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Last Updated on March 30, 2023

The Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Cheapest iPhone in South Africa

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There are very few brands in the world that carry the cult status Apple does. Customers in all of the company’s major markets across the globe have been filmed forming long lines at product launches and then proudly showing off their purchases on social media. Whether you’re an iPhone buff or not, you’ve probably been tempted to buy into the hype, despite the prohibitively high costs. Here’s a comprehensive guide to finding the cheapest iPhone in South Africa.

Whether old or new, everybody craves an iPhone. When asked, different people point to different features they love about iPhone. Everything from the great user interface, ever-improving camera quality, and beautiful design aspects down to the exclusivity of the product have willed people into doing the craziest things for a phone.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that you also want to join the club by buying the cheapest iPhone in South Africa. However, before we talk about iPhone prices in South Africa and compare cellphone prices in the country, we need to know what’s available on the market. Let’s take a brief look at both the latest iPhones in South Africa and a few older versions.

What are the different iPhone models available in South Africa?

The earlier models of the iPhone are available in South Africa, and newer models, such as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. However, before you decide whether to buy 4S, 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, XR, or XS, it would be wise to compare the features that differentiate each of the models.

The other important thing to look out for is the storage capacity, typically listed on the box. iPhone storage capacity is categorized into the following:

  • 4S: 16GB.
  • 6: 16GB, 64GB.
  • 6 Plus: 16GB, 64GB, 128GB.
  • 6S Plus: 16GB, 64GB, 128GB.
  • SE: 16GB, 64GB.
  • 7: 32GB, 128GB.
  • 8: 64GB.
  • X: 64GB.
  • XR: 64GB.
  • 12: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB.
  • 13 mini & iPhone 13: 128 GB, 256GB, 512GB.
  • 14 & iPhone 14 Pro: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.

In addition to model and storage space being important determinants of the price you’re likely to pay for your iPhone, the level of usage always plays an important role. In South Africa, you can buy both old and new iPhones.

A used or old iPhone is an iPhone that was previously held by another person for a certain duration before it was sold or donated. Old iPhones will typically have a software update and perhaps a renovated outer casing to give them a new look and feel.

Before buying an old iPhone, you might want to conduct some due diligence- especially if you’re purchasing it online- to make sure the features listed by the seller are functional and work as expected.

Apple phone price points in South Africa

Now that you’ve understood what to look for when buying an iPhone in South Africa, the next step is to compare the phone price points. One of the best ways to save money and buy the cheapest apple phone in South Africa is to look for discounted ones.

As with any other technology purchase, you should follow this step when buying a cheap mobile phone in South Africa. There are many places- both online and physical stores- where you can find the best value for money when buying a smartphone in South Africa. Websites such as Gumtree and Loot are great places to begin your search. The next place to look is second-hand stores and resellers.

Another way you can save money when purchasing an iPhone is to buy a reconditioned or refurbished one. In this case, ‘reconditioned’ means the manufacturer has inspected, fixed, and given the device a new warranty.

On the other hand, ‘refurbished’ means the manufacturer has fixed it and sold it to you as a used device. The used and refurbished section at the Apple store in South Africa is also a great place to buy cheap mobile phones in South Africa.

Let’s explore the different price points of Apple phones in South Africa

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is gorgeous, with a long-lasting glass and aluminum design. Its powerful A13 bionic chip, 4.7-inch retina display, and 12MP camera grants a sturdy performance. This phone ranges between R9,300 and R10,000. However, the second generation iPhone SE starts from around R7,999.

iPhone 11

The iPhone 11 price in South Africa goes from around R10,500. Comparable to the iPhone XR, this packs a powerful punch with its ultrawide camera and wide range of cool colours. The phone also has other exciting features, such as a 6.1 inch IPS LCD display, dual rear cameras, a 3110mAh Li-Ion battery, and many more.

