Update: Telstra have clarified that they are also running a Bonus Data offer on three of their plans which gives you an extra 1GB of data per month for the first 12 months on iPhone 5 models (valid on the $80, $100 and $130 Plans plans) which we’ve updated on our site. This of course improves their offers, but only for 12 months of the 24 month contract. Telstra is already showing out of stock notice on pre-orders so it looks like they’ve had a big pre-order session.
Last year it was the day before the actual sales launch (and 8 days after the actual iPhone 4S announcement and keynote by Apple) when we saw iPhone prices hastily pulled together by Australian carriers and released almost chaotically (and even redacted by Optus to be then updated at 8pm to undercut Telstra).
But not this year.
There’s a range of new iPhone 5 plans suddenly available to pre-order and whilst the interest is white hot tonight, we’re a full week away from the iPhone 5 going on sale. Yet all major carriers published their iPhone plans and prices at pretty much the same time on Friday night, and only one day after the Apple announcement in California?
We’ve added all the shiny new iPhone 5 plans that we can to our site, with the exception of Optus for the moment which will be up soon for comparison.
The comparison list provides some surprises that we’ll pick through in a moment. As per usual there are some hot picks and we’re surprised at the change of tactics in this launch with Optus, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone focussing in specifically on existing customers only and allowing them able to pre-order and upgrade. Perhaps they know something about stock levels that we don’t know yet. Marketing 101 classes tell you it is far cheaper to keep a customer than to acquire a new one so there you go. Look after your flock.
All in all, good news for customers, and expect to see some competitive Galaxy S3 deals in the coming weeks as well.
Normally we’d advise to take some time to pick the right contract before rushing in for 24 months on an iPhone, however we’ve heard from insiders that the stock levels might be an issue so get your pre-order done if you must have one of these phones as they become available.
Here’s the Key Points
Entry Level Plans Under $50/Month
Both Vodafone and Optus have similar call inclusions on their plans under $50 ($180 and $200 per month respectively) but Virgin offers almost double the calls at $450 for calls for $47/Month and 250MB of data. A clear winner.
We’ve got this comparison graphed out on our visualiser, pretty impressive win for Virgin Mobile on that one.
Why this is impressive is that the iPhone 5 is now available for sale as a pre-order on the Apple website at $799 for the 16GB model. The total contract cost on the iPhone 5 with Virgin Mobile at $47 per month is $1,128. This means that you are only paying $13.70 per month for the plan considering you are getting a new iPhone 5 to keep during the contract.
Mid Tier Offerings
Telstra and Optus have priced their iPhone 5 mid tier plans (the $60 plans) at around the same place that they priced the iPhone 4S last year.
For Telstra’s $60 plan, the iPhone 5 is priced at $7 per month extra, meaning the customers can get 4G speeds, wide coverage and an acceptable amount of data and calls for $67 per month which is not too shabby.
Similarly, the $50 Optus plan offers slight less calls and the same amount of data, and 4G speeds albeit with a smaller coverage footprint for $60 per month which is also very competitive
Top Tier – Most Interesting
The top tier plans (unlimited or close to unlimited value plans) show us some interesting surprises. The first surprise is that the $89 Timeless plan from Optus offers both the 16GB and 32GB model for $0 upfront which was expected. However, they also now offer the 64GB model for just $3/month on the $89 Timeless which is $92 per month. This is actually cheaper than they were offering the 64GB model iPhone 4S up until a few weeks ago before they withdrew it from sale.
This $89 Timeless plan on Optus offers 2GB of data and unlimited national calls and the massive 64GB model iPhone 5 with 4G speeds for $92 per month. Similarly, the Virgin Topless plan is $92 per month for this same 64GB phone and offers similar features, but double the data at 4GB per month, standing out again as good value.
Yet, here is the most interesting combination that we’ve spotted this time around…Let’s say you were interested in the 32GB model iPhone 5.
You could get this for $0 upfront on the Optus top tier plan and for $2/Month on Telstra top tier plan for 24 months. With these plans, the cost for Optus at $129 per month and Telstra $132 per month. You get unlimited calls and 4GB and 3GB per month respectively. You’ll get 4G on both as well in their selected areas. But you are stuck on a contract when the next iPhone rolls around and you’ll have to pay to exit that contract.
So, try this on for size. Vodafone are offering the iPhone 5 32GB model on a 12 month contract (half the time and you’ll be ready for the next iPhone in twelve months) on their unlimited plan which is $100 for the plan and $29 for the handset for 12 months, coming in at $129 per month for 12 months. On the Vodafone plan you’ll get the 3GB of data per month and unlimited calls, texts, 13/18 numbers and $100 of international calls.
Importantly, you are contract free in 12 months which will suit a lot of Apple loyalists, for the same price as the equivalent products from Telstra and Optus with 24 month contracts. That’s pretty nice going.
Amazingly, you’d be paying a $1,548 total cost of ownership over the 12 months, but remember an iPhone 5 32GB model is $899 to buy outright, meaning you’re only paying the equivalent of $54 per month for the plan which gives you unlimited calls, text, voicemail, 18/1300 numbers and $100 credit for international calls every month. This puts it pretty competitively against the unlimited SIM Only plans which are around $39 per month and you don’t have to fork out the cash upfront for the iPhone.
But, here’s the booster. In reality, you’d be able to sell the iPhone 5 32GB at the end of the contract for $500 to 600 meaning that you’re ready to get the next iPhone or phone of your choice.
Deliver on Pre-Orders
Virgin Mobile have tweeted to a customer today that they might get their pre-ordered iPhone delivered on the 21st of Septembers, the launch day in shops…
Handsets will start to be delivered on the 21st, the time it takes will depend on availability.
Tweet from Virgin Mobile