There’s no doubt about it, the iPhone is one of the best Christmas gifts out there. Whether you’re playing Santa for yourself or someone else on your list, the iPhone will be a satisfying holiday purchase, and there’s no better time to buy one than this week, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales starting at various retailers. Unsurprisingly, Apple isn’t the best place to purchase a cheaper iPhone because other retailers have much better deals. Then again, it really depends on how you want to buy the iPhone, and what kind of model you’re looking for.

We broke down all the iPhone sales available from retailers this week so that you can choose the one that’s right for you this holiday season

The Apple Way

Apple will give you up to $200 in gift cards from Friday through Monday in a sales event that covers both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The more expensive the device you purchase, the bigger the gift card you’ll get. That means iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max purchases will get you closer to that $200 mark, while cheaper iPhones will net you a gift card of lesser value.

If you opt for Apple’s sale, you also have to factor in any cashback that you might get for paying for goods with an Apple Card — that’s an extra 3% in savings on your purchase. Not to mention if you’re buying other gifts from Apple, maybe you’ll want to stack up as many gift cards as you can get.

Buying the iPhone directly from Apple lets you score an unlocked version of the handset that can be used on any carrier. Also, you can take advantage of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program to pay for the handset in installments and avoid contracts from carriers. Trading-in your old iPhone would also let you save additional cash on new hardware.

One thing to consider is that Apple only has iPhone 8 or newer models in stock. So if you’re going for iPhone 7 or iPhone 6s, you won’t find them in Apple retail stores or online. Also, remember that any new iPhone purchase gets you a free year of Apple TV+, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy the handset from Apple.


Everyone else

As is the case every year, most retailers out there include plenty of iPhone deals, but the most significant savings do come with strings attached. You’ll have to activate the iPhone with either AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon to be eligible for the discounts, and you’ll have to trade-in your current phone for even bigger deals.
One other problem with these deals is that there might not be enough stock to meet demand, so the sooner you purchase your iPhone deal, the better.

On the other hand, if you’re favoring certain stores over others for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, it might make sense to try to purchase iPhones from the same place. Factors like fast shipping or other cashback incentives might be a consideration in how you strategize your Black Friday purchases.


The actual iPhone sales, by model

You have plenty of time to read the fine print and decide which pricing model makes the most sense. To help with that, you’ll find all the iPhone sales that various third-party retailers have listed below, including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and many others, arranged by iPhone model.

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max

iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus