Apple iPhones can be purchased from Apple and most major cellphone carriers including AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile as well as electronic retailers Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Target and Staples as of 2014. IPhone pricing, colors and memory size availability can vary depending on the seller, plans and promotions.
Buyers wanting to deal directly with Apple can purchase an iPhone at the company's online store or from one of the physical retail stores. IPhones can be bought with or without a carrier plan or in pre-paid models. Apple offers versions with plans for all four major U.S. cellphone service providers.
Typically each cellphone carrier only sells the type of iPhone that is compatible with its network. Many cellular companies allow subscribers to pre-order a new model before its release date. Reduced pricing for upgrades and special discounts with certain calling plans are also available from some service providers.
Most electronics retailers have iPhone versions for several different cellular providers and accept trade-ins of older model iPhones. Trade-in allowances and cellphone provider plans available vary by retailer and may not be the same as those the carrier is offering.
When purchasing an unlocked iPhone from any source, users should make sure that it is a type, either GSM or CDMA, that is compatible with the carrier they intend to use for service.