Australia's iPhone 4 pricing compared

Want to know which Aussie telco has the best value iPhone 4 plans? Look no further than our guide to finding the best deals in town.

Joseph Hanlon Special to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
Joseph Hanlon
3 min read
(Credit: Apple)

It's that time of year again folks, so crack out your calculators as we wade through the confusing quagmire that is Aussie telco iPhone pricing.

All in all, the iPhone pricing in 2010 shows how far Australia has come in regards to cost versus value. Even if you compare last year's plans you'd find that the starting price for both the 16GB and 32GB models were higher and the data inclusions much lower. We've done our best to match up pricing tiers between the different carriers, but remember that these pricing charts don't take coverage or service into account; a factor which in itself has immense value.

The bits that don't fit well in tables

  • The Optus AU$59 and AU$79 plans include unlimited national SMS messaging, so the Calls and Messaging value on these plans will only be used by voice calls.
  • All Optus plans include unmetered access to Facebook, Twitter and a range of other social-networking sites.
  • Vodafone and 3 data values include the bonus 1GB of data available on selected smartphone contracts, including the iPhone 4.
  • The total minimum cost listed excludes the additional handset repayment cost, which is an extra 24 times the listed handset repayment cost for either a 16GB or 32GB.
  • Handset repayment costs are per month for the life of the contract with all telcos except Telstra, which charges an upfront repayment fee.
  • Virgin Mobile will offer the iPhone on both its Easy Caps and Smart Caps plans. These plans feature similar price points but offer different calling value vs. included data.

Mid-range plans — 24 months

Telco Monthly spend Handset — 16GB Handset — 32GB Calls & messages Data Min. cost
Vodafone AU$49 AU$5 AU$10 AU$450 1.5GB AU$1181
Three AU$49 AU$5 AU$10 AU$450 1.5GB AU$1181
Optus AU$49 AU$8 AU$15 AU$450 1GB AU$1184
Virgin AU$49 AU$5 AU$20 AU$450 500MB AU$1181
Virgin AU$49 AU$5 AU$20 AU$300 2GB AU$1181
Telstra AU$49 AU$149 AU$299 AU$400 500MB AU$1325
Optus AU$59 AU$0 AU$10 AU$550 2GB AU$1416
Virgin AU$59 AU$0 AU$18 AU$450 2.5GB AU$1416
Vodafone AU$69 AU$0 AU$5 AU$650 1.75GB AU$1656
Three AU$69 AU$0 AU$5 AU$650 1.75GB AU$1656

High-use plans — 24 months

Telco Monthly spend Handset — 16GB Handset — 32GB Calls & messages Data Min. cost
Optus AU$79 AU$0 AU$0 AU$800 2GB AU$1896
Telstra AU$79 AU$0 AU$199 AU$750 1GB AU$1896
Vodafone AU$79 AU$0 AU$0 AU$800 2GB AU$1896
Three AU$79 AU$0 AU$0 AU$800 2GB AU$1896
Optus AU$89 AU$0 AU$0 Unlimited 3GB AU$2136
Optus AU$99 AU$0 AU$0 Unlimited 5GB AU$2376
Telstra AU$99 AU$0 AU$0 AU$1000 1GB AU$2376
Vodafone AU$99 AU$0 AU$0 Unlimited 3GB AU$2376
Three AU$99 AU$0 AU$0 Unlimited 3GB AU$2376

Important things to remember

  • Telstra's upfront handset repayment may have the appearance of being more expensive, but you'd be surprised. If you compare AU$49 per month plans, Telstra's AU$299 upfront payment for a 32GB iPhone works out cheaper than the AU$360 you'll pay Optus, Vodafone or 3 over 24 months.
  • Don't be lured by enormous data allowances. Unless you're going to regularly tether your iPhone to a laptop and share the data, then 1GB or less is sufficient for most people's mobile browsing needs.

Updated at 4:06pm, 29 July 2010: to include Virgin Mobile iPhone pricing.