The huge cost of the iPhone X has forced mobile providers to get creative when it comes to their monthly contracts and pricing.
At a shade under four figures, the £999 iPhone X is one of the most expensive smartphones ever produced outside of niche designer handsets. Its premium design fits the high price, with a screen that spreads right across the fascia of the phone: no home button, and barely any bezel.
The thrill of the innovative handset was muted somewhat when Apple announced the price, but there was still hope between its reveal and its release that providers would offer some reasonably priced contracts.
Well, pre-orders are up and a quick glance around the offerings from the big four, EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone, shows some eye-watering prices. We’ve done some digging to find the most affordable way to buy an iPhone X.
What are the big four mobile providers charging for the iPhone X?
We look at the cheapest and average cost of a contract from the top four providers, and as you can see from the table below, the difference is significant. Read on for more details on the deals the providers are offering.
The cheapest deals
|EE||Three||Vodafone||O2||Virgin||Apple Finance with iD Mobile Sim|
|Contract||15GB, unlimited minutes and texts||4GB, unlimited minutes and texts||1GB, unlimited minutes and texts||1GB, unlimited minutes and texts||1.2GB, 300 minutes and unlimited texts||1GB, 250 minutes and unlimited texts|
|Contract length||24 months||24 months||24 months||24 months||36 months||One month rolling contract|
|Total cost||£1,832||£1,711||£1,644||£1,588||£1,332||£1,270.80 including 14.9% APR (24 months)|
Cheapest versus average contract cost
iPhone X on EE
On EE, the average total cost of an iPhone X over 24 months is £1,929.50. Only Three was more expensive.
Part of the reason EE’s deals are so expensive is that all of its deals have a huge amount of data. The cheapest deal has 15GB, which is more than most people will ever feasibly use in a month.
EE’s cheapest deal includes 15GB of data, unlimited minutes and texts for £68 a month, and an upfront cost of £200. The total over 24 months is £1,832.
You could save yourself £20 by getting an EE deal from Carphone Warehouse. The upfront cost is £20 less at £180 and the monthly cost is the same. You do get more data though, the deal gives you 25GB per month.
iPhone X on Three
The average cost of an iPhone X over 24 months on Three is £1,986.36. It’s the most expensive of the top four providers.
Three also has the most expensive deal overall. Its unlimited data package with no upfront cost is a staggering £114 a month for a total cost of £2,736. That’s almost three times the cost of the handset.
The cheapest deal from Three includes 4GB of data, unlimited minutes and texts. It cost £68 a month and an upfront cost of £79. The total over 24 months is £1,711
iPhone X on Vodafone
Vodafone has seven deals for the iPhone X and the average cost over 24 months is £1,821.14.
Along with O2, Vodafone is the only provider of the four to offer a 1GB deal, but even with this small amount of data the full contract price is £1,644. This is also Vodafone’s cheapest deal.
iPhone X on O2
O2 has 14 deals on offer, which is the most deals we’ve seen so far from a provider, and is cheapest on average at £1,808.14.
Its 1GB deal for the iPhone X works out at £1,582 over 24 months. It’s the cheapest deal from the big four.
Price isn’t the only consideration when choosing a provider – find out who we rate as the best mobile networks.
How to get the iPhone X for less
£1,582 is still steep, but move away from the top providers and you can pay hundreds of pounds less.
Buy it directly from Apple
You could of course pay for the handset in one go. Or, if £999 is too much outlay all at once, you can spread the cost using an Apple finance plan. The finance plan is over 24 months at a rate of £47.95 per month. There’s 14.9% APR on the plan, so the total you pay is £1,150.80. Add a Sim-only deal on top of that it works out at £1,270.80.
The cheapest Sim we found was the iD Mobile 1GB, 250 minute, unlimited text Sim for £5 a month, which would cost a total of £1,330.80 with the iPhone X on Apple finance. But shop around – there are plenty of competitive options across all providers, and with more data if you need it.
Pay for it over three years
If the monthly costs are too high on a 24-month contract then splitting the cost over 36 months is a good way to keep the price down.
Virgin’s 36-month deal gets you 1.2GB of data, 300 minutes and unlimited texts for £37 a month with no upfront cost. The total over 36 months is £1,332. If 1.2GB isn’t enough, then you can opt for the 5GB deal for £40 per month for a total of £1,440.
Use a credit card
Using a 0% interest credit card you could pay for the iPhone X over a period of three to 30 months depending on which card you are eligible for. Splitting the cost like this could make the monthly costs for the phone as little as £33, although it’s up to you how quickly you pay off the card.
Still a bit too steep? Browse our Best Buy mobile phones for some worthy alternatives.