Apple’s full line of iPhones as of Wednesday.
Screenshot by Juan Garzon/CNET
The iPhone XS and XS Max are virtually the same phone in two different sizes. The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch screen, and the XS Max has a 6.5-inch screen. Both feature OLED HDR screens, Apple’s A12 Bionic chip and improved water-resistance that will let your iPhone take a dip for up to 30 minutes.
The iPhone XR features a 6.1-inch LCD screen, an aluminum body in a rainbow of color choices, a single rear-facing camera and the same water resistance as last year’s models.
Apple’s iPhone event wrap-up
iPhone XS, XS Max and XR: pricing
Apple’s new flagship iPhones are not cheap dates. By comparison, the iPhone XR is the “budget” model of the new phones announced. Here are the numbers:
- 64GB: $749, £749 or AU$1,229
- 128GB: $799, £799 or AU$1,299
- 256GB: $899, £899 or AU$1,479
Preorder at: Apple Store
- 64GB: $999, £999 or AU$$1,629
- 256GB: $1,149, £1,149 or AU$1,879
- 512GB: $1,349, £1,349 or AU$2,199
iPhone XS Max
- 64GB: $1,099, £1,099 or AU$1,799
- 256GB: $1,249, 1,2999 or AU$2,049
- 512GB: $1,449, £1,499 or AU$2,369
You can use Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program for all the new iPhone models (this isn’t available in Australia). Pricing ranges from $37.41 a month or £41.45 a month for the 64GB iPhone XR to $68.66 a month or £78.95 a month for the 512GB iPhone XS Max. To learn more about how the iPhone Upgrade Program works, check out our explainer.
iPhone XS, XS Max and XR: How to preorder
Preorders for the iPhone XS and XS Max started in the US on Friday, Sept. 14 at 12:01 a.m. PT. You can place a preorder at apple.com or in the Apple Store app on iOS devices. Using Apple’s preorder system, you can upgrade through your carrier. Choose your model, color and capacity, then select AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon.
The new iPhone XS and XS Max models will start shipping Sept. 21. Some colors and capacities may ship faster than others.
You’ll need to wait a bit longer for the iPhone XR; preorders for it begin Oct. 19 and it will start shipping on Oct. 26. iOS 12 will become available Sept. 17.
Verizon is taking preorders for the iPhone XS and XS Max. Pricing for its 24-month installment plan starts at $41.66 a month for the iPhone XS and $45.83 a month for the iPhone XS Max.
Verizon has a few deals worth mentioning. Both new and existing Verizon customers can get $100 or more for trading in select phones, which will be applied as bill credits over 24 months. Verizon will also knock off $700 on a second iPhone if you buy two iPhones on a Verizon device payment plan and activate a new line of service. Again, that $700 will be paid to you as bill credits over 24 months. Verizon is also offering iPad ($100 off) and Apple Watch ($50 off) discounts with the purchase of any iPhone on a device payment plan.
AT&T offers discounts on the iPhone XS and XS Max if you sign up for its 30-month installment plans. With it, the 64GB iPhone XS costs $33.34 a month and the XS Max costs $36.67 a month. With its 24-month plan, the iPhone XS costs $41.67 a month and the XS Max costs $45.84 a month.
Why the discounts on the longer payment plan? You will need need to hold onto your phone for longer with the 30-month plan because it requires you to pay off 80 percent of the phone before you are eligible to upgrade. With the 24-month plan, you need to pay off only 50 percent before you can trade it in for a new phone and new installment plan,
Similar to Verizon, AT&T will knock off $700 on a second iPhone if you buy both on the 30-month payment plan.
T-Mobile offers 24-month installment plans for the Phone XS and XS Max but asks that you put some money down upfront. For example, the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max costs $30 a month if you put down $279.99 or $379.99, respectively.
T-Mobile has three levels of trade-in deals for the new phones. If your current iPhone is in “good working condition,” you can get $300 for an iPhone 8, iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus; $200 for an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus; or $100 for an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone SE or iPhone 5C. The money will be paid to you as bill credits over 24 months.
Sprint has a limited-time offer for the iPhone XS and XS Max if you sign up for its Sprint Flex 18-month lease plan and have an eligible phone to trade in. You can get the iPhone XS for $0 a month or the iPhone XS Max for $4.17 a month. You’ll need to activate a new line of service or be eligible for an upgrade to get the offer. And the deal doesn’t take effect until after two bill cycles. Keep in mind that at the end of 18 months, you’ll have to pay off the balance or return the phone. The offer ends on Sept. 27.
The phones eligible for trade-in to get the deal are: iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S9+, LG G7 ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, Samsung Galaxy S8 Active, Samsung Galaxy Note8, Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 2XL.
Best Buy is offering gift cards for your iPhone. You can get up to a $275 Best Buy gift card for the trade-in for iPhone 7 and newer models. The deal is offered only in stores.
Sam’s Club members can get $100 Sam’s Club gift card if they preorder by Sept. 16 and activate an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max in store, er, club, by Sept. 23.
Originally published on Sept. 12, 2018.
Update, Sept. 14: Added information about offers from carriers and retailers.
Everything Apple announced at its Sept. 12 event: Our exhaustive roundup.
iPhone XR, XS, XS Max: Apple’s three new iPhones start at $749.