iPhone 12 mini

This iPhone model is a beautiful, elegant, and compact version that was released in 2020. Its front and back design, scratch-resistant ceramic glass, dual cameras, 5G functionality, incredible A14 bionic power, and smaller size make it perfect for those who love small phones but want the iPhone aesthetic and appeal. The price point for this starts from around R14,000.

iPhone 12 & iPhone 12 Pro

These two iPhones go for roughly R17,000 and R24,000, respectively. Although both were released in 2020, the iPhone 12 has a dual camera system, while the Pro has a triple camera system. Despite the size and other functionality differences, these two have a few things in common: super retina XDR display, A14 bionic chip, and attractive colours that can be purchased.

iPhone 13 series

The iPhone 13 was initially released in September 2021, and the others in the series followed, i.e., iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max variations. Although Apple kept in line with the design aesthetic used for the iPhone 12, the features of this series of phones were definitely a notch higher than predecessors.

With each subsequent release, the company pushed the envelope further regarding processing power, cameras, battery, and other core features. In South Africa, depending on which phone you select in the series, the prices vary accordingly: iPhone 13 R14,500, iPhone 13 Pro R17,500, iPhone 13 Pro Max R 26,000/-.

As mentioned earlier, prices vary depending on storage capacity and phone usage. With these price estimations, you can estimate the likely price of old iPhones based on the price of the original. Generally, old iPhones are cheaper than new iPhones.

Now that you’ve decided on the iPhone model you’re interested in, you’re probably wondering where you can get the best deals on both new and used iPhones in South Africa.

Best place to find a cheap iPhone in South Africa

Online marketplaces

One of the best ways to find the cheapest iPhone in South Africa is by shopping online. There are numerous online retailers that offer both new and old iPhones in South Africa. The key advantage of this option is the ability to conveniently browse multiple sites, bookmark potential options, and compare prices, all from the comfort of your couch! Sites like Gumtree and Epic Deals are great places to start when looking for both new and used ones.

These sites feature different retailers, making it easy to compare the deals on offer. They typically also have pictures and a detailed breakdown of the specs and usage (for used phones) in order for potential customers to get a comprehensive idea of what they are paying for. Additionally, the sites like Gumtree also feature customer reviews and retailer profiles that reduce the element of risk associated with buying technology online.

While searching online, be sure to compare iPhone prices in South Africa and speak directly to the retailer to get a clear impression of the phone’s condition.

Second-hand shops

Another place to get a great deal on your next iPhone is a second-hand phone shop. South Africa has many second-hand phone shops that sell practically every smartphone brand on the market. The advantage of these shops over the online option is that you can actually see and experience the phone right there in the shop.

Additionally, because these shops primarily acquire business through referrals, they are usually honest about the phone’s condition and can offer different options based on your budget.

The other interesting feature of second-hand phone shops in South Africa is that they also offer repair and swap deals to their customers. This means you can take your damaged iPhone and have it repaired in case of damage.

Alternatively, you might opt for a swap deal that allows you to hand over your current phone and top-up a small amount to get a new iPhone model.

Retail chains

There are many retail stores that offer discounts on different items, including phones. One of the key advantages of buying an iPhone through this avenue is the guarantee that you’d be getting an original iPhone and a cheap apple phone in South Africa.

In some cases, these retailers can also offload used iPhones that have barely been used and therefore function as well as brand new options. If this is the route you’re interested in taking, you should regularly check large tech store websites or physically visit the stores whenever there is a huge sale like black Friday or Christmas sale.

Cellular service providers

In some instances, cellular service providers also offer discounts on certain phone purchases along with their SIM cards. Huge companies like MTN South Africa often offer brand-new phones at a discount that can be purchased either online or by visiting their local retail store.

This can be a great option for first-timers needing extra help setting up their iPhones. While at the store, they can also be taught how to operate the phone and install the most important apps they might need.

Refurbished phone dealers

South Africa has a large number of refurbished phone dealers whose sole specializing is selling refurbished smartphones. These dealers often have different iPhone models that have been fixed and are now being resold at a much cheaper price than the original. This might be the perfect option for those interested in buying an iPhone at a reasonably low price.

