The iPhone 11 in various colors.
Photo: Apple

Interested in buying one of Apple's new phones? Preorders for the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are now underway.

Both come standard with the hardware needed to connect to 5G networks. They also have a new processor and cameras designed to shoot better photos and video in low light.

With prices starting at $800 and $1,000, the 12 and 12 Pro can be a big investment, especially if you buy the phone outright, instead of spreading payments across your monthly cellular bills.

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The major wireless carriers are offering discounts on the phones, which officially go on sale Oct. 23, but it's important to dig into the details before accepting one of these deals. There's a lot of fine print to wade through, as you'll see below.

In brief, the best smartphone deals typically require you to have good credit and a trade-in phone in good working order.

And if you’re looking for something a little bigger or a little smaller, you might want to wait for the super-sized iPhone 12 Pro Max and the pocket-friendly iPhone 12 Mini. Those are available for preorder on Nov. 6 and reach stores a week later.

In the meantime, here are the best deals on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Don’t wait too long to buy. Many of the offers expire when preorders end.

Wireless Carriers Deals

AT&T: This carrier is offering new and existing customers the chance to get up to $800 off on the purchase of an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, with an eligible trade in.

The offer, which effectively cancels out the cost of an iPhone 12, also applies to the purchase of an iPhone XR, XS, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. As you would expect, a handful of conditions apply.

You must add a new line of service or upgrade an existing one. And you’re required to sign up for an AT&T unlimited plan, as well as finance the phone for a period of 30 months. The trade-in phone must be in good working order and worth at least $95. Models as old as the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S9 can qualify.

The discount comes in the form of monthly bill credits. Cancel the service before the phone is paid off and the balance is due immediately and you forfeit all remaining credits.

T-Mobile: This carrier, which has officially merged with Sprint, is offering new and existing customers up to $850 off the purchase of an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, if you add a line of service and trade in a qualifying phone.

To get the full amount, you need to hand over an iPhone 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, XS, or XS Max. Other phones are worth lesser amounts. And, as with the AT&T deal, the discount comes in the form of monthly bill credits spread over 30 months. Cancel your service early and you’re on the hook for the balance.

If you don’t want to add a new line, you can still get you up to $500 in credits toward one of Apple's new phones by handing over an older phone.

On top of that, T-Mobile says it will give customers who had used Sprint for at least five years, an extra $200 off, provided they turn in an active iPhone on an eligible plan.

One heads-up: While Apple and others are charging $800 for the iPhone 12, T-Mobile has it priced at $830 before discounts.

Verizon. Trade in an eligible phone and set up a new line of service and Verizon will give you up to $550 off either phone. If you’ve got an existing line that's eligible for an upgrade, you can get up to $440 off.

Eligible phones include models dating back to the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S9. Other phones are worth lesser amounts.

The discount comes in the form of bill credits spread over 24 months. You have to sign up for one of Verizon’s unlimited data plans. Cancel early and you have to pay the phone off.

If you switch to Verizon's service and port your number from your former carrier, Verizon will throw in a $250 gift card within eight weeks.