iPhone 5C drops to $0. Should you buy it?

With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus release this week, older iPhone 5s and 5c models have dropped to $99 and $0, respectively. If all you want is an iPhone for cheap, then that $0 price tag on the 5c probably seems appealing. But whatever you do, do not fall for it.

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    Apple iPhone 5C phones are pictured at the Apple retail store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York.
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Apple announced the long-rumored iPhone 6 this week, but eagle-eyed observers might have noted that in the process, we have a new fleet of iPhone price points. While the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus occupy the top tiers at $199 and $299, respectively, the iPhone 5s and 5c have dropped to $99 and $0. (All prices are after signing a 2-year service contract.)

If all you want is an iPhone for cheap, then that $0 price tag on the 5c probably seems appealing. But whatever you do, do not fall for it.

Better iPhones Will Get Much Cheaper in the Coming Weeks

As many have established before, the 5s is a far better phone than the 5c, but even if you can't muster the strength to throw down an extra $99 just to get it, you can still opt for the better model — with a little patience.

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Our deal archives consistently show that retailers are no longer afraid of discounting Apple products — and they're more than willing to do so for a bit of publicity. In fact, the 5s has already been cheaper than its new lower "retail" price; last month, Walmart knocked it to $79 while Costco slashed it further to $58. We wouldn't be surprised to see retailers close the gap even more in an effort to get customers excited and in their stores.

And let's not ignore the fact that the brand-new iPhone 6 will also see some discounts, making the difference between the old-and-busted 5c and the new hotness very slight. Earlier today, Verizon was offering the iPhone 6 for free if you traded in an old iPhone. (The deal is now expired.) Moreover, if you have an older phone in good condition, you can likely net a healthy sum at a trade-in site that will cover most, if not all, of that $199 subsidized cost.

If you're unwilling to wait around for a deal, then the free iPhone 5c might be a good option for you. But if you don't mind keeping an eye out for Apple deals in the next few weeks, then set up an email alert now. Or, check out our guide to sites that offer optimal trade-in values for old iPhones, so you can fund your new purchase.

Lindsay Sakraida is a features editor for, where this article first appeared:

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