Go the iStore route

The iPhone craze is fueled by many different things. For some, it’s the elite photography level, and iPhone allows you to unlock. For others, it’s the feeling of being part of a wider club- a select group of people scattered in every country and continent. Whether your love is fueled by the functional side of things or by the phone’s unique aesthetics, you’ll be happy to know more legitimate options are available to those who would rather avoid phone dealers.

South Africa’s premium iPhone reseller, iStore, has noticed the huge demand for both new and used iPhones and has responded. There are different affordable options for customers to choose from. These range from contracts and upgrades down to customized payment plans using their FNB credit card.

For customers who wish to avoid entering pesky contracts with telecom companies, the FNB route is the most convenient. The buy-for-cash option enables customers to use their FNB credit card budget option. Through this they can pay off their iPhone purchases at a reduced rate of roughly 10.25%. Additionally, after 12 or 24 months, customers can trade their iPhones for a newer model.

Alternatively, the iStore also carries a wide range of Apple Certified Pre-Owned iPhones that come with a 12-month Apple warranty. These perfectly functional refurbished iPhones have undergone rigorous tests and checks before being returned to the shelf.

What do Tech-enthusiasts say?

If you’re one of those people who only trust tech-related advice from a gentleman with big glasses and a crew cut, then you should know that there is consensus amongst tech geeks on which the cheapest iPhone in South Africa is.

Yes, you can get all the older models, such as 4S, 6, and 7 series, at drastically low prices. However, most iPhone reviews agree that the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus is the cheapest, high-value iPhone on the South African market.

Their reasoning is that although iPhone awards software updates to its phones for up to 5 years after their release date, older models might not be of great value because Apple has probably already stopped updating that software. A used iPhone 8 Plus goes for roughly R4,500. This is a good option to start with, especially if you intend to trade it in for a better model eventually.

How to buy an affordable second-hand or refurbished iPhone

Before buying a second-hand phone online in South Africa, you should keep a few things in mind to avoid being ripped off or regretting your purchase. Remember, a second-hand smartphone has been used before. This means there is always the potential of getting a raw deal if you’re not careful.

Research

As stated earlier, it is important to know what you want before going out in search of it. What kind of features, colours, and other tidbits excite you? How much are you willing to spend? What trade-offs are you willing to make in search of an affordable option? All these questions are important because there are many iPhone models, each with unique and similar features. Additionally, make sure you know the phone’s lifespan before purchasing it.

Pricing

Different retailers offer different prices, which is especially true in the case of second-hand phones. The disparities in prices for second-hand phones are not only brought on by the difference in models and features. It is also a result of the amount of damage the phone sustained, the phone’s lifespan, the position of the model relative to the latest one, and so on.

A wise move is to check and compare prices offered by different vendors on the market before selecting a particular one. Keep in mind the fact that dealers charge differently for various reasons. Therefore, comparing prices could save you from spending more on an old phone than you have to.

Reputation

When it comes to dealers, the ‘sharpest’ looking one isn’t always the most trustworthy. Like used-car salespeople, phone dealers have been known to exaggerate certain features while hiding potential problems. Before deciding on a particular phone dealer, check their reputation. Be sure to ascertain whether what they say about the phone’s condition is true.

The great thing is that most phone dealers’ websites have a section with testimonials left by previous customers. Although online testimonials aren’t always foolproof, they can still guide your decision toward a dealer with a reputation for quality and honesty.

Inspect the purchase

When buying a second-hand phone, always ensure you thoroughly inspect the phone before buying it. Use the known phone specs as a guide to ask informed questions. These can be found on popular iPhone blogs and on Apple’s official website. If you trust the phone dealer, you can go straight to the phone’s settings. From the settings, you can check important specs like battery and whether necessary settings are still functional.

Check battery

Although iPhone batteries are typically long-lasting, the battery capacity begins to wear down after long periods of usage. However, most iPhones display this in the settings menu, thereby allowing users to accurately determine the lifespan of their phone.

