Tariff wars: O2 iPhone vs the rest

The iPhone is finally coming in November, but will you be getting the most for your money? We take a look at similarly priced non-iPhone deals to find out

Update (5.11.07): O2 has scrapped its fair usage policy for the iPhone. 'Unlimited' now means unlimited, so you can browse the Web over EDGE (2.75G) as much as you like.

So you want to buy an iPhone in November, but you're confused about what it's going to cost you and whether or not it comes with the best tariff on offer? We've put together a few similarly priced non-iPhone deals so you can compare what's available on the market at the moment.

Now before anyone starts complaining that this comparison isn't fair because you don't get an iPhone on the non-O2 deals, we must point out that this article is simply pointing out other similarly priced tariff deals and not focusing on hardware. If you really want an iPhone you have no choice but to buy it on an O2 contract.

O2's iPhone deal, as you can see in the tariffs and prices table above, is divided into three parts. There are £35, £45 and £55 per month contracts, all of which last for 18 months. Before you sign up, of course, you have to pay £269 for the iPhone itself -- so no free handset on this deal.

The O2 tariffs and prices table should be fairly self-explanatory and we'll refer to it later on. Pay particular attention to how many free minutes and texts you get relative to the monthly tariff.

If you're wondering what the asterisk next to 'unlimited data' is, it refers to O2's 'fair usage' policy, which is essentially how much data you can download over-the-air before the network starts asking questions. O2's fair usage policy stands at 200MB worth of downloads per month, which it claims is equivalent to 1,400 Web pages.

The tariff comparison in this article is based on what you could get for £35 per month (or below), which is the lowest iPhone tariff available from O2.

Update (5.11.07): O2 has scrapped its fair usage policy for the iPhone. 'Unlimited' now means unlimited, so you can browse the Web over EDGE (2.75G) as much as you like.

T-Mobile Flext 30 + Web 'n' Walk
Price of handset: Free*
Price per month: £32.50
Contract length: 18 months
Inclusive minutes: Up to 450, based on the T-Mobile Flext 30
Inclusive SMS: Up to 900, based on the T-Mobile Flext 30
Data: Unlimited (fair usage policy of 1GB/month)
Voicemail: 12p per message
Total cost**: £585

O2 iPhone
Price of handset: £269
Price per month: £35
Contract length: 18 months
Inclusive minutes: 200
Inclusive SMS: 200
Data: Unlimited (fair usage policy of 200MB/month)
Voicemail: Free
Total cost**: £899

*Not all handsets on this network are free with this deal, but certain ones are. You may have to pay some money towards high-end models.

**The total cost figure is how much it would cost if you stuck within the limits of your inclusive calls, SMS and data charges over the 18-month contract period. You will be charged more if you go beyond these limits.

Update (5.11.07): O2 has scrapped its fair usage policy for the iPhone. 'Unlimited' now means unlimited, so you can browse the Web over EDGE (2.75G) as much as you like.

3 X-Series Silver
Price of handset: Free*
Price per month: £20
Contract length: 18 months
Inclusive minutes: 250
Inclusive SMS: 50
Data: Unlimited (fair use policy of 1GB/month)
Voicemail: 10p per minute
Total cost**: £360

O2 iPhone
Price of handset: £269
Price per month: £35
Contract length: 18 months
Inclusive minutes: 200
Inclusive SMS: 200
Data: Unlimited (fair usage policy of 200MB/month)
Voicemail: Free
Total cost**: £899

*Not all handsets on this network are free with this deal, but certain ones are. You may have to pay some money towards high-end models.

**The total cost figure is how much it would cost if you stuck within the limits of your inclusive calls, SMS and data charges over the 18-month contract period. You will be charged more if you go beyond these limits.

Update (5.11.07): O2 has scrapped its fair usage policy for the iPhone. 'Unlimited' now means unlimited, so you can browse the Web over EDGE (2.75G) as much as you like.

Vodafone £25 Best for Both plan + Mobile Internet
Price of handset: Free*
Price per month: £32.50
Contract length: 18 months
Inclusive minutes: 225
Inclusive SMS: 250
Data: Unlimited (Fair use policy of 120Mb/month)
Voicemail: 18p
Total cost**: £585

O2 iPhone
Price of handset: £269
Price per month: £35
Contract length: 18 months
Inclusive minutes: 200
Inclusive SMS: 200
Data: Unlimited (Fair usage policy of 200MB/month)
Voicemail: Free
Total cost**: £899

*Not all handsets on this network are free with this deal, but certain ones are. You may have to pay some money towards high-end models.

**The total cost figure is how much it would cost if you stuck within the limits of your inclusive calls, SMS and data charges over the 18-month contract period. You will be charged more if you go beyond these limits.

 

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