Nothing quite beats the satisfaction of getting a good deal. No matter how much you were willing to pay for something you desperately wanted, seeing it available for a tenner off can feel like all your Christmases come at once. So, how do you make sure you’re getting the best deal every time you buy?
In the world of mobile phones, prices fluctuate in a surprisingly reliable pattern every year – making it easier to predict when they’ll be at their lowest. Whether you’re team iOS or team Android, the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google and other phone brands all have specific schedules they follow, ready for savvy shoppers like you to take full advantage of.
We sniffed out these schedules in our Taking Stock of Tech campaign. Read on to get the goss on when to buy a new phone and get the best deals.
1. Yes, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great times for deals
It may sound like an obvious choice, but it bears reiterating. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great times to look out for mobile phone deals with retailers across the UK cutting prices. It’s an equally good time to get yourself a tasty mobile phone contract and lock in low prices for the rest of the year.
Seasonal sales are also ideal times to buy. We’re talking Christmas (so, December and January), as well as back-to-school sales (June-September) and Valentine’s Day (you’d be surprised how many Casanovas gift phones to their partners).
2. Keep an eye on consumer trade shows
It might not be the most exciting thing in the world – especially if you’re battling a sense of FOMO – but keeping an eye on consumer trade shows could pay off when it comes to saving money. Events such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February and Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) in September are all pencilled into the calendars of big smartphone brands. And sale prices can quickly follow these trade shows. Hop over to the next point for the why.
3. Be primed for new launches
The biggest smartphone brands typically have a consistent schedule when they announce new releases. Many brands use consumer trade shows to really make a splash with their big announcements. Retailers set their sales clocks by these revelations and - in the month before and after new releases – lower their prices on the previous model to make way for the new one.
If you don’t mind slumming it with last year’s phone, buying right before or right after a new release could save you some serious moolah. Here’s a quick, non-comprehensive breakdown of when the biggest brands typically announce their new releases:[i]
- January: OnePlus, Samsung Galaxy, Xiaomi (CES) [ii]
- February: Sony, Xiaomi, Nokia, Oppo, LG, Huawei, Motorola (MWC) [iii]
- March: Huawei; Samsung; Sony
- April: Huawei; Samsung; OnePlus; Apple
- May: OnePlus
- August: Sony; Samsung
- September: Sony (IFA); Samsung[iv] (IFA); Apple; Google Nexus[v]
- October: Samsung; Google Pixel[vi]
- December: Huawei Honor
If only the newest release will do, start early for the best deal. Retailers may offer perks to shoppers that lock in their purchase in the pre-order period, including free gifts and bundles. Use the list above to figure out the best time to be on alert for your favourite brand’s pre-release period.
4. Try not to buy in early December
There’s a dark period between Black Friday sales that end on Cyber Monday and Christmas sales that typically start mid-December. Early December will usually see retailers take their prices back to normal after the Cyber Monday sales, which means if you buy now, you’ll likely be catching the products at their priciest that time of the year. It’s best to hang on ‘til the holiday sales kick in before attempting a purchase.
Whether you’re loyal to one brand or like to mix things up every time, there’s no need to pay over the odds when buying a phone. Taking advantage of the tips above, and keeping a close eye on the ebb and flow of brands and retailers could help you get the best deals when buying a phone. Happy sleuthing!