When and where to buy the iPhone SE

How soon can you get your hands on Apple latest iPhone? Learn when and where you can pick up the iPhone SE.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
4 min read

Apple knows that some of us, 4 inches is the perfect phone size. The new iPhone SE is has many of the iPhone 6S's features (but not all) and is the cheapest phone in Apple's lineup.

It's available in two storage capacities, four color choices and will launch with the usual carriers. You have your choice of silver, gold, space gray and rose gold. You also have your choice of four carriers in the US -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon -- or SIM-free (unlocked).

Watch this: Apple unveils the smaller, cheaper iPhone SE

When can I buy the iPhone SE?

Preorders begin on Thursday, March 24, and the phone will be available for in-store purchase a week later on March 31, the same time the first preorders are fulfilled.

Where will the iPhone SE be sold?

The iPhone SE will be first be sold in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, US Virgin Islands and the US. It will be available in more than 100 countries by May.

iPhone SE models and pricing

There are two iPhone SE models: 16GB and 64GB. Without a two-year contract, the 16GB model costs $399 and the 64GB model costs $499. The iPhone SE will be sold direct from Apple and carrier locations. Each carrier offers a plan where you pay no money up front but instead pay for the phone over time, such as AT&T Next.

With AT&T Next, you have a number of options depending on how frequently you would like to upgrade your phone. There a 30-month payment plan that lets you upgrade after 24 months, a 24-month plan that lets you upgrade after 18 months and a 20-month plan that lets you upgrade after 12 months. In these three plans, you pay no money up front. AT&T charges a $15 activation fee, which it adds to your first bill.

For the 16GB iPhone SE, you pay pay $13.30 per month for 30 months, $16.67 per month for 24 months or $20.00 per month for 20 months. For the 64GB iPhone SE, you pay pay $16.67 per month for 30 months, $20.85 per month for 24 months or $25.00 per month for 20 months.

There are also two AT&T Next plans with down payments and lower monthly costs. For the 16GB iPhone SE, you pay $120 down and then $10.00 a month for 28 months with the option to upgrade after 12 months. For the 64GB iPhone SE, you pay $150 down and $12.50 a month with the same terms.

With Sprint, you can pay off the cost of the iPhone SE over 24 months. For the 16GB model, you pay $16.67 a month with no money down. For the 64GB model you pay $100 up front and the same $16.67 per month. An extra $10 a month for the Early Upgrade program, you can upgrade your phone for free after 12 months. Sprint usually charges a $30 activation fee but is currently waiving that charge.

With T-Mobile, you pay no money down for either model and $16.67 for the 16GB model or $20.84 for the 64GB model for 24 months. For an additional $12 a month for Sprint Jump, you can upgrade for free after 12 months. Sprint's Jump plan also includes Premium Handset Protection, which protects you against theft, loss and accidental damage. T-Mobile charges a $20 activation fee, which it creatively calls a SIM Starter Kit.

Verizon does not appear to offer an early upgrade program for the iPhone SE. It offers two Device Payment plans where you pay off the cost of the phone over 24 months. You pay $16.66 a month for the 16GB iPhone SE or $20.83 a month for the 64GB model. Verizon charges a $15 activation fee. Verizon is offering $160 if you have an iPhone 5S in good working condition that you are willing to trade in, which lowers the monthly charge of a 16GB iPhone SE to $10 a month.

Apple is not offering its iPhone Upgrade Program for the iPhone SE. iPhone Upgrade Program is only available for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

Fewer carriers offer two-year contracts

Sprint and Verizon will sell the iPhone SE for no money down with a two-year contract. AT&T and T-Mobile, however, have both done away with two-year contract plans -- you'll have to pay the full price upfront or opt for a payment plan.

Editors' note, March 24, 2016: this article was updated to include pricing information from the various carriers.