Ever since the original iPhone came out in 2007, Apple has continually refined its flagship smartphone with yearly updates. Every update brings a faster processor, better camera, improved display, new wireless tech, and more. In fact, we recently took a closer look at the current-generation iPhone 12 and found it to be one of the best smartphones available for those looking for the ultimate mobile experience — and the upcoming iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are poised to build on this with an A15 Bionic chip, a better wide-angle camera, a 120 Hz high refresh rate ProMotion display, and a smaller display notch.
But the “best used iPhone to buy in 2021” isn’t the same for everyone. Oftentimes, it makes sense to save a few cents and get a previous-generation model instead. Join us as we take a closer look at the most popular iPhones bought and sold on Swappa in 2021!
Top 10 best-selling used iPhones in 2021
Back in 2019, the Apple iPhone 7 topped our sales charts, coming in as our best-selling phone of 2019. Throughout all of 2020, the iPhone 8 shook things up a bit by edging out the iPhone 7 to become the best-selling iPhone in 2020.
Now that we’re over halfway through 2021, the iPhone 8 has held on to its lead as the most popular iPhone bought and sold on Swappa in 2021. Here are the best used iPhones ranked by sales performance on Swappa:
|Best-Selling Used iPhone||Previous Ranking||Average Price||Starting Price|
|1. Apple iPhone 8||1 (same)||$183||$150|
|2. Apple iPhone Xr||3 (↑1)||$322||$249|
|3. Apple iPhone X||4 (↑1)||$303||$269|
|4. Apple iPhone 11||6 (↑2)||$463||$380|
|5. Apple iPhone 7||3 (↓2)||$118||$90|
|6. Apple iPhone Xs||11 (↑5)||$348||$289|
|7. Apple iPhone SE 2020||16 (↑9)||$261||$200|
|8. Apple iPhone 8 Plus||5 (↓3)||$263||$195|
|9. Apple iPhone Xs Max||9 (same)||$413||$340|
|10. Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max||10 (same)||$655||$525|
As you can see, the Apple iPhone 8 is Swappa’s best-selling used iPhone in 2021. The reason why is simple: The iPhone 8 does everything you need, without breaking the bank.
Many of the same iPhones that were popular in 2020 remained popular in 2021. And in general, newer iPhones saw the greatest gains. The iPhone Xr went up one spot to become our 2nd most popular iPhone, and the iPhone 11 climbed 2 positions to become our 4th most popular iPhone. Even more impressively, the iPhone SE 2020 jumped 9 places to become the 7th most popular iPhone in 2021!
NOTE: Device wholesalers looking to stock up on the most popular iPhones in 2021 should check out Swappa’s recently launched B2B Exchange. Swappa’s B2B Exchange is a new and separate marketplace, designed from the ground up for business-to-business sales. B2B Exchange brings the simplicity, transparency, and safety you’ve come to expect from Swappa, allowing businesses to effortlessly find and purchase devices from one another in bulk. In short, Swappa B2B Exchange is a better way to buy and sell used tech in bulk.
Best used iPhone to buy in 2021
All the iPhones that made it into our best-selling list are great in their own way. And since you’re shopping on Swappa, you’re already getting the best deals. But now, it’s time to play favorites and single out a few of the best iPhones for 2021 and beyond.
Best cheap iPhone overall: iPhone 8
Millions of buyers on Swappa have spoken with their wallets — and we agree. The iPhone 8 is the best cheap iPhone in 2021. Released in 2017, the iPhone 8 isn’t the latest and greatest iPhone anymore. But despite its age, the iPhone 8 still gets the job done — and it can run the very latest software updates, including iOS 14 and the upcoming iOS 15.
The iPhone 8’s speedy A11 Bionic chip packs enough power to muscle through almost any game or app. It also features a 12MP camera capable of 4k video recording and a vibrant 4.7-inch Retina HD display, so you can show off your photos and videos in stunning detail. At a fraction of the price of a brand-new iPhone, the iPhone 8 is a steal. Learn more on our iPhone 8 Comparison page.
