It's Apple's annual iPhone launch. Fans are lining up, and pulling out their wallets.
But for the first time ever, you may be able to tuck that credit card away, and get a new iPhone free.
If you are considering the lowest cost iPhone 5C, with its colorful plastic body, you can get it free of charge several different ways.
Sprint will give you a free iPhone 5C if you switch to sprint from AT&T or Verizon (but make sure you are not still under contract with them, or you will face huge termination fees.)
But there's another way to get it free, without switching carriers, by simply trading in an older iPhone 4.
-- How to get it (almost) free:
1. The iPhone 5C is just $99 with a 2 year contract.
2. The Apple Store, as well as online trade-in sites like Gazelle and Nextworth, will give you at least $100 for your old iPhone 4, as of September 19.
3. That makes the iPhone 5C essentially free. Yes, you will have to pay upgrade and activation fees.
4. You'll get even more for your used iPhone 4S, as much as $200 at some trade-in sites. In that case, you can get the new $199 iPhone 5S free.
But the simplest way is to walk into the Apple store in the coming days, hand them your two or three-year-old iPhone 4, and walk out with a colorful iPhone 5C for free.
-- Discounts on new phone
Meanwhile, there's good news this time, if you are on a budget.
You can get both new iPhones for less than sticker price, for the first time ever on a launch day.
- Walmart and Target will both sell the new iPhone 5C for just $79, with a new two year contract (it's normally $99).
- If you have a Target Red credit card, you get it for even less, $76.
- Meantime, Walmart will sell the new iPhone 5S for $189, $10 less than Apple.
One caution: bloggers say some Walmart stores charge sales tax on the non-subsidized $600 price of new iPhones, depending on location.
In that case, you would be better off buying from Apple, which taxes only on the "subsidized" $99 or $199 price tag.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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