Who Has The Best Value iPhone 5 Deal In Australia?

We now know the Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile pricing plans for the iPhone 5. Why bother yourself with comparing scores of plans, though? We've taken all the hard work out of it and compared and ranked them all for you.

There are a few things to consider when reading this guide.

First and foremost, not every plan is 4G. The only 4G providers are Telstra, Virgin Mobile and Optus. Vodafone is running on 3G+, with 4G set to come online next year. Read our 4G Frequencies Explained guide for more information on where 4G is in Australia right now.

Second, everyone is going to need different things in their mobile plans. This guide is about getting you the iPhone 5 for the least amount of cash against the best value per month on a 24 month contract. If you want more information, consult your carrier.

With that out of the way, what's the best iPhone deal in Australia?

iPhone 5 16GB

Virgin:

$47 per month in total. • $29 Big Plan, which includes 250MB of data, $450 of plan credit (talk and text). • 16GB iPhone 5 is $18 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1128 minimum cost over 24 months

Telstra:

$67 per month in total. • Small Plan, which includes 1GB of data, $600 of plan credit (talk and text). • 16GB iPhone 5 is $7 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1608 minimum cost over 24 months

Optus:

$48 per month in total. • $30 Optus Plan, which includes 200MB of data, $200 of plan credit (talk and text). • 16GB iPhone 5 is $18 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1152 minimum cost over 24 months

Vodafone:

$48 per month in total. • $30 Plan, which includes 200MB of data, $180 of plan credit (talk and text). • 16GB iPhone 5 is $18 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1152 minimum cost over 24 months

Analysis

From a cash point of view, Virgin has the best value for money. It's $1 cheaper than both Optus and Vodafone and has more plan credit than both of them. Plus, it runs on a 4G network which puts it light years ahead of Vodafone in terms of ongoing value.

Telstra gets an honourable mention on the value front, too. Despite the fact that it's the most expensive of the carriers on the 16GB plan, it does have 4G coverage in more areas and will continue to do so over the next 12 months. It also has the most data and the cheapest handset repayments of the four offerings.

iPhone 5 32GB

Virgin:

$52 per month in total. • $29 Big Plan, which includes 250MB of data, $450 of plan credit (talk and text). • 32GB iPhone 5 is $23 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1248 minimum cost over 24 months

Telstra:

$71 per month in total. • Small Plan, which includes 1GB of data, $600 of plan credit (talk and text). • 32GB iPhone 5 is $11 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1704 minimum cost over 24 months

Optus:

$52 per month in total. • $30 Optus Plan, which includes 200MB of data, $200 of plan credit (talk and text). • 32GB iPhone 5 is $22 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1248 minimum cost over 24 months

Vodafone:

$52.50 per month in total. • $30 Plan, which includes 200MB of data, $180 of plan credit (talk and text). • 32GB iPhone 5 is $22.50 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1260 minimum cost over 24 months

Analysis

Telcos are offering all the iPhone 5's storage variants on low tier plans, so not much changes in this guide on the plan front. As far as handset repayments go, those all change across carrier.

Interestingly, for the 32GB iPhone 5, Optus and Virgin are both the same price per month, but Virgin is still offering the better deal, with more data and more talk and text credit. Virgin seems to be beating Optus at its own 4G game.

Vodafone is more expensive than both, albeit by $0.50 per month, for a plan with the least amount of data and talk and text credit out of all four carriers.

Telstra, meanwhile, still has the most data on offer and the lowest handset repayments.

iPhone 5 64GB

Virgin:

$56 per month in total. • $29 Big Plan, which includes 250MB of data, $450 of plan credit (talk and text). • 64GB iPhone 5 is $29 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1344 minimum cost over 24 months

Telstra:

$77 per month in total. • Small Plan, which includes 1GB of data, $600 of plan credit (talk and text). • 64GB iPhone 5 is $17 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1848 minimum cost over 24 months

Optus:

$61 per month in total. • $30 Optus Plan, which includes 200MB of data, $200 of plan credit (talk and text). • 64GB iPhone 5 is $31 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1464 minimum cost over 24 months

Vodafone:

$57 per month in total. • $30 Plan, which includes 200MB of data, $180 of plan credit (talk and text). • 64GB iPhone 5 is $27 per month extra. • 24 month contract • $1368 minimum cost over 24 months

Analysis

Plans are the same again, only the handset repayments have changed, and interestingly the top tier handset changes up second and third place.

Virgin still wins out as far as value is concerned for the 64GB iPhone 5, but Vodafone comes in a close second on dollar value. Vodafone is only