For those of you who don’t already know, the new iPhone 11 lineup will be available in stores on September 20th.

Any time a new phone launches in the marketplace, especially an Apple product, it has an impact on pricing for all phones. Special deals appear suddenly for consumers everywhere. Are the deals worth it? What happens to the market when there is a launch of a new product?

Let’s talk through the details of what will happen when the iPhone 11 launches, and how it might help you find the best deal on a used phone.

How Will the iPhone 11 Affect the Cell Phone Market?

used iphone discount prices after iphone 11 launch

Each time a new phone drops (particularly Apple phones), the used cell phone market gets a little mixed up. This usually results in some large price drops. Here’s what you can expect for pricing pre-launch, post-launch, and further down the line. Knowing this can help you save a lot of money.

Small Price Drops (Pre-Launch)

We often see price drops in the market during back to school and small promotional periods throughout the year. 

The first big drop at the wholesale level is at the advance of a new launch. These pricing drops not only will affect older model phones but also trickle into the used markets, especially the premium pre-owned markets like Glyde. 

Immediately before launch, many consumers will wait to purchase a new phone in anticipation of the new model release. They want to see if the new features will be worth it before they make a purchase. After the features are released, consumers will either run to the new phone or begin falling back into purchasing older models. Of course, there is also a segment of the population that must have the new phone regardless of features. These are the folks you see standing in line and camping outside of Apple stores.

This pre-launch waiting period creates a huge drop in phone sales for manufacturers and vendors. In order to entice consumers back into the market, pricing on older models needs to be reduced to draw people into the stores. Trade-in values on phones will also increase during this time.  

You shouldn’t expect huge price drops, only a few percentage points, but still enough to save yourself some good money on a new phone.  

We’ve already seen some shift downward in pricing. So if you are someone who is alright with having an older model of phone and are looking for a new one, now is a great time to start looking for some great deals on iPhones.

Real-Life Example – A Dive Into the Past

To give you an idea of how a new launch affects pricing of used iPhones, the chart below shows price changes after the last iPhone launch in 2018.

Model Before Launch After Launch Price Change 
iPhone 6 (16GB) $205 $226 +10%
iPhone 6S (64GB) $236 $259 +10%
iPhone 7 (32GB) $420 $347 -17%
iPhone 7+ (256GB) $715 $544 -24%
iPhone 8 (64GB) $623 $557 -11%
iPhone X (64GB) $977 $780 -20%

Post Launch – Larger Discounts On Most, But Not All, Used iPhones

Once the launch of the iPhone 11 happens, trade-ins begin increasing in quantity. Wholesalers see an influx in most older models, as customers who want to upgrade to an iPhone 11 begin trading in their used phones. 

Starting in October, the increase in the supply results in better deals for most pre-owned iPhones. This is a great time to browse used iPhones in order to find amazing discounts on pre-owned models that are in like-new condition.

But as you can see in the chart, in-demand later models, like the iPhone 6 and 6S, actually increased in price. This is due to supply and demand, where people want the less expensive models, but lower supply actually causes prices to increase. So it’s best to move on those models in September and October.

Holiday Promotions

The next level of price changes usually begins in November, due to holiday promotions.

The combination of the influx of older models along with holiday promotions means that both used dealers and retailers will begin offering additional promotions for the gift-giving season. 

November through January is the all-time low for phone pricing whether new or used. As soon as February hits, pricing begins to slowly move upwards again.

So, if you wanted to buy a pre-owned iPhone XR, XS or XS Max, you’ll likely have to wait until the holiday window beginning in November.

What If I Want An iPhone X After the iPhone 11 Launches?

The iPhone X has been on the market for two years now. With the launch of 11, when can you expect a discount on the older model?

Even with the launch of 11, there isn’t a huge supply of pre-owned iPhone Xs in the marketplace. So you shouldn’t expect the deepest discounts on the phone until we see how heavy or light trade-in volumes are. If people hold onto their Xs, it will make them rarer and prices will hold steady for months.

The other scenario could be the upgraded features in iPhone 11 create such excitement and demand, people who purchased the X two years ago run out and trade-up to an 11. If that happens, iPhone Xs will begin flowing into the secondary market and prices will go down.

iPhone Buying Strategies – The Bottom Line

If you are really hoping for an amazing deal on a pre-owned iPhone, you should be in luck thanks to the lower pricing of the iPhone 11. It should bring a flood of supply of and provide some amazing deals on pre-owned iPhone 8, X, XR, XS and XS Max models. But if it’s an iPhone 6, 6S, 7 or 7 Plus you want, best to move quickly.

Don’t have time to constantly compare phone prices to find the best deal? No worries, visit Glyde and sign up for our email alerts to get updates on the latest pricing trends in the market.