07/09 Update below. This post was originally published on July 7

Apple’s 2020 iPhones are going to make waves (with one condition) and that extends to their surprising price cuts. Or so we thought. Because for millions of existing iPhone owners, they are now going to become a little more expensive. 

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Spotted by MacRumors, Apple has quietly slashed trade-in values across almost every iPhone range, with the biggest cuts coming to the newer models. Moreover, this is Apple’s second cut within six months and means iPhone owners will receive up to $150 less for their current model than they would have in January. 

07/08 Update: Delving into this further, I have found that Apple has made even larger trade-in cuts to its Macbook Pro range. Apple has reduced its trade-in value for these laptops from “up to $2,530” to “up to $1,760” – that’s a massive drop of almost $800. MacBook trade-ins also fall from a maximum of $610 to $460 while Mac Pro (down $120) and iMac (down $90) also see notable reductions. The logical answer to these drops would seem to be that Apple’s impending move to ARM processors has crashed the value of these machines, but trade-in values for the MacBook have actually increased $30 (“up to $690”). The Mac mini also has a much larger trade-in value of up to $1,100 now Vs up to $230 previously, but this seemingly is down to significantly more powerful Mac mini specifications now being available. Either way, trade-in values from Apple are a roller coaster right now, so be careful. Edit: Forbes’ Ewan Spence has more details

07/09 Update: More price shocks have emerged for potential iPhone upgraders, with news that the iPhone 12 range may be more expensive than expected. In April, popular Apple insider Jon Prosser revealed Apple would reduce the price of the new entry-level iPhone 12 by $50, dropping the range’s starting price to $649. Unfortunately, now a new report from analyst Jeff Pu, seen by MacRumors, says Apple is actually planning to increase the entry-level price of the iPhone 12 to $749 – $50 more than the current iPhone 11 and $100 more than Prosser revealed. The larger iPhone 12 Max (not to be confused with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and effectively the replacement for the iPhone 11, given the iPhone 12’s new smaller size) is also tipped to range between $799 and $849. These prices are fair considering the major upgrades Apple will deliver, but they will also leave a bitter taste in the mouth considering the accessories Apple plans to leave out the box this year.

There are two further caveats to these price reductions. 

First, these are “up to” prices which means they are for trade-in models in perfect condition. If your iPhone shows signs of wear and tear you can expect to receive considerably less for your trade-in model. 

Second, these prices are likely to fall again when the iPhone 12 range launches. This is because all these models will become a generation older. What effect will this have? Expect iPhone 11 models to trade-in for circa iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR prices with current models on the list dropping close to the price of their predecessor (an iPhone 8 Plus will be valued like the iPhone 7 Plus, etc). 

All of which means Apple’s planned iPhone 12 price cuts may not translate to a real world saving. Especially with Apple likely to remove both their EarPods and charger from the box. Even so, there’s still a compelling case to upgrade, given that the new iPhones will still be significantly cheaper than the competition, come with all-new designs, new screen sizes, a potentially game-changing LiDAR sensor and different 5G configurations.

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