3 ways to score after iPhone 8, iPhone X release

The new iPhones have officially debuted. And yes, facial recognition software is no longer just science fiction — it’s real and it’s on the X.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X in a Sept. 12 keynote address at the new Steve Jobs Theater.

What should you do now that the waiting game is over? Here are three options.

1. Spring for a new phone

The iPhone 8 will be available for preorder at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time on Sept. 15, ahead of a Sept. 22 release. The price for the 8 starts at $699, while the larger 8 Plus starts at $799.

The iPhone X, with its edge-to-edge screen, is available for preorder at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time on Oct. 27, ahead of its Nov. 3 release. The price for this model starts at $999.

But you don’t have to shell out the entire cost upfront. Existing iPhone owners can trade their current device for credit toward a new one. Estimate the trade-in value of your device online.

Another option? Instead of buying outright, iPhone users can essentially lease their phone and qualify for a newer one each year through Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program.

“The full cost of your phone and AppleCare+ coverage is spread out over 24 months with 0% interest. And you can upgrade once you’ve made 12 payments,” according to the company.

The prices for the phones:

  • iPhone 8 64GB: $34.50 a month
  • iPhone 8 256GB: $40.75 a month
  • iPhone 8 Plus 64GB: $39.50 a month
  • iPhone 8 Plus 256GB: $45.75 a month
  • iPhone X 64GB: $49.91 a month
  • iPhone X 256GB: $56.16 a month

If you’re already part of the program, check your upgrade eligibility. If you’re interested in joining, visit Apple’s website for details.

Many cell phone carriers also offer trade-in options and installment plans — ask your carrier for more details.

2. Save on older models

Getting one of the latest iPhones isn’t the only way you can score a new Apple device. After all, you could pick the iPhone 7 instead. And before you say that it’s no fun to have last year’s model, here’s why you might want to consider it: Apple has lowered prices on its older iPhones with the announcement of the new models.

Past generation phones are much more affordable than the X’s starting price of $999. The iPhone 7 now starts at $549 (down from $649), and the 7 Plus starts at $669 (down from $769).

Considering an even earlier model? The iPhone 6S starts at $449 (down from $549), and the 6S Plus starts at $549 (down from $649). And the iPhone SE starts at $349 (down from $399).

You can also purchase a pre-owned iPhone at a discount on sites such as Gazelle, Swappa and Decluttr.

3. Wait it out — bolster your savings

You can buck the new technology trend and stick with your current device. Put the money you would have spent on an iPhone toward a financial goal, such as building your emergency fund or saving up for a vacation.

Or wait it out for a while. Wireless carriers offer some of their biggest promotions around Black Friday and the holidays, so you might have an incentive to buy later.

But you don’t have to decide anything right away. You may want to consider upgrading to a new phone when it makes sense for your financial situation — not when everyone else is getting one.

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