How to Get an iPhone 6 for Less Than $50

These days, people who don’t own iPhones are a rapidly shrinking breed.

ComScore reported that nearly 142 million Americans owned a smartphone in April through June 2013, a mobile phone market penetration of 59 percent. Apple topped the list, claiming 39.9 percent of all smartphone subscribers aged 13 and up in the same time period.

With Apple’s latest product unveiling this morning, which included the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and iOS 8 — now is the best time for Apple fanboys and smartphone newbies alike to start thinking about buying a new device.

Keeping up with the Joneses doesn’t mean your savings account has to take a hit, however. In fact, through some careful planning, you might be able to get the new iPhone 6 for less than $50. Let’s find out how!

Related: Apple Market Cap Soars Past $1 Trillion — and Keeps on Climbing

Find a Discount on an iPhone 6

The official price of the iPhone 6 is $199 and the iPhone 6 Plus will be going for $299, both when signed with two-year contract. Fortunately, many mobile phone providers offer discounted rates to new customers and those who upgrade, so let’s assume they’ll do the same with the iPhone 6, at least.

Take Advantage of Lower iPhone 6 Prices

If you’re in the market for a cheap iPhone and aren’t too worried about staying on top of Apple trends, now is the perfect time to buy an iPhone 6.

Some carriers offer additional discounts; for example, AT&T sells refurbished devices starting at $150 with a two-year contract. Additionally, many retailers rolled out lower prices on the iPhone 5S prior to the 6 release.

Sell Your Old iPhone

If you’re determined to get your hands on the latest iPhone release as soon as possible, let’s look at how you can sell your old iPhone and nab a new one for $50.

We’ve seen that most carriers will let you get an iPhone upgrade for about $100 to $200  Let’s factor in that a common activation or upgrade fee is $36 (which is the case with AT&T and Sprint) and you’re looking at $136 to $236. That’s obviously more than the $50 threshold we’ve just set.

Never fear. You won’t need your existing phone anymore, so it’s time to sell it.

Below are the prices various sources are offered last year on a used 16GB iPhone 5:

eBayBetween $350 and $500

Of course, these are just estimates; the value you’re offered will depend on the specific model, carrier and condition of your phone.

Get an iPhone 6 for Less Than $50 With an iPhone Upgrade

New Sprint customers might get the most bang for their buck. When you decide to sell, iPhone 5 prices with this carrier in the past forecast that you will probably be able to trade in your existing phone and effectively be paid to receive an upgrade.

If you’re looking to upgrade your iPhone instead, you could pay $200 for an iPhone 5S plus a $36 upgrade fee for a total of $236. You’d need to sell your existing phone for at least $187 to spend less than $50 on the upgrade.

That’s fine; if your phone is in good shape, you’ll probably be able to unload it on eBay or Gazelle, or even sell it back to Apple or your carrier, for more than this amount.

Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano