The iPhone 5 might rule the roost right now when it comes to Apple, but damn is that bad boy expensive! Fancy saving a bit of cash while still picking up one of the best smartphones out there? The iPhone 4S is definitely worth looking at. There are some major deals to be had, so we have put together the best iPhone 4S deals for you to peruse.
If you are all about cheap then Three is definitely worth considering. At the moment the lowest price it has for the iPhone 4S is £29 per month with a £29 up-front charge for a 16GB iPhone 4S.
This works out at £725 for the whole lot over two years. Not particularly bad when you consider that the iPhone 4S is £449 from Apple unlocked. So essentially you are paying £277 for two years' worth of Three's Ultimate Internet 500. This includes 500 minutes, unlimited internet and 5000 texts. Increase that to £33 per month, and you can have 2000 minutes and an extra 5000 Three to Three minutes.
T-Mobile isn't quite as cheap as Three and, by the look of it, going in for the cheapest iPhone 4S deal isn't the best option, unless you opt for so few minutes that you will constantly be running up bigger phone bills.
For 50 minutes, 250 texts and a £289 up-front phone it will cost you £21 per month bill, provided you don't break the 750MB data allowance. Go for £31 per month and you get unlimited texts and 300 minutes to play with, with an up-front cost of £169 for the phone for a total cost of £913.
If you want something that matches Three's deals, ie, unlimited everything, then the Full Monty is £41 per month with a £29 phone cost.
Orange and T-Mobile are best friends, so the deals are essentially the same here. For £41 per month you'll get you the phone for £29 but, crucially, you get only 2GB of internet. Go cheaper, and you can save a bit of money on the iPhone 4S cost.
For £31 per month you'll get 200 minutes, 250 texts and 500MB of internet, with the phone costing £49.99. Total for this deal is £793
O2 falls right in the middle of things when it comes to value. At the low end, the up-front cost of the phone is pretty high - say £300 for a £21 per month contract with just 100 minutes, 500 texts and 500 MB of data. Then again the total for that is £804, but the number of minutes is likely to mean you'll run up a big monthly phone bill.
As for the big minutes and texts offerings, then things are a bit different. Go for a £37 per month deal with a £99 phone cost and you get unlimited texts, 600 minutes and 750MB of data - that's £987 in total.
It might be the little man right now, but money could very well be saved on something like Giff Gaff. Here's the trick: £15 per month on Giff Gaff gets you 400 UK minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet.
Then head over to the Apple website and grab yourself a £449 16GB iPhone 4S. Total cost £809. This is around the same as everyone else offers, the difference is that you are getting a tonne more minutes and texts. Don't forget that Giff Gaff uses O2 as well, so you're not going to get too bad reception either.
There really is only one deal to go for with Tesco Mobile and that's the £35 per month offering. With the phone coming free of charge and 1500 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB of data, this could be the best one.
In total it works out at £840 for the whole thing, making it just a touch more expensive than what Three has to offer. Nice try Tesco.
Pay as You Go
At £449 for a SIM-free iPhone 4S 16GB, it is definitely worth looking at PAYG options. We have already looked at GiffGaff, but it is slightly different. Going SIM only on the big networks can save you quite a bit of cash. Here's what's on offer.
For £15 per month you get unlimited data, 300 minutes and 3000 texts. The contract lasts for 30 days and will renew when you top up each month. If you want to go really cheap, there is a £10 per month deal with 100 minutes, 3000 texts and 500MB of data.
T-Mobile matches Three pretty much, except for one fundamental difference. A £15 per month top up is going to get you unlimited internet and unlimited texts. The difference? There aren't any free minutes included.
Orange keeps to its traditionally confusing system of animal-themed tariffs. For £15 per month on Dolphin you will get 500MB of data and 600 minutes of free calls. Among other options there's Racoon, which drops call costs to 14p per minute but doesn't include anything else.
We like what O2 has done with its Pay as You Go setup. It basically revolves around how long you spend using its network. Start off with a £10 top-up and get 75 minutes, 500 texts and 100MB of data. Stay with it and every three months everything doubles.
Tesco adds more free credit depending on how much you spend, starting at £20 free for a £10 top up and £40 free for £20. You also get 5000 free texts or can switch this to 500MB of data or 150 minutes of calls.
If you have no objection to the idea of a monthly contract, then Three's One plan is the thing to go for. All that data and minutes is going to come in handy for anyone who likes to use their phone a lot. You could go for a Three Sim-only plan and, provided you didn't use the phone a lot, would probably save quite a bit of cash on the total cost.
Tesco Mobile and GiffGaff have also proved their value, but arguably lack some of the consumer support and infrastructure of Three. Still though, take a risk and you might find yourself rewarded with some money saved.
© copyright Pocket-lint 2012