Now is the worst possible time to buy an iPhone 13

Want a new iPhone? Then don’t, and I mean DO NOT, get an iPhone 13 right now, even the mighty iPhone 13 Pro

Why the dramatics? Well, it’s because we’re very likely just 4 to 5 weeks away from the launch of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro. And there’s no sign that Apple is facing any real supply chain issues to push the launch of its next-gen iPhones into October.  

As such, I am currently recommending anyone wanting a new flagship-grade iPhone to wait a little longer to see what the iPhone 14 range brings to the table.  

iphone 14 pro render

(Image credit: Front Page Tech / Ian Zelbo)

For the standard iPhone 14, we’re not really expecting radical changes, though a potential 90Hz refresh rate display has been tipped — I’m a firm believer that once you go high refresh it’s very hard to go back. And the so-called iPhone 14 Max or 14 Plus, is set to offer a 6,7-inch iPhone without the need to fork out for an iPhone Pro Max model. 

Sure, the rumors may point towards a lack of a chip upgrade, but as I’ve discussed before that’s not likely to be a big deal. And I’m sure a few quality of life tweaks will make the iPhone 14 feel like a better phone than its predecessor. For the big upgrades, like a 48-megapixel main camera, A16 Bionic chipset, and a new notch-less design, you’ll reportedly need to go for the iPhone 14 Pro. 

Don’t expect any killer iPhone 13 deals

iphone 13 mini display on in hand with plants in background

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

However, you may be thinking with the new iPhone just around the corner, the current iPhone 13 range will have been slashed in price. Oh my sweet summer reader, that’s simply not the case. And it’s not the way Apple does things. 

On Apple’s one site all iPhone 13 models are full price, though with the ability to trade in older phones to get decent chunks of money off; this will almost certainly be the case for the iPhone 14m too. 

Trade-in deals are pretty decent on Tom’s Guide’s best iPhone 13 deals page. But I’ve seen no standout ones as a result of retailers or telecoms carriers trying to sell out of current models in anticipation for next-gen smartphones from Cupertino. 

This is the case for the U.S. as it is for the U.K. Only the iPhone 13 mini has been notably discounted in Britain, with some £50 shaved off its original price tag of £679; not a bad discount but hardly the kind of price slashing you might expect with a phone this late in its generation. 

So if you were to buy a new iPhone 13, be it a standard or Pro model, you’d be making a mistake. That’s not to say that Apple’s current crop of flagship phones are bad; quite the opposite as the iPhone 13 Pro Max holds the top spot of our best phones list, and I’ve been using and loving an iPhone 13 Pro for the past nine months or so. The crux of the issue is you’d be paying near full-price for a family of phones that’ll be out-of-date within a matter of weeks. 

Now if you were to wait for the iPhone 14 to arrive, you could then go on the hunt for a discounted iPhone 13. But with the iPhone 14 set to be rather similar, I have a sneaking suspicion Apple will kill off the iPhone 13 Pro range, leaving just the regular iPhone 13 at a possible discounted price of $100 off. The iPhone 13 mini could also see a discount but it may also be discontinued as Apple moves away from smaller phones. 

So really, just wait for the iPhone 14, which may launch on September 6 or September 13

The best phone right now? 

iPhone SE 2022 in front of fountain

(Image credit: Future)

What? You can’t wait? OK, in that case I have a few recommendations. 

If you want a flagship phone that’s not going to be replaced for a while yet, then I’d recommend the Samsung Galaxy S22 range. The standard Galaxy S22 is a brilliant Android phone with a great display, lovely design, and a very strong trio of cameras; the Galaxy S22 Plus offers a larger screen, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra is exceptional as a do-everything phone and spiritual successor to the Galaxy Note, albeit very large and quite expensive. 

But we’re some seven months into the Galaxy S22 range’s life, meaning if you shop around you can find some good deals, especially on the standard S22. Check out our section of the best Samsung Galaxy S22 deals

The Google Pixel 6 may also seem like a good bet, but it’s set to be replaced around October time by the Google Pixel 7. And with a few irritating flaws still present, I’d not suggest getting it when its successor could offer an improved experience.

But for Pixel phones, then the Google Pixel 6a offers a budget alternative at $449. It has a lot of the perks of a Pixel phone, such as the camera performance and Tensor chip, but at a much cheaper price. And if you’re new to Android, then it offers Google’s idealized take on the mobile operating system that’s just a joy to use.

Check out our round up of the best Google Pixel 6a deals

If you simply cannot stomach the idea of using an Android phone, then may I recommend the iPhone SE 2022. It might not sport Cupertino’s most cutting-edge phone design and still lack a night mode, but it’s one of the best cheap phones around. And I feel it would make a great stopgap between now and the release of the iPhone 14 range.

Check our our collection of the best iPhone SE deals right now. 

The latest iPhone SE could then serve as a backup iPhone or one you pass on to family members who may not yet be ready for a powerful flagship phone, say children. Or you could use it as a test bed for iOS betas, if you are someone who simply loves to tinker around in new software.

So to conclude, now really is the worst time to buy an iPhone 13 of any kind. But luckily you have options and with a little patience you’ll likely soon have a lot more.

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