Personal Tech | September 17, 2021 9:03 am

Deal: How to Get an iPhone 13 Pro or Mini for $0

A "free" new iPhone is yours (for new and existing customers) via AT&T or Verizon if you have an eligible trade-in device

four colors of the iPhone 13 Max Pro, now "free" if you go to AT&T
The various iPhone 13 Pro Max releases are "free" under a few conditions
AT&T

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While the newly announced iPhone 13 line didn’t go up in price this year (they purposely stayed at iPhone 12 levels), the devices are still priced for a luxury market.

But now, you can grab one for $700- $1,000 off, or even free. You just have to be an AT&T customer, either existing or new (or a Verizon customer — more on that below).

Here’s the scoop with AT&T: With an “eligible trade-in” (more on this in a minute) and an unlimited plan, purchased on an installment plan, you can get the iPhone 13 Pro or mini for $0, the Pro Max for $99 and the regular iPhone 13 for $99.

Frankly, this deal depends on your level of appreciation for AT&T. That company, which was the first to launch with the iPhone, is touting itself as the “Nation’s Best 5G Network” (via wireless network analysts GWS). But having cycled through every phone company during the 14 years I’ve owned an iteration of Apple’s device, your cell phone coverage and happiness with it will probably depend on where you live.

This limited offer begins September 17. For the fine print, AT&T says the following:

You’ll need to:

  • Purchase an eligible smartphone on a qualifying installment agreement, including taxes on full retail price (up front) and $30 activation/upgrade fee.
  • Activate/keep postpaid unlimited voice & data wireless service (min. $75/mo. for new unlimited customers before discounts). AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy.
  • Trade-in an eligible smartphone in good working condition within 30 days of activation.

Then you’ll get:

  • Up to $1000 in bill credits with smartphone trade-in value of min. $180 or higher
  • Up to $700 in bill credits with smartphone trade-in value of min. $95
  • Up to $350 in bill credits with smartphone trade-in value of min. $35

Long story short — it’s going to depend on what you trade in.

That said, if you want an early winner in 5G service and/or have a good track record with AT&T (John Oliver is famously not a fan), getting a new iPhone 13 for essentially nothing (as long as you keep up the service monthly payments) might be worth the upgrade.

As for Verizon: Trade-ins on the four new iPhone 13 models can get you up to $1000 off, plus a possible extra $500 in savings if you switch carriers. Again, it depends on what you’re trading in — a good-condition iPhone 11 is going to do better than, say, a cracked-screen iPhone 7.