iPhone 4S cheapest deal so far confirmed by O2

O2 has confirmed its deals for the iPhone 4S, joining 3, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone. It's the cheapest so far, but there is a catch...

O2 has confirmed its deals for the iPhone 4S, rounding out the list of major UK networks carrying Apple's new smart phone. 3, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone have all unveiled their tariff -- check out our handy comparison of the best iPhone 4S deals.

And the good news is we have a new winner when it comes to getting your 4S cheaply: O2 offers a £15.50 contract, which is both the cheapest monthly outlay -- everybody else's deals start at £30 per month -- and the cheapest total over the two-year contract. The catch? You have to pay extra for data as a bolt-on, which could add up to £10 per month to your bill for 1GB of Internet use.

The phone is free on contracts above £41, while existing O2 customers get the phone for free on the £36 deal. O2 is also the only network to offer visual voicemail, and its data bolt-ons support tethering.

There's not much difference in the prices between the networks, but there's lots of choice in combinations of call time, texts and data. Watch out for the data limits, as the iPhone can eat data even when you're not surfing the Web or using apps. But hey, it's a smart phone -- that's what it's for! 3 and GiffGaff offer unlimited data on selected deals.

Another thing to consider when buying a network contract is the extras. O2 and Vodafone give you discounts and offers on gig tickets and sundry other stuff, while Orange gets you a two-fer-one on cinema tickets and pizza every week with the famous Orange Wednesday.

But if it's just the cheapest deal you're after, the cheapest way to get hold of an iPhone 4S in the long run is to buy the phone SIM-free and sign up to a network contract separately. That way you're not tied to a lengthy contract and you've got more flexibility over your allowances for minutes, texts and data. Our pick is GiffGaff, which offers free data and insanely low calling costs.

Tesco Mobile is also planning to sell the 4S, but hasn't revealed its deals yet. 

Have you ordered your iPhone? Have you spotted a top deal? Share the wealth in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

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