In case you missed it, Apple has four new iPhone 12s to sell you. But the lineup is even more confusing and treacherous than the addition of a single extra model.
Let’s start with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini. Compared to the iPhone 11, you get a new smaller option, 5G, better cameras, and a thinner design, with pricing that’s pretty much in line with last year.
Here are the prices with a “customer discount” through Verizon and AT&T, which require a $30 activation fee, so you’re not actually saving anything:
iPhone 12 mini (Verizon and AT&T):
- 64GB: $699
- 128GB: $749
- 256GB: $849
iPhone 12 (Verizon and AT&T):
- 64GB: $799
- 128GB: $849
- 256GB $949
T-Mobile and Sprint buyers will actually pay $30 more, as will anyone getting an unlocked, SIM-free model. Here’s how that pricing looks:
iPhone 12 mini (Sprint, T-Mobile, Unlocked):
- 64GB: $729
- 128GB: $779
- 256GB: $879
iPhone 12 (Sprint, T-Mobile, Unlocked):
- 64GB: $829
- 128GB: $879
- 256GB): $979
Maybe now we know why Apple trotted out a Verizon exec during the iPhone event to help launch the iPhone 12’s 5G capabilities. What’s even odder is that the pricing duplicity doesn’t apply to the Pros. You can get either the standard 6.1-inch Pro or the 6.7-inch Max for the same starting prices as last year with double the storage, and the tiers have decreased by $50 across the board to reflect that as well.
iPhone 12 Pro:
- 128GB: $999
- 256GB: $1,099
- 512GB: $1,299
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
- 128GB: $1,099
- 256GB: $1,199
- 512GB: $1,399
But wait, there’s more! Apple is also still selling the iPhone SE for $399, as well as the iPhone XR and iPhone 11, both of which got a price cut. (Also, these phones no longer include a power adapter or earphones. They include only a Lightning cable.)
- 64GB: $599
- 128GB: $649
- 256GB: $749
Put it all together, and Apple is selling 26 different iPhone pricing tiers, and the phones no longer include an adapter or earphones. With so many options, you might not realize you’re paying more than you should (or at least more than Apple advertises) for an unlocked iPhone 12.
iPhone SE: $399/$449/$549
iPhone XR: $499/$549
iPhone 11: $599/$649/$749
iPhone 12 mini: $699/$749/$849
iPhone 12 mini (unlocked): $729/$779/$879
iPhone 12: $799/$849/$949
iPhone 12 (unlocked): $829/$879/$979
iPhone 12 Pro: $999/$1,099/$1,299
iPhone 12 Pro Max: $1,099/$1,199/$1,399
Got all that? Sure the new iPhones may be faster than ever, but they’re also a confusing minefield of pricing pitfalls and options. Remember when buying a new iPhone was simply a choice of which color you wanted?
Update 10/14: Clarified that the carrier discounts require an activation fee.