How to buy iPhone 13 cheap and beat the supply shortages

The iPhone 13 isn't losing its value as quickly as older iPhones did, so it's important to shop around right now

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
(Image credit: Apple)

The best iPhone Black Friday deals are still going and it's a very good idea to check them out: if you were waiting for the iPhone to become super-cheap as a second-hand buy, you'll be waiting quite a while. According to research by SellCell based on data from 45 phone trade-in firms and reported by MacRumors, the iPhone 13 is depreciating a lot slower than other iPhones did.

Any product starts losing its value the moment you unbox it, and phones are no exception. My iPhone 12 Pro is currently worth about half what I paid for it. But according to the SellCell data, the iPhone 13 isn't depreciating quickly. Where the iPhone 11 lost 44.6% of its value after two months on sale, the iPhone 13 only lost 25.5% – and in some cases its value is going up again.

Why the iPhone 13 isn't going for a song second-hand

The big difference between the iPhone 13 and previous iPhones is supply: we're in the middle of a global semiconductor crisis and Apple isn't invulnerable. It's taking longer to get an iPhone 13 than it did with the iPhone 12 because Apple isn't making as many, and that's keeping second-hand values firm. People who might not have considered buying second hand before are doing it now because they're impatient.

The semiconductor crisis isn't going to be over for a while, so the supply issues will be affecting iPhones for months to come. That means it's more important than ever to look everywhere for the best iPhone 13 deals if you want Apple's latest phone: it's very much a seller's market right now, but it's also a very competitive market – and if you're willing to accept a little delay between your order and its arrival, you can still save money on Apple's fantastic flagship.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (