Friday, July 12, 2024

iPhone Contract or iPhone SIM Only?

July 2010

We compare the price of a new iPhone 4 on a standard iPhone contract versus the price of a new iPhone 4 and iPhone SIM only contract in the UK. This will be conducted over an 18 month contract lifecycle. See which offers the best deal – sim only or contract!

You can’t have missed the hype surrounding the launch of the new iPhone 4. It is without doubt the most desirable phone to own on the market today – if you can afford it.

Our cost analysis will be based upon a 16GB iPhone 4 with 600 free minutes and unlimited free texts. We will analyse the standard monthly contracts offered by the big three mobile phone networks in the UK; O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile and compare them with the equivalent 30 day notice SIM only iPhone contracts. The current price of a SIM free 16GB iPhone 4 is £499 from the Apple Store.

18 month standard iPhone contract – 600 free minutes

Vodafone

£40 per month + £119 iPhone 4 handset cost. Total cost = £839

O2

£40 per month + £119 iPhone 4 handset cost. Total cost = £839

Orange

£35 per month + £229 iPhone 4 handset cost. Total cost = £859

18 month iPhone SIM only (30 day) contract – 600 free minutes

Vodafone

£20 per month + £499 iPhone 4 handset cost. Total cost = £859

Orange

£25 per month + £499 iPhone 4 handset cost. Total cost = £949

O2

£25 per month + £499 iPhone 4 handset cost. Total cost = £949

iPhone Contract or iPhone SIM Only?

Looking at the figures above it is clear to see that in terms of the actual tariffs only, a dedicated iPhone SIM only (30 day) contract will provide the exact same extras as a standard iPhone 18 month contract for half the monthly price on Vodafone and nearly half the monthly price on O2 and Orange.

When comparing the best 18 month standard iPhone 4 contract with the best 18 month (30 day contract) SIM only iPhone 4 contract we can see that there is little difference in price overall. £839 versus £859 over the full course of the contract (both Vodafone). However, by taking a SIM only contract you are not tied into a full 18 month contract which will cost you nearly £1,000. If you bought an iPhone 4 outright via the Apple Store and took out a rolling 30 day SIM only contract you could change or even stop your contract with 30 days notice. This may well tip the balance in favour of taking out an iPhone SIM only contract rather than a standard 18 month contract.