Request for warranty

Where possible, always ask the phone dealer for a warranty for your iPhone. As mentioned earlier, if the phone has been reconditioned, then it should typically come with a warranty. A warranty protects you by specifying that if the phone dies before or within a certain time frame, the phone dealer must replace it with a new one. Indeed, given the relatively high price of iPhones-even used ones- in comparison to other smartphones makes it clear why this is absolutely important.

The search for the perfect iPhone, one that’s both cheap and fully functional, might seem intimidating to some- especially those who don’t consider themselves ‘tech-savvy.’ However, with these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to negotiating a reasonable price for your dream phone.

5 tips for finding cheap iPhone deals in South Africa

Timing is everything

Similar to the price fluctuations of other tech products, iPhone prices start high and then gradually decrease. Although we’re not necessarily suggesting that you should wait until Christmas…that might be too far; perhaps black Friday is much closer! The point is that you should aim for big holidays and times when retailers are running discounts.

Additionally, for those genuinely interested in cheap iPhone deals in South Africa, remember the old saying, ‘old is gold.’ The newer iPhones will always be more expensive than the slightly older ones. This doesn’t mean you should settle for an iPhone you don’t actually want. In this case, patience really is key.

Compare prices

Think back to the time you were going to buy your first car. If you were like most people, you probably didn’t have much money to spend on your dream. Nevertheless, you undoubtedly had a clear intention to get the highest value for your money.

Similarly, before getting the best deals on iPhones in South Africa, you have to treat your money like it’s the precious resource it is. How? Well, you do this by comparing mobile phone prices in South Africa. As mentioned earlier, dealers charge widely differing prices even for the same iPhone model. This is why it’s important to conduct thorough research if you want to get a cheap phone online.

Old is gold!

Allow us to re-iterate the sage saying, ‘old is gold.’ This is as true when it comes to iPhones. Just as it is with regard to other aspects of life. Look for the best deals on older models of the phone. This gives you a chance in order to avoid paying a ton of money.

Swap and upgrade

Another hack used to find cheap phone deals in South Africa is the well-known swap and upgrade method. For instance, you might dream of owning an iPhone 14 Pro but not have the resources to make the purchase. With the swap and upgrade method, you can start with an iPhone X, then gradually swap.

You would then add a small cash top-up to get the next model until you reach your dream phone. Although this might seem like a long way to go, it saves you from buying the latest iPhones at exaggerated prices.

Deal hungry

The search for the perfect iPhone at the right price requires a certain level of determination and diligence. You would probably hate to pay even R500 more for a phone only to find another dealer selling it at a cheaper price. Therefore, you should keep your eyes and ears open to get the best deal. Take the time to regularly check websites and social media pages that sell second-hand iPhones. With second-hand dealers, it is also possible to negotiate a suitable price regardless of what’s actually listed on their website.

Conclusion

Owning an iPhone opens a world of wonder, or so it seems. Everywhere you look, more people are fast becoming Apple converts. If there’s one thing Steve Jobs did right, it is how he transformed Apple’s product from a mere smartphone to a status symbol. Following this comprehensive guide to finding the cheapest iPhone in South Africa, you, too, can join the coveted club.

What is the best way to save money when buying an Apple phone in South Africa?

The best way to save money when buying an Apple phone in South Africa is to compare prices across different online and physical stores, look for discounted iPhones, buy reconditioned or refurbished phones.

Where are the best places to buy a cheap mobile phone in South Africa?

The best places to buy a cheap mobile phone in South Africa are online websites like Gumtree and Loot, second-hand stores, and resellers. You can also consider getting a refurbished or reconditioned one from the Apple Store in South Africa.

What is the difference between a reconditioned and refurbished iPhone?

A refurbished phone is a phone that has been returned by a previous owner before being thoroughly tested and refurbished to a standard that is essentially as good as new.

A reconditioned phone may have some cosmetic imperfections, such as a small dent or bump, but the overall functionality should be the same as a new phone.


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