The Apple iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS will be available to Tesco Mobile customers from just £20 a month on a 12 month contract, the lowest monthly contract price in the UK market, when Tesco starts selling the iPhone on 14th December.
The downside is that if you want to take advantage of Tesco’s low monthly prices, you’ll have to pay a steep up-front price for the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS handset – on its £20 a month tariff, the iPhone 3G costs £222 and the iPhone 3GS 16GB costs £320.
But for many people this could be a price worth paying to take advantage of all the iPhone has to offer – take a look at the Which? video review of the Apple iPhone 3GS for an expert overview of all its multimedia features.
Tesco Mobile customers can buy the iPhone from the growing chain of Tesco Phone Shops and from the Tesco Direct website.
Apple iPhone prices – Tesco vs O2 and Orange
Although Tesco’s lowest monthly contract price easily trumps rival iPhone retailers O2 and Orange, its up-front handset costs mean that over the course of a year you’d actually pay more for the iPhone 3GS with Tesco than with O2 or Orange.
But a major advantage of Tesco’s cheapest contract offer is that you’re only tied in for 12 months whereas O2 and Orange both tie you in for 18 months. Over this longer contract period of 18 months, you’d save money with Tesco’s iPhone offer.
The comparison below is based on taking out each company’s cheapest iPhone 3GS 16GB monthly contract.
- Tesco iPhone 3GS 16GB: Monthly cost £20; Handset cost £320; Contract 12 months; 12 month cost £560; 18 month cost £680; Tariff includes £60 of calls and texts (this would get you 200 minutes and 200 texts, for example), unlimited data and Wi-Fi for 12 months
- O2 iPhone 3GS 16GB: Monthly cost £29.38; Handset cost £184.98; Contract 18 months; 12 month cost £537.54; 18 month cost £713.82; Monthly tariff includes 75 minutess, 125 texts, unlimited data and Wi-Fi
- Orange iPhone 3GS 16GB: Monthly cost £29.36; Handset cost £184.50; Contract 18 months; 12 month cost £536.82; 18 month cost £712.98; Monthly tariff includes 150 minutes, 250 texts, 750MB data and Wi-Fi
Other contract and PAYG Tesco iPhone tariffs
Tesco Mobile, which piggybacks on the O2 mobile network, also offers the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS 16GB for free on a £60 a month, 24 month contract that includes unlimited calls, texts and data and Wi-Fi.
You can also buy the iPhone on Tesco’s Triple Credit Pay As You Go price plan from £342 for the handset. Tesco’s PAYG offer also includes unlimited data and Wi-Fi use for 12 months.
Tesco’s inclusive Wi-Fi includes free access to BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots – after your initial contract period charges will apply to BT Openzone access. For more on how to use Wi-Fi, take a look at the Which? guide to Wi-Fi hotspots.
Which? mobile expert Ceri Stanaway says: ‘When Which? first announced Tesco’s plans to sell the Apple iPhone, we said we hoped Tesco’s iPhone plans would stir the market up a bit and offer people who want to buy a cheap iPhone a superior deal to those offered by O2 and Orange.
‘Although Tesco iPhone ownership still comes at a premium, it’s good to see that Tesco has steered clear of a “me too” approach to its iPhone deals and is offering a genuine alternative to the closely-matched tariffs available from O2 and Orange. We look forward to seeing what Vodafone comes up with when it starts selling the iPhone in the new year.’
More mobile buying advice from Which?
If you’re not sure which mobile provider to buy your iPhone from you can see how Tesco Mobile measures up to its rivals for customer satisfaction in the Which? review of the best mobile provider.
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