Australia's cheapest iPhone plans

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At last we've come to the end of the secrets and speculation. We know everything about the iPhone 3G and we know how much each of the Aussie telcos will be charging us for one. All that's left to do is sift through the seemingly endless plans to discover the best value iPhone deals.

For the sake of comparison, we're looking strictly at out of pocket expenses. It's important to note that the charts below don't take additional services into account. While Telstra may look like "Australia's most expensive iPhone" — especially in regards to its data charges — some would argue that its network, services and coverage make up the difference.

In line with their initial iPhone announcements both Vodafone and Optus will offer the iPhone out of contract with prepaid SIM cards. These handsets will be network locked but both companies offer unlocking for an additional fee.

Outright — 8GB Outright — 16GB Unlocking fee
Optus $729 $849 $80
Vodafone TBC TBC $75

Cheapest plan — 8GB model
This chart represents the cheapest iPhone on a post-paid contract over the life of a 24-month contract.

Monthly spend
Handset payment
Included calls
Included data
Minimum total cost
Optus $19 $21 p/m* $50 100MB $960
Vodafone $69 $189 or $7.88 p/m* $310 250MB $1,845
Telstra $30 $279 $25 5MB $999
*p/m = per month

Cheapest $0 upfront — 8GB
Each of the carriers will offer the iPhone fully subsidised at a certain price point.

Monthly spend Included calls Included data Minimum total cost
Optus $79 $550 700MB $1,896
Vodafone $169 $1,200 1GB $4,056
Telstra $80 $70 10MB $1,920

Big Spender — 16GB
Have you got a pile of cash begging to be spent on mobile calls and data? This chart shows the opposite end of the the spectrum; the most costly plans with each of the carriers.

Monthly spend Included calls Included data Minimum total cost
Optus $179 $1,500 1GB $4,296
Vodafone $169 $1,200 1GB $4,056
Telstra $100 $90 10MB $2,400

In summary
Optus is subsidising the handset at a lower price point than Vodafone and will appeal to shoppers looking for the cheapest price over the life of their contract. However, Vodafone offers significantly increased data allowances and, while you'll pay a premium for the handset, will appeal to people who intend to use the internet heavily.

If you felt, as many have, that iPhone pricing is exorbitant, then one alternative would be to take your unlocked iPhone to Australia's forgotten carrier 3 Mobile. The table below assumes you sign up to 3's AU$29 cap plan plus the 500MB X-series plan for AU$20 per month. The handset cost is the cost of a prepaid Optus iPhone plus the unlocking fee.

However, a word of warning; 3 spokespeople were unsure if iPhones bought from other carriers and unlocked would function on its network. "We don't know," a spokesperson said. "We haven't seen one. We are not going to know until the phones have launched and people start trying."

Handset cost Monthly spend Included calls Included data Minimum total cost
8GB $809 $49 $150 500MB $1,985
16GB $929 $49 $150 500MB $2,105

For all the information you need about the iPhone in Australia check out our iPhone launch centre, and stand by for our full review of Apple's hotly anticipated smartphone.

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gjvjvjxjxjvnfdc posted a comment   

three is the best, $49 dollars a month, well actually $39 a month but $10 a month extra for the handset. you get the best deals and all up its the cheapest for 12 months.


tony posted a comment   

apple is heaven, phone carriers are jokes


Sari posted a comment   

Yet these "rip-off" telcos still sold out pretty much everywhere on launch (except Telstra, from what I've heard). For every one person that claims that the iPhone is too expensive, another will line up.

And yes, the price of $199 is subsidized. On a contract in the US, you're looking at $199 plus the cost of a full 24-month contract. Check out the US Apple website and note the nice big asterisk beside the listed price on the iPhone tab.

Also, the cost price of these phones is well over $500 AU a piece; nobody in their right mind would see them walk out the door for $199 US.

For those waiting for your $199 US iPhone, stick with your $59 prepaid phones for now, because you'll be waiting a lot longer.


mrcoffee posted a comment   

After reading all the previous posts i need to clarify what Steve Jobs said. On radio 3AW with Ernie Sigley he said the iphone 8g would retail for US$199.95 full stop end of conversation. This was broadcast on National Radio 3AW in the afternoon and Ernie Sigley was surprised at that quote. He said it again for a second time.
So ehat does this mean?
It means that we are being conned by the Telco's and we need to yell loudly to both Apple and your phone company and quote the radio program. Until these phones come down to this price I will continue to go into phone shops and complain, quoting radio 3AW's segment. Please People spread the word quote 3AW and complain. dont accept anything else and in no time we will see the price reduce to what it should be. To date I have visited 15 stores and quoted Steve Jobs with the shops full of people and loudly said I will not buy one until they retail for the right price.


georgei posted a comment   

it was interesting that the CEO of Apple was intervied on radio 3AW and stated that the 8gig iphone would retail for $199 US world wide. There is obviously something wrong here with what the carriers are doing price wise. I rang apple and they suggested I write in and complain. I intend to email Apple and ask what are they going to do about it, maybe public pressure may force Apple to act. The CEO did say on radio he would be monitoring the price so its time to keep Apple to its word.


yvette2008 posted a comment   

how come its taking so long for them to come into the stores if they so good why is it so hard to get one


Too Expensive posted a comment   

I brought my Iphone in L.A. (2G) for USD399 unlock it free and used it on any network with my existing plan, I can do just as much with the 3G, apart from slower on Edge connection.
Give it time price will come down. If product won't sell as quick as they expected. Don't get con to sign up for expensive deal.
I won't rush in for upgrade either.
If you want to experience Iphone...
Plenty of 2G iphone for under AUD300.
don't get con.


farmboy posted a comment   

I'm from the country, that means that we are lucky to get signal, yes "blue tick" brick type phones for us!
Do any of you i phone or touch users (eg htc's dual, criuse etc) have any experience on coverage compared to the telstra blue tick products. would like to hear of your experience.

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