iPhone 3G on pay as you go: Crack open that piggy bank

If you've been dying to get your hands on an iPhone 3G but didn't want a contract, you'lll be glad to know that the pre-pay option is just around the corner


Ages ago, O2 confirmed that the iPhone 3G would be available on pay as you go, but it failed to mention when it would come out and how much it would cost. Yesterday afternoon though, O2 and Carphone Warehouse finally announced the official launch date and pricing scheme.

The iPhone 3G 8GB will cost £350, with the 16GB priced at £400, and both deals will be available on 16 September. As part of the offer you get 12 months unlimited Wi-Fi and unlimited data for free. After the first year you then have to pay £10 a month for the same service.

So how does it compare to signing a contract? If you want a 16GB iPhone 3G on the lowest contract it'll cost you £159 for the iPhone itself and then £30 a month for 18 months, which comes to £699 altogether. If you opt for the 16GB pay as you go option, it's £400 for the handset and if you work on the basis that you'll spend around £10 on calls and texts every month over the equivalent 18-month period, you'll spend around £580 altogether.

Keep in mind though that the free data falls off after 12 months on the pay as you go deal, so if you want to keep the unlimited data access, you have to add £60 for the equivalent 6 months of extra data you'd get on contract, which adds up to £640. That's only a £59 reduction overall -- that contract doesn't look too bad after all, does it? -Andrew Lim

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