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SOME OF THE DEALS MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE MAY BE EXPIRED

Black Friday Phones 2013: Deals on Android and iPhone

Updated
black friday phone deals

UPDATE: The latest Black Friday cell phone deals

Store Black Friday Deal
Best Buy Samsung Galaxy S4 4G Smartphone for free
Fry's Electronics Nokia Lumia 521 No-Contract Win Phone 8 for $40
Fry's Electronics Nokia Lumia 521 No-Contract Win Phone 8 for $40
Fry's Electronics Nokia Lumia 521 No-Contract Windows Phone 8 for T-Mobile for $60
RadioShack iPhone 4 8GB Prepaid Phone for Virgin Mobile for $100
Walmart Kyocera Event Prepaid Phone for Virgin Mobile for $20
Newegg $50 Newegg Gift Card with select Smartphones
Walmart HTC One Mini 16GB 4G Android Smartphone for AT&T for 1 cent
Best Buy Apple iPhone 5c 16GB for Sprint / Verizon for $48
T-Mobile T-Mobile Black Friday: Up to $48 off Android and Win 8 Phones
Sprint Sprint: $100 off iPhone 5s with phone number transfer
Verizon Verizon Wireless coupon: $50 off phones

Check out more cell phone ads


Black Friday 2013 Cell Phone Predictions

Black Friday 2012 blew our minds by offering up several of the hottest new phones for a profit — something we hadn't seen happen in years. With 2013's phone landscape eerily similar to last year's, we're predicting a return of these Black Friday phone deals in which customers come out ahead by getting a discounted phone and a gift card or credit of some sort.

Black Friday or Groundhog Day?

In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray's character lives the same day over and over again. When looking at the hot, new Android phones heading into this Black Friday season, you also might experience déjà vu. Last year's sales included deals on a new Motorola line of phones and the newest Samsung Galaxy smartphone. This year's models include the new Motorola line (including the MAXX, Droid Ultra, and Moto X) and the newest Samsung Galaxy S4! Since the release schedules of these phones are almost exactly the same, too, it stands to reason that we'll be seeing very similar discounts on these handsets.

Android Sales: The Return of For-Profit Black Friday Phone Deals

Two weeks before Black Friday last year, both Amazon and T-Mobile offered a wide selection of Android phone deals for 1 cent and $0 after rebate (respectively) for users who started a new 2-year contract. We predict that we'll see similar deals again this year, too. However, for an even better deal, watch for smartphone promotions on the Wednesday before Black Friday; last year, this is when we saw the first "for-profit" deals, as Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and Dell all offered gift cards of up to $100 with select Android purchases. Even the uber-popular Samsung Galaxy S3 was included in the promotions.

There's a catch, of course. Although these smartphones were discounted, they weren't free (the S3 cost $48) and the "profit" came in the form of store gift cards. There's a possibility that more stores will offer similar deals in 2013, but how many retailers would you really want a $100 credit to? Either way, these deals will continue into the days after Black Friday and might even return later on in December as well.

Black Friday Won't Be the Only Time to Get a Phone Freebie

If store credit isn't your thing, free or near-free phone deals will almost certainly return after Black Friday. For example, during the December lead-up to the Christmas season, the Galaxy S3 dropped to 1 cent. We predict that this will happen again for the Samsung Galaxy S4, and perhaps other top Android handsets, too. So if you miss the for-profit deals during Black Friday, shopping after the holiday weekend is a safe alternative.

iPhones Might Crash the Party This Year

In the past, the iPhone hasn't been a major player during Black Friday, but there are reasons to wonder if this year will be different. We've already seen some crazy deals on the latest iPhones, since Sprint knocked a full $100 off both models for new customers who port their number from another carrier and commit to a 2-year contract. This shows that retailers are willing to use the iPhone like a loss-leading doorbuster in the hopes of securing additional business and publicity; as such, we might actually see some iPhone deals for the current models this Black Friday. Moreover, Apple just discontinued the barely-a-year-old iPhone 5, which remains an appealing option for many users; it currently sells for $100 at many stores, so look for deals that knock it to $50 or less.

However despite the Sprint promotion (which is only applicable for a very small segment of users), it's important to keep in mind that only Walmart has stepped up to offer a "normal" price cut for contract renewals. Thus, if 2013 Black Friday iPhone deals mimic those from last year, then you can expect discounts on refurbished older generation models like the iPhone 5, and, if you're lucky, the 5C and 5S. For more details on Black Friday iPhone deals, check out our complete Apple predictions page.

Summary: Black Friday Smartphone Predictions

  • Look for free or near-free Android phone deals two weeks before Black Friday
  • Expect for-profit phones, but only via store credit or gift cards
  • Apple iPhone 5 for $50 or less
  • Promotional discounts on the iPhone 5S and 5C

The Complete Black Friday Predictions

User Experience Researcher

Jeff Somogyi is the DealNews User Experience Researcher. Since working here he's written deals, features, promotional and newsletter copy, blog posts, as well as scripts for our videos. Follow him on Google+, Twitter at @sommerjam or his blog.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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5 comments
Jeff Somogyi (DealNews)
@Noblewolf
So far, I've not heard any word on a T-Mobile Black Friday Sale.

Currently, they have this "Holiday Central" thing that has pretty weak deals in it, but they will give you a $50 in-store credit when you switch to them. However, these deals end 11/28, which would leave plenty of room for a Black Friday sale.

Last year, T-Mobile themselves did have a one-day sale on BF, but there was nothing very noteworthy about it. In fact, I'm not seeing ANY phones for the T-Mobile network listed on Black Friday. (Though they did start popping up on 3rd party sites - wirefly, etc - a couple days later, but there were not many).

Honestly, we just don't have a lot of precedence from T-Mobile to claim a big sale ... but there is always the chance that they will surprise us. I'd suggest keeping an eye out for their say, but keep one eye on 3rd party merchants to see if they offer a sweet enough enticement to switch carriers.
Noblewolf
I was hoping someone (the OP) would reply to my previous comment/question.
Noblewolf
I wonder what type of black friday sales t-mobile is going to have. I plan on switching but waiting till black friday to see what type of discounts they have on their phones, if any. I already have a SGS4 from verizon and do not want to downgrade. I also do not want to use their monthly payment plan. I just want to buy the phone up front... with my company's discount, the 2 line family plan with unlimited everthing comes out to $78 plus tax.

If you (DN) have any ideas or predictions what T-mobile black Friday promotions... I am all ears.

GR
BUGNBXR
Currently, Target is offering the iPhone 5c for $49.99 with two year contract. No need to wait for Black Friday.
gamespeed
Good article!

As I become more interested in not having to have a 2-year contract & $600 tier phones, I do look forward to deals on unlocked/no-contract phones. This is just my personal preference.
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