Best bang for the buck iPhone: iPhone Xr
The iPhone 8 is a phenomenal phone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find something even nicer if we’re willing to spend a little more. If you want a modern iPhone that looks and feels like the very latest iPhone 12, or if you simply want to figure out which iPhone is the best value for the money, look no further than the iPhone Xr.
The iPhone Xr packs a stunning 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display, a speedy A12 Bionic chip, a 12MP rear camera, and up to 256GB of internal storage. The Xr also features Apple’s innovative gesture-driven UI, which was first pioneered on the iPhone X. Best of all, you can pick up an iPhone Xr on Swappa for less than half the original MSRP! Here’s how the iPhone XR compares to other popular iPhone models.
Best cheap iPhone for photography: iPhone 11 Pro Max
If you’re looking for the best affordable iPhone camera, look no further than the iPhone 11 Pro Max. This plus-sized former flagship packs a powerful 12MP triple camera setup with wide-angle, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses. And thanks to its massive 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR OLED, pictures will look great when you’re editing or reviewing them.
Being a last-gen flagship, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is still a speedy and capable device. Thanks to its A13 Bionic Processor with Neural Engine and 6GB of RAM, the 11 Pro Max can handle any task you throw at it — from gaming to productivity to heavy multitasking. Keep reading in our iPhone 11 Pro Max comparison page.
Best “first phone” for kids: iPhone 7
What if you want an iPhone for your kids? We’re no longer looking for top-of-the-line specs and features. Instead, we want something dirt cheap that keeps your loved ones connected in the event of an emergency. The clear winner here is the iPhone 7.
Thanks to its high-resolution 4.7-inch Retina HD display, Apple A10 Fusion chip, and excellent camera, the iPhone 7 is everything you need in an iPhone and nothing more. What’s more, the 7 still gets all the latest iOS software updates, so you don’t have to worry about it turning into a paperweight in a year. Pick up a gently used iPhone 7 today. Learn more on our iPhone 7 Comparison page.
Best small iPhone: iPhone X
The iPhones above are great and all — but what if you want the best small iPhone that can fit into almost any pocket and be comfortably used one-handed? You’re undoubtedly familiar with the new iPhone SE 2. We highlighted many of its strengths in our iPhone SE 2 review, but for much less than the $399 MSRP of a new SE 2, you can do even better.
The iPhone X is a few years old now, but you’d never know it at first glance. It packs a larger and more vibrant OLED screen than the SE 2 into a device that’s basically the same size. It also offers a better camera experience, thanks to its dual rear camera system with 2x optical zoom. With so many features and a budget-friendly price, it’s no wonder that the iPhone X is one of the best small phones you can get for under $400. Learn more on our iPhone X Comparison page.
Best large iPhone: iPhone 8 Plus
We now arrive at our final category. When looking for the best large iPhone, we’re really searching for the best option for people who spend a lot of time on their phones. Whether it’s watching YouTube videos, playing the latest mobile games, or even editing some Word documents, the iPhone 8 Plus has you covered.
Powered by a speedy A11 Bionic chip and 3GB of RAM, the iPhone 8 Plus can keep up with the most demanding tasks. And thanks to its large 2961mAh battery, you’ll easily make it through a full day of heavy use. The iPhone 8 Plus is the perfect choice for people who want a large phone that can do it all. Click here for an iPhone 8 Plus Comparison.
Get what you really want for less on Swappa
Whether you’re buying for yourself or someone else, Swappa makes it safe, simple, and fun to buy and sell gently used smartphones and electronics. And if you’re still deciding, check out our comprehensive iPhone Comparison Guide to see how all the iPhone models stack up.
Swappa cuts out the middleman and lets you buy and sell directly with other users. And thanks to all of our rigorous marketplace protections, you can rest assured that you are getting a fully functional, gently used phone that’s ready to be activated on the network of your choosing.
So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re looking to pick up a used iPhone 7 for as little as $125 or a newish iPhone XR for $285, head over to the Swappa Marketplace and pick up a gently used iPhone today!