How to make sense of Apple’s new iPhone pricing

In case you missed it, Apple has four new iPhone 12s to sell you. But the lineup is even more confusing and treacherous than the addition of a single extra model.

Let’s start with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini. Compared to the iPhone 11, you get a new smaller option, 5G, better cameras, and a thinner design, with pricing that’s pretty much in line with last year.

Here are the prices with a “customer discount” through the four major carriers—Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T—which require an activation fee of $25 or $30, so you’re not actually saving anything:

iPhone 12 mini (Carrier discount)

  • 64GB: $699
  • 128GB: $749
  • 256GB: $849

iPhone 12 (Carrier discount)

  • 64GB: $799
  • 128GB: $849
  • 256GB $949

But if you’re buying an unlocked, SIM-free model, you’ll actually pay a little more:

iPhone 12 mini (Unlocked)

  • 64GB: $729
  • 128GB: $779
  • 256GB: $879

iPhone 12 (Sprint, T-Mobile, Unlocked):