It's not easy to find a real deal with Apple's iPhones because Apple doesn't run sales/discounts. It depends more on a person's budget if they can pay upfront the full $999/iPhone X or a subsidized plan through a carrier with a contract.
About five years ago, I started buying the new iPhones outright, without a contract. That made it easy for me to switch from my $100+/month plan, with AT&T, to Cricket Wireless for $35/month (no contract and no other fees with unlimited texting and voice calls):
Here's an article talking about how to save some money when purchasing the iPhone X:
Q: Why is the time, on the iPhone, nearly always 9:41 AM in Apple's marketing photos?
A: Because that's the time when Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone on January 9, 2007 at Macworld 2007 Conference.