It's finally here. After years of rumors and speculation, Apple unveiled the new iPhone SE on April 15. While it doesn't have a 4-inch display like the original SE, it's the smallest new iPhone you can buy today, with the chipset of the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. So, when can you get your hands on it?
Since there aren't many physical stores open these days, your best bet for snagging an SE as fast as possible is to preorder it. While it isn't a flagship device, preorders for new iPhones tend to reach astronomical numbers. If you want to get yourself a 2020 SE as soon as possible, you'll want to be among the first to preorder the device.
Apple will launch the iPhone SE on April 24, 2020. That's just nine days after Apple's announcement.
Starting Friday, April 24, you can purchase the iPhone online. Typically, you can simply head to your local retailer to pick one up, but in the days of the COVID-19 pandemic, that's likely not the case for you. Still, we've listed some of the most popular smartphone retailers below, so you can find the one that works best for you.
If you want to ensure you get your hands on the new SE on day one, preordering is in your future.
Preorders for the iPhone SE start Friday, April 17, at 5 a.m. (PDT), a week before the iPhone actually goes on sale. While you could preorder the SE anytime before April 24, you'll want to preorder it right away to maximize your chances of getting one.
For example, if you're one of the first to preorder online via Apple's website, you should see the iPhone at your doorstep on April 24. Carriers and stores like Best Buy and Walmart may also have that time frame, but the longer you wait to preorder, the more likely that arrival date will be pushed back.
- Preorder from Amazon
- Preorder from Apple
- Preorder from AT&T
- Preorder from Best Buy
- Preorder from O2 (UK)
- Preorder from Sprint
- Preorder from Target
- Preorder from T-Mobile
- Preorder from US Cellular
- Preorder from Verizon Wireless
- Preorder from Vodafone (Australia)
- Preorder from Vodafone (UK)
- Preorder from Walmart (cellular plan required)
Note: If you're on the iPhone Upgrade Program through Apple, make sure to check out the Apple Store app, so you can be among the first to preorder your new iPhone.
Apple's new iPhone doesn't come in just one storage option. To make things easier for you, here are all the different prices from Apple:
- iPhone SE, 64 GB — $399
- iPhone SE, 128 GB — $449
- iPhone SE, 256 GB — $549
Since iPhones are costly, Apple offers a finance program known as the iPhone Upgrade Program. Financed by Citizens One, it breaks down the total cost of the iPhone and AppleCare+ to 24 equal payments paid monthly.
With this program, you can upgrade your iPhone every year. To do so, you must own the phone for at least six months and have made the equivalent of 12 payments (50% of the value of the iPhone). You also have to be in good standing with Citizens One and have maintained AppleCare+ the entire time you've had it. If all these boxes are ticked, you can trade-in your current iPhone and upgrade to a new one. You'll just need to pay the full tax at the time of purchase.
Another option is Apple's Trade-Up Program. Instead of financing the SE, you can trade in an eligible device toward payments on your iPhone SE model. We recommend comparing the price Apple offers with third-party sites like eBay and Swappa to maximum the trade-in value for your current device.
- More Info: Get the Most Value from Your iPhone Trade-In
While Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program may be the best deal, it isn't perfect. If you switch to an MVNO carrier such as Google Fi, you won't be able to upgrade next time. That also applies to the carrier deals. That said, carriers might be your best bet, depending on your situation.
AT&T's Next Plan splits your iPhone payments into 30 monthly installments. While there's 0% APR, AT&T adds a $5 charge each month. You can trade-in and upgrade your iPhone once 50% of your current iPhone is paid off. You'll see to pay the full tax when you buy the iPhone.
If you don't think you'll want to trade your new iPhone next year, you can join the AT&T Installment Plan instead without the $5 monthly charge.
On Sprint's iPhone Forever plan, you can lease a new iPhone for 18 months. You might even find the lease at a discounted rate. Once you make at least 12 monthly payments, you can trade up for the latest iPhone. If you don't take advantage of your upgrade, you can pay off the next six months of your lease. After that, you can either pay the difference for the full value of the iPhone or continue with your monthly payments until you're entirely paid off. There might be an upgrade fee.
The iPhone Forever deal is a part of plans such as Sprint Flex.
When you go with T-Mobile's JUMP! On Demand, you sign an 18-month lease that allows you to change your iPhone once every 30 days. It's certainly a unique option since you don't own the iPhone at all. You will need to pay a decent down payment to keep the monthly costs low, however, so keep that in mind.
After a month, you can change to another iPhone (for example, go from an iPhone SE to 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max) but will have to cough up another sizeable down payment to keep the monthly installments the same low price. At the end of your 18-month lease, you can either pay off the difference or continue your monthly payments to pay off the iPhone.
There is also an Equipment Installment Plan (EIP) option, which spreads the cost over 24 or 36 months, but the monthly payments are higher. Down payments may vary depending on the model and your creditworthiness. If you cancel wireless service, the remaining amount of the phone is due immediately. You can also add the optional Protection <360> to get JUMP! features.
US Cellular's Early Upgrade Program lets you breakdown the cost of the iPhone over 30 months. After your 24th installment payment (or 80% of the phone is paid off), you can upgrade to a new iPhone (or any other phone of your choosing). However, your account must be good standing, and the device must be good condition to qualify. You'll need to pay the sales tax and an activation fee when you buy the phone.
Verizon plans let you upgrade after 30 days, as long as 50% of your iPhone's retail price is paid off. Since the plan spreads the monthly payments over 24 months at a 0% APR, you should reach that after a year, allowing you to upgrade your iPhone each year. Your current iPhone needs to be in working condition and returned within 14 days of the new device payment agreement. You'll need to pay an activation fee on your next monthly statement. The iPhone is carrier-locked for the first 60 days, then unlocked automatically after.
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