As Apple opened up pre-orders for the new iPhone 5 overnight, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, and Virgin revealed their pricing plans for the latest device from Cupertino, California. But which one has the best deal?
It didn't take long for the carriers to begin offering a range of 24-month plans for the Apple's new 4G iPhone 5, which is due to launch in Australia on Friday, September 21. Telstra, Optus, and Virgin are gearing up for the first 4G iPhone, while Vodafone is offering the device on its 3G and "3G+" DC-HSPA network, ahead of a 4G launch in 2013.
The Telstra plans come in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. Small has AU$600 in talk/MMS, unlimited text, and 1GB of data per month; Medium has AU$800 in talk/MMS, unlimited text, and 1.5GB of data per month; Large has AU$900 in talk/MMS, unlimited text, and 2GB of data per month; and Extra Large has unlimited talk, text, MMS, and 3GB of data per month.
|iPhone 5 ||Small ||Medium ||Large ||Extra Large|
|16GB ||AU$67 ||AU$80 ||AU$100 ||AU$130|
|32GB ||AU$71 ||AU$86 ||AU$103 ||AU$132|
|64GB ||AU$77 ||AU$92 ||AU$108 ||AU$137|
People who sign up early to the Large or Extra Large plans will receive an extra 1GB of data per month for the first 12 months.
Optus has three varieties of plans, starting at AU$30 per month for 200MB of data and AU$200 of calls and texts per month; AU$60 per month for 1.5GB of data and AU$650 worth of calls and texts; and AU$80 per month for 2GB and AU$850 worth of calls and texts.
The difference in value comes from handset repayments. The total monthly cost is listed below.
|iPhone 5 ||AU$30 plan ||AU$60 plan ||AU$80 plan|
|16GB ||AU$48 per month ||AU$66 per month ||AU$80 per month|
|32GB ||AU$52 per month ||AU$70 per month ||AU$82 per month|
|64GB ||AU$57 per month ||AU$75 per month ||AU$87 per month|
Vodafone has a much larger variety of plans, but, unlike Telstra and Optus, it does not yet have a 4G network in place. The AU$30 plan comes with 200MB of data and AU$180 worth of calls, texts, and voicemail; the AU$40 plan comes with 500MB of data and AU$300 worth of calls, texts, and voicemail; the AU$50 plan comes with 750MB of data and AU$500 worth of calls, texts, and voicemail; the AU$60 plan comes with 1GB of data and AU$700 worth of calls, texts, and voicemail; the AU$80 plan comes with 2GB of data and infinite calls and texts; and the AU$100 plan comes with 3GB of data and infinite calls and texts.
|iPhone 5 ||AU$30 plan ||AU$40 plan ||AU$50 plan ||AU$60 plan ||AU$80 plan ||AU$100 plan|
|16GB ||AU$48 per month ||AU$54 per month ||AU$60 per month ||AU$66 per month ||AU$80 per month ||AU$100 per month|
|32GB ||AU$52.50 per month ||AU$58.50 per month ||AU$64.50 per month ||AU$70.50 per month ||AU$82.50 per month ||AU$100 per month|
|64GB ||AU$57 per month ||AU$63 per month ||AU$69 per month ||AU$75 per month ||AU$87 per month ||AU$100 per month|
Optus subsidiary Virgin has five varieties of iPhone 5 plans, ranging from AU$450 credit per month with 250MB of data to AU$650 credit per month with 500MB of data, AU$400 credit per month with 2GB of data, AU$700 credit per month with 3GB of data, and Unlimited, with 4GB of data per month.
|iPhone 5 ||AU$450 credit ||AU$650 credit ||AU$400 credit ||AU$700 credit ||Unlimited|
|16GB ||AU$47 per month ||AU$53 per month ||AU$59 per month ||AU$65 per month ||AU$89 per month|
|32GB ||AU$52 per month ||AU$58 per month ||AU$64 per month ||AU$70 per month ||AU$89 per month|
|64GB ||AU$56 per month ||AU$62 per month ||AU$68 per month ||AU$74 per month ||AU$92 per month|
The best deals appear to lie with Virgin, which offers the most data for the lowest price. Parent company Optus comes in second place, with Vodafone coming third on price. Telstra prices have edged slightly higher on the iPhone 5, but the telco has the advantage over its rivals of having the 4G network in more locations than anyone else right now, and has locked in plans to have the network reaching two-thirds of the population by June 2013.
Optus' 4G network is currently only available in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Newcastle.
Vodafone has confirmed that the new iPhone 5 will be compatible with its 4G network, which is due to launch in early 2013. Given that these are 24-month contracts, in the grand scheme of things it would be around a six- or seven-month wait for 4G with Vodafone, or only a quarter of your contract.
As of Sunday, Telstra has reported that it is currently out of iPhone 5 stock for pre-orders, but has said that it is working on getting more. Optus, Vodafone, and Virgin have not indicated whether they are sold out yet. Obtaining the iPhone 5 directly on Apple from launch day appears to be unlikely at this stage, with online shipping now pushed out to between two and three weeks.