Winter is coming to a close and another Apple release sits on the horizon. With word that it’s cheaper to buy your phone outright than lock yourself into a 24-month carrier contract, you might be wondering just how you can get your hands on an iPhone 7 when the time comes this spring.

Whether you’re looking to save that money, avoid dealing with phone contracts, or you just want to pay for the phone upfront, we have some tips on how to make sure you can grab a new iPhone 7 outright when it launches.

The trade up

If you’ve got a smartphone in relatively good condition that you want to replace with an iPhone 7, consider taking advantage of the Apple store’s trade-up option. Introduced to Australia in 2014, the scheme allows you to bring your current phone into a store for up to $400 credit to use towards the purchase of a new iPhone. Every dollar counts, so even if you get less credit that’d be nothing to sneeze at considering how pricy phones can be these days.

Not close to an Apple store or prefer digital transactions?

You can do an online trade-in of your old device (which doesn’t have to be an iPhone) for credit in the form of an Apple Store gift card.

Alternatively you can get a quote from and arrange to sell your phone to a third party buy-back service like iXchange (iPhones only) and Cash A Phone via mail for credit deposited directly to your bank account.

And don’t forget that you can always take the entrepreneurial route and sell your old handset on eBay or Gumtree.

Online or in person?

Reckon that prices online are cheaper? That assumption might not always be correct – a recent report found that 72% of on- and offline prices studied were identical, especially “within the big retailers that tend to dominate [Australian] consumer spending.”

So when it comes to buying your new iPhone, the real tossup between buying in-person or through the internet is whether you’re keen on queuing up. And if past iPhone launches are anything to go by, then queueing up on launch day is serious business: uni students started lining up outside Sydney’s Apple store for the iPhone 6’s release in 2014 a whole nine days before the phone was even launched. The following year’s hype for the iPhone 6s was so strong that by the time the launch date rolled around a Sydney-based ad exec had arranged to use a “telepresence robot” (an iPad attached to a Segway, essentially) to hold her place in line.

Release day is part of the fun for some, but if it’s not your idea of a good time consider preordering through Apple’s online store. Information for iPhone 7 preorders will undoubtedly drop in the coming weeks.

Choosing a physical store

This one isn’t too hard since your typical electronics and big box retail stores—Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Kmart—might not have unlocked iPhone 7’s available for purchase immediately upon release, and the same usually goes for online retailers too. In all likelihood Apple will get exclusivity on selling the unlocked phones for a while after launch date, while telco kiosks and stores will sell only contract-connected phones for some time.

One word: preorder

Initial stocks of new iPhones go very quickly, but with a little bit of planning and some fast-ordering action you should be able to guarantee yourself an iPhone 7 if you preorder. That way, whether you’re picking up the device in the store or opting for it to be shipped your way, you won’t be caught empty-handed.

Keep an eye out on Apple’s website for information on preordering. Good luck being the first to get your hands on one – and don’t forget, an outright phone needs a great phone plan. Check out our simple and great value no lock-in contract mobile plans to pair up with your iPhone 7.

Cheers,
Jen

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