When is the best time to buy a mobile phone?

Robin Layton

Nov 16, 2023 — 4 min read

Person shopping for cell phones in a store

Most Americans – 97% to be exact – own a smartphone of some kind. At an average price of $823, it’s not a purchase to make lightly. 

If you’re in the market for a new mobile phone, there are better times of the year than others to purchase one. 

Preorder mobile phone deals

While a new phone model is in production and not yet available through retail outlets, mobile phone providers often put the newest model on presale. 

Rehan of North Carolina bought a new Samsung S23 Ultra when it was on preorder at the beginning of February 2023 on Google Fi. “They offered $600 off for switching your number over to Google Fi and double storage. So I got a 512 GB S23 Ultra for $599 before trading in my old S21 for which I got $270 in trade-in.”

An iPhone buyer also preordered the iPhone 15 Pro earlier this year because they wanted to upgrade their phone. They received three months of Apple News+ and Apple Arcade. “I preordered the phone on Sept 15 and received it on September 22, the phone’s release day.”

Raechelle, also of North Carolina, didn’t get any extra perks with a preorder, “but it did give me early access to the actual phone. I learned that people who went into the store to purchase after the release were mostly limited to one model because the stores received very few of the other models outside of the iPhone 15, unlike the 15 Pro, which is what I have. People who wanted to order the Pro or Max had an almost two-week wait from the time of purchase. I was able to preorder online, and the phone arrived on the actual date it was released for purchase (two days after I ordered).”

Black Friday phone deals

Black Friday is traditionally a major retail store and online shopping day for getting great deals on just about anything, and mobile phones are no exception. In fact, “nearly 13% of all retail sales in the United States occur between Black Friday and Christmas,” according to Zippia.com.

The day has spread to a month of Black Friday phone deals, as reported by CNET, which highlights up to $300 off some phones. 

This year, T-Mobile released its sales early, a week before Thanksgiving. The deals include perks like Apple TV+ on UsNetflix on Usfree in-flight Wi-Fifree high-speed data abroad and more. One of T-Mobile’s most popular deals is returning as well: You can get four voice lines for $100/mo. on Essentials or Business Unlimited Select with AutoPay and eligible payment.

Some mobile providers, like Verizon, use the holiday season to offer phone deals for several months, like their offer on the new iPhone 15 Pro with titanium. This comes with Apple TV 4K and six months of Apple One, for over $1,100 in value. 

If you can’t wait until the holidays, check out your favorite provider now because they may have already started offering phone deals. 

Cyber Monday mobile phone deals

This day is specifically set aside for the Monday following Thanksgiving online retailers. 

“Americans spent a record $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday, more than any other 2022 holiday season shopping day,” reported Capital One Shopping.

Providers will take advantage of this shopping day to put current mobile phones on sale.

Prime Day phone deals

Online shopping giant Amazon annually holds two days of sales in the middle of July called Prime Day. It’s a great time to get mobile phones and other tech-related deals. 

Motorola, for example, offered $200 off select phones, as well as 25% off Motocare. Another deal this year was an iPhone 15 for free with a trade-in and an unlimited data plan with AT&T wireless. 

When to score the best deals on mobile phones.

Best time to buy an iPhone

Apple releases new iPhone models every September. As mentioned above, preorder sales are usually available, offering you hundreds in savings and perks on the latest model. 

However, if you want to save even more money, consider buying the previous year’s iPhone since it’ll no longer be sought-after and will most likely be discounted. 

Best time to buy an Android phone

Special events like Prime Day are the best times to purchase a new phone, but if you see that new Android models are being released throughout the year, you can save money buying the last version because retailers usually try to reduce their stock before the new model arrives. 

Best time to buy a phone from providers

Providers use seasonal trends like Black Friday and gift shopping to offer great deals on their plans and devices. “AT&T gives new and existing customers our best cell phone deals throughout the year, and seasonal and holiday promotions can offer additional savings,” says AT&T

Providers keep deals and offers fresh year-round to attract new customers. The deals often include device discounts, gift cards or streaming service options.


Watch your provider for new releases or trade-in deals closely; you may be able to save hundreds while getting the latest cell phone model.

Brian in Florida has a strategy that ensures his family uses the latest tech while saving money. 

“I always trade in my old phone when the new phones come out – in stock, not a preorder. Whether it’s my Android Samsung Galaxy phones or my kids’ iPhones. The cellular carriers always run insane trade-in promotions. I usually get at least $500 off of the new device.”

Upgrading your internet

If you plan to upgrade or switch your internet plan anytime soon, check to see if your internet service provider offers mobile and internet bundles. This is often a good way to save on your monthly bill for both services.

For example, if you sign up for a T-Mobile Go5G Next, Go5G Plus or Magenta® MAX mobile line, you can get its 5G home internet service for just $30/mo., compared to its regular price of $50/mo.

Best time to buy a mobile phone FAQs

When is the best time to buy a mobile phone?

Any time during special promotions like Amazon’s Prime Day or holiday sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are excellent times to get new cell phones for great prices.

Apple releases new models every September, so you can save money with a preorder or by purchasing the last model at discounted prices.

Yes, most providers will give you credit toward a new phone if you trade in your old model.

Robin Layton

Written by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Robin Layton is an editor for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. She built her internet industry expertise writing and editing for four years on the site, as well as on Allconnect’s sister site MYMOVE.com. … Read more