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T-Mobile ups its iPhone deals right before iPhone 12 Mini, 12 Pro Max go on preorder

T-Mobile's got new deals for Apple's latest iPhones if you're willing to commit to 30 months.

T-Mobile is upping its iPhone 12 deals ahead of the launch of Apple's new iPhone 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max. 
James Martin/CNET

The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available for preorder on Friday and to coincide with the new devices' availability, T-Mobile has upped its offers for Apple's entire portfolio of new phones

Starting Friday, the carrier is offering people who switch or add a new line the option of a free iPhone 12 Mini or an iPhone 12 when they trade in an "eligible" phone and buy on a 30-month installment plan. Those switching and looking for the iPhone 12 Pro will be able to get it for as low as $50 for the base model with the proper trade-in and purchase on an installment plan. iPhone 12 Pro Max shoppers will be able to get the base model for $150, a $950 savings in both scenarios. 

The iPhone 12 Mini starts at $700 while the iPhone 12 starts at $830. The base iPhone 12 Pro starts at $1,000, while the larger iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,100. While the 12 and 12 Pro are available now, the 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max will go on sale on Nov. 13. 

As with its iPhone 12 and 12 Pro deal in October, the carrier is also offering switchers two lines of its unlimited service and either two iPhone 12 Pros or two iPhone 12 Pro Maxes for $100 a month. 

Now playing: Watch this: Our in-depth review of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro

You'll need to trade in an "eligible" phone in good condition for this offer: To get the $950 off you'll need to trade in an iPhone 11 Pro Max or XS Max. Those with an iPhone 11 Pro, 11, XS, XR, X, 8 or 8 Plus can get $830 off while those with an iPhone 7, 7 Plus, or 2020 iPhone SE can get $530 off. 

The iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, 6, 6 Plus and original SE can net $380 off for people taking part in the promotion, while those trading in an iPhone 5S, 5, 5C, 4S, 4, 3GS, 3G or original iPhone  can save $230. 

Similar to that prior October deal, you would be using T-Mobile's Essentials plan that currently runs $90 a month for two lines without any iPhones included. Unlimited talk, text and data are included (as is 5G data), but you don't have perks such as free Netflix or international data roaming outside of Canada and Mexico. The unlimited hotspot is capped at "3G speeds." Taxes and fees are also not bundled into the sticker price. 

An improved deal for upgraders

Those who already have T-Mobile will be able to upgrade and get up to half off an iPhone 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max, with the exact value depending on the device you're trading in and which iPhone you're purchasing. For the 12 Pro Max, the deal would be a maximum of $550 off. 

Existing T-Mobile and Sprint users who've been with either T-Mobile or Sprint for at least five years can take another $200 off. The loyalty offer can be stacked on top of the trade-in deal to give existing users up to $750 off. T-Mobile did not immediately specify what the trade-in values would be for current users. 

The new deals are a surprise improvement from T-Mobile's first offers for the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, which maxed out at $850 off either device when switching and $700 off for existing users who were upgrading. Those who took advantage of those earlier deals would need to head back to a T-Mobile store, return their phone and buy it again if they wanted to save the extra money, though T-Mobile says there would be a restocking fee if people wanted to do this. 

T-Mobile joins AT&T and Verizon in releasing details on its new offers for the iPhone 12 Mini and Pro Max, with both carriers looking at the new iPhones as a way to not only lure people to their respective networks but to keep them locked in. Taking advantage of T-Mobile's deals will require purchasing the device on a 30-month installment plan, with the discounts for both new and existing users being credited back to you on your monthly bill over the term of the installment. 

If you decide to leave T-Mobile before the 30 months are up, the remaining balances on the phones will become due.