If you're one of the many clambering for the newly released iPhone 4, it's worth taking a second to make sure you get the best deal. We help you to compare the best iPhone 4 tariffs at a glance.
This guide relates to the tariffs available when the iPhone 4 was launched.
With the last few weeks having seen the arrival of the much-anticipated iPad, the ISO 4 software update and now the UK launch of the iPhone 4: fans of all things Apple must be thinking that all their Christmas's have come early.
Three of the four major networks have already published their tariff prices and, as ever, Tesco have stirred things up by being the only ones to offer 12 month contracts.
As with when the original iPhone was launched, the first choice you will be faced with is whether you are willing to pay more up front initially in order to pay less over the length of the contract. Plumping for a shorter contract now means that you will be able to 'unlock' your iPhone much earlier and shop around between the major networks to get the best deal.
Tesco's 12 month contacts are ideal for this purpose and they also include unlimited access to BT Openzone for the entire length of the contract.
If you'd be happier paying less upfront, then the likes of 3, O2, Orange and Vodafone offer a range of 18 and 24 month contracts to suit all needs.
When deciding which contract to go for, it is always worth thinking about how you use your current phone: do you send lots of texts, chat for hours to friends or is it all about internet access? But for most of us the bottom line is how much you are willing to pay over the course of your iPhone 4's contract.
Going for a 24 month contract may mean you pay less for the phone, but you might end up paying more in the long run in monthly charges. Something else to consider is that in signing-up for the long-term, you will be locked-in for the entire length of the contract. This means that you will be unable to unlock your phone and take advantage of more competitive tariffs elsewhere.
And if you are a true fan of all things Apple then locking yourself in to a long-term contract could also have some further implications. Apple tends to favour summer releases for its latest gadgets and signing a long-term contract now could mean that you will be unable to get your hands on next year's hottest release until your current contract has expired (or pay a pricey upgrade cost).
Here are the lowest contracts per monthly tariff based purely on the total cost of the contract plus the phone (in the event of a tie, we went for the tariff that offered the most data, text or calls):
* All tariffs include 1GB Mobile Internet & Webmail, 1GB Wifi with BT Openzone.
* All tariffs include 1GB Mobile Internet & Webmail, 1GB Wifi with BT Openzone **Unlimited BTOZ ***Free 20mb European mobile internet browsingn.b. 3 tariffs include 5000 3 to 3 minutes
* All tariffs include 1GB Mobile Internet & Webmail, 1GB Wifi with BT Openzone ** Free 20mb European mobile internet browsingn.b. 3 tariffs include 5000 3 to 3 minutes
If you're a contract-a-phobe and the idea of being tied down fills you with dread, then there is always the option of taking the PAYG route. Of course the downside of this is that you will be paying the highest upfront costs for your iPhone 4. The benefit, however, is that you will be free to take advantage of the sim-only deals offered by each of the providers that can work out much cheaper than the tied alternatives.
At the time of writing only Tesco and Orange have published their PAYG rates, so you may be better off waiting until O2 and Vodafone release theirs before making any decision - although, the issue of waiting has been made slightly academic as none of providers currently have any iPhone 4's in stock!
*12 months unlimited wifi & 1GB per month data
Alternatively, you could go for a SIM-only deal. SIM-only is exactly what it says on the tin. You are basically buying a SIM card from any one of the major network providers which you can then put inside an iPhone 4 purchased from the Apple Store. SIM-only deals are currently available as a rolling 30 day or 12 month contract.
The iPhone 4 requires a special Micro SIM which means that the standard SIM currently available on SIM-only deals with Vodafone and Orange will not be compatible. We have it on good authority that Vodafone will be making Micro SIMs available from the second week in July and we will bring you their SIM only prices as soon as we have them.
* Unlimited O2 to O2 or landline calls, or £5 extra for 500mb.
Thanks, that has saved me lots of internet time!
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