Let's start by looking at the base prices. The 64GB iPhone 8 costs $699, with the 256GB model costing $849. The iPhone 8 Plus costs $100 more all around. The iPhone X costs $300 more, so $999 and $1,149.
So far, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile have all said they'll carry the new phones. You will also be able to get phones at Apple Stores, and presumably at Best Buy, Walmart, and other major retailers, although they haven't announced their plans yet.
Wait for Retail for Upfront Deals
In the past, Walmart, Best Buy, and their ilk have offered some great deals on iPhones. Typically, they'll sell them to you at the same base price as Apple does, but throw in a $100 or $150 gift card with your purchase. I'd be shocked if they don't do that again, but they may be required to wait until the carriers have had their chance at early buyers. That makes waiting a good bet.
But I Need it Now!
Three out of the four nationwide carriers have announced deals on the new iPhones.
If you buy an iPhone on AT&T Next, get a 32GB iPad for $99.99 on a two-year wireless agreement when you add eligible service on both. We really like the new iPad, so that's not a bad deal if were eyeing a new tablet. Just be aware that you're then locked into LTE service with that iPad, so it only makes sense if you'll be using it alot outside your house, where Wi-Fi isn't an option.
AT&T is also offering a buy-one, get-one-free deal on the 32GB iPhone 7 right now, which is pretty great.
Sprint is offering to beat anyone else's iPhone price, but also to give 50 percent off the monthly lease on an iPhone 8 when you trade in your iPhone 7. If you're a Verizon customer, buy a Verizon iPhone 8 from Verizon or Apple, bring it to Sprint and get a free year of service.
These are good targeted deals, but they aren't available to everybody. Remember that the whole leasing deal means you're essentially renting your phone from Sprint, and that you can't sell it yourself without paying off the lease at the full retail price.
For a limited time, customers who trade in their iPhone 6 or newer in good condition and want to pick up iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X on an equipment installment plan will get up to $300 off via 24 monthly bill credits, according to T-Mobile.
Once more, the carrier is trying to make sure you're on the hook for 24 months here. The credit is actually $12.50/month, so if you decide to pay off the installment plan after, say, 12 months, you really only get $150 in credit. Still, better than nothing.
Verizon, Xfinity Mobile, and U.S. Cellular have no special deals right now.
How About Apple's Upgrade Program?
Apple offers its own iPhone upgrade program, which lets you switch up to a new iPhone every year, in exchange for paying extra per month and agreeing to take AppleCare+ warranty coverage—which will cost $199 for iPhone X versus $129 for iPhone 8.
Apple's upgrade program is cheaper than T-Mobile's Jump! program, but more expensive than Verizon's upgrade program, Sprint's deal, or AT&T's Next Every Year.
For instance, a base iPhone 8 on T-Mobile's Jump! upgrade program is around $39/month on T-Mobile, while Apple charges $34.50/month. AT&T and Verizon will charge $29.13/month, while Sprint's half-off deal could be as low as $14.59. However, Apple's upgrade program gives you the freedom to switch carriers later, including to a low-cost virtual carrier, if you want. That could save you big money over the long term.
Is iPhone X Too Expensive?
In case you haven't heard, the iPhone X is $1,000+. That's not cheap, but here in the US, it'll mostly be sold on two-year contracts, which will just kick it up by $10 per month or so over the iPhone 8. For most people eyeing a pricey smartphone, that probably won't break the bank. If you're not sold on Face ID and the demise of the Home button, though, nab an iPhone 8. Of course, the smaller iPhone SE can be had starting at $349, while iPhone 6s starts at $449.
Want Updated Deals?
This story is accurate as of Sept. 13, but I suspect deals will change fast. WhistleOut.com appears to be tracking carrier deals, so check with them, especially if you're reading this later in September or October.