Best Cyber Monday iPhone deals: no surprises here

Best Cyber Monday 2023 iPhone deals: what to expect
Cyber Monday 2023 is well behind us, so why don't we take a look back and do a quick recap at the iPhone offers we saw during the sale event. As you probably already suspect, there wasn't much to get excited about, even though we still hoped for a nice surprise.

Most of the deals, when there were any, didn't even include discounts but some other forms of reimbursement, like a gift card for example. Even the iPhone 14 didn't get any significant price cuts. Frankly, the best deals were seen with the iPhone SE from 2022. Below you will find an overlook of the deals we saw.

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Cyber Monday deal recap on iPhone 15

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

The Good

  • Cool new titanium frame
  • Action Button opens up more possibilities
  • Speakers are great as always
  • A17 Pro chip is an absolute beast
  • USB Type C with USB 3 speeds!
  • Slightly improved, much welcomed camera image processing

The Bad

  • Color options are a bit limited
  • Action Button needs fleshing out — it only does one thing
  • Doesn't come with USB 3 cable in the box
  • 5x zoom camera doesn't feel like a huge benefit

Being the latest model and all, of course the iPhone 15 series did not see many impressive discounts, which was to be expected. The best offers we saw hovered around the 6-7% mark, which is not exactly what one might call "a steal". That being said, Walmart had an AT&T-locked iPhone 15 Pro with a $300 eGift card at one point.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

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As per usual, the more affordable iPhone 15 and 15 Plus models got even smaller price cuts of 4-5%.

Apple iPhone 15 Plus

Apple iPhone 15 Plus

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Apple iPhone 15

Apple iPhone 15

The Good

  • Dynamic Island replaces notch
  • New 48MP main camera delivers greater detail
  • Automated Portrait mode
  • USB-C, finally!
  • More ergonomic design
  • Brighter display
  • Roadside assistance via satellite

The Bad

  • Poor utilization of USB-C: same charging and transfer speeds
  • 60Hz display refresh rate, come on!
  • No dedicated telephoto camera
  • Ultra-wide camera needs an upgrade

Cyber Monday deal recap on iPhone 14

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

The Good

  • Exceptional, industry-leading performance
  • Dynamic Island is a fun and useful twist on the punch hole
  • Very good battery life
  • Superb video-recording quality
  • Very bright and beautiful display with Always-On functionality
  • Premium, posh design

The Bad

  • Relatively slow charging speed
  • Small evolutionary improvements
  • Lack of physical SIM feels like an inconvenience
Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

The Good

  • Fastest and smoothest phone in the industry
  • Fun and useful new "Dynamic Island"
  • Industry-leading video recording quality
  • 48MP ProRAW photos will get photogs excited, but limited appeal for others
  • Satellite connectivity and Crash detection could save your life
  • Screen gets impressively bright, easy to use outdoors

The Bad

  • Not much has changed from 13 Pro
  • Charging speeds are still slower than competition
  • Lack of SIM card on US models might be a nuisance for travelers
  • Excessive sharpening in photos
Apple iPhone 14 Plus

Apple iPhone 14 Plus

The Good

  • Huge display
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Great performance
  • Powerful sound

The Bad

  • Same old design with a notch, no Dynamic Island here
  • 60Hz display refresh rate
  • No always-on display
  • Still feels a bit too expensive

Unlike the newer generation, the iPhone 14 family did get some love. The iPhone 14 Plus, for example, was free with a new line activation at Verizon.

Apple iPhone 14

Apple iPhone 14

The Good

  • Improved low-light photos, color balance, and dynamic range
  • Faster graphics subsystem and connectivity options
  • Bright display
  • Good battery life
  • Much cheaper to repair

The Bad

  • Too wide of a specs and performance gap with the iPhone 14 Pro
  • Display calibration is lacking
  • The new penta-core GPU is a battery hog
  • Slow charging

There were also some deals at Amazon on renewed iPhone 14 models, like the 256GB variant, which was down by $81... Wait, that's an awful deal. Well, there you have it, that's Apple products during sale events for you.

Cyber Monday deal recap on iPhones SE

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

The Good

  • Affordable price
  • Light, thin and compact
  • iPhone with a button classic vibe
  • 5G connectivity with C-band support
  • Super fast processor
  • Camera is great for day shots, video

The Bad

  • Feels dated
  • LCD screen instead of AMOLED
  • Screen feels too small for a modern phone
  • Battery life is improved, but still below average
  • Camera lacks night mode, has no ultra-wide lens
  • Only 64GB base storage

The iPhone SE, in contrast to Apple's more premium offerings, saw some hefty discounts during Cyber Monday 2023. The model from 2022 (latest) went as low as $150, which is around 60% off of its original price tag, otherwise said $230!

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

The Good

  • Unmatched performance
  • Impressive image quality, industry-leading 4K video capture
  • Great price
  • Compact form factor, easy to use with one hand
  • iOS and the ecosystem (AirPods, Apple Watch, etc)
  • Support for wireless charging

The Bad

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Dated look on the front with big bezels
  • Only one small size that won’t fit everyone (no Plus model)
  • Slow 5W charger in the box
  • No Night Mode, no telephoto camera, no ultra-wide camera

The older, 2nd-gen iPhone also went down, despite its already lower price, getting a 16% discount at Amazon.

How good are Cyber Monday iPhone deals?

Unless you have an older model to trade-in, or are not willing and able to sign a new contract — not great. iPhones tend to stick to their price and rarely drop by much during deals events.

If you don't mind refurbished units — that's where the retailers really take their gloves off and do some real discounting. 

However, if you time things right and are up for contract renewal during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday period, you can expect some really good offers — like buy one, get one free, or $1000 off on an iPhone Pro Max. It seems it is worth making November your default month for renewing services!

How to find the best iPhone deals on Cyber Monday?

Going directly to your carrier of choice is one way — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile will all have their best deals listed front and center. However, be aware that major retailers also sell carrier-locked units, and sometimes their offers differ (or are better) than going to the carrier. For example, a carrier may ask for a trade-in to give you an awesome discount, the retailer may simply want you to activate the phone on said carrier with your purchase.

It's good to look around and exhaust all options. But if the prospect of doing this sounds... exhausting to you — just follow us here, where we will be cherry-picking and listing all of your choices for best iPhone discounts.

Can you get an unlocked iPhone on Cyber Monday?

Not the newest models. They are exclusively sold locked.

Sometimes, this applies to older variants as well — we did expect to spot more straight-up discounts on the iPhone 13 line last year, but alas, it was pretty hard to find them unlocked.

So, refurbished units or iPhone models that are a couple of years old now are your best bet. Like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11, which were more often seen at bargain prices during the last Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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