eligible iPhone, courtesy of Apple.
Perhaps the easiest way to pre-order an iPhone SE is straight from the source. Pre-orders are already available, and it looks like most color options and models will ship sometime in April, assuming you order now. If you want to buy the phone outright, you can pay $400 for the 16GB model or $500 for the 64GB model. If you purchase the phone unlocked from Apple with financing, you can pay it off in installments: $13.30 a month for 24 months with the 16GB model, and $16.64 a month for 24 months with the 64GB version. You can also try for in-store pickup, or take your chances on launch day. Apple also offers a host of accessories and care packages, and you can either pay full price for your phone or pay in installments.
Verizon’s pre-orders have already kicked off. The carrier’s site indicates payment plans start at $16.66 a month for 24 months with the 16GB model, and $20.83 a month for 24 months with the 64GB model. Verizon also offers yearly iPhone upgrades, which let you upgrade to a new iPhone free of charge after 12, 18, or 24 months. The latter depends on your payment plan, but it’s one of the better offers available to long-term customers. You can also pay the full retail price — $400 or $500 for the 16 and 64GB models, respectively— if you’d rather skip the monthly payment plan.
AT&T is currently offering a few different pricing plans through the company’s AT&T Next program. For both the 16GB and 64GB models, AT&T offers three different payment plans with no up front cost. The 16GB model will cost $13.34 a month for 30 months, $16.63 a month for 24 months, or $19.95 a month for 20 months. The 64GB model, meanwhile, costs $16.67 a month for 30 months, $20.84 a month for 24 months, or $25 a month for 20 months. Additionally, consumers can pay 30 percent of the phone’s cost up front for reduced payments. Of course, AT&T also offers the option of paying the retail price ($400 for 16GB, $500 for 64GB) up front.
T-Mobile’s pricing options are relatively limited. The company is only offering the 16GB iPhone SE for $16.67 a month for 24 months, and the 64GB model for $20.84 a month for 24 months. Neither plan requires an upfront cost. Buyers can also pay the retail price for the phone ($400 for 16GB, $500 for 64GB) if they want to avoid a monthly installment plan. The company also has a buy one get one half off promo going on right now.
Like the other major carriers, Sprint is currently offering two-year plans for the iPhone SE. The 16GB model costs — as you might have guessed it — $16.67 a month for 24 months, with no upfront cost. The 64GB iPhone SE also costs $16.67 a month for 24 months, but requires you to pay $100 up front. Consumers can also pay the full retail price ($400 for 16GB, $500 for 64GB) for the phone if they would prefer not to make monthly payments.
Best Buy is offering unactivated iPhone SEs for $450 (16GB) and $550 (64GB). The company also has payment plans if consumers accept a wireless service. Plans come from Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. The Sprint plan offers the 16GB model for $1 up front and $16.67 a month for 24 months, and the 64GB model for $50 up front and $20.84 a month for 24 months. The Verizon plan for the 16GB model is $1 up front and $16.66 a month for 24 months, and the 64GB model for $50 up front and $20.83 a month for 24 months. The AT&T plans cost nothing up front for both models, and users can choose to pay them off in 12, 24, or 30 month installments ($13.34 – $20 a month for the 16GB model, $16.67 – $25 a month for the 64GB model.) If you purchase a carrier plan through Best Buy, however, you also get a $50 Best Buy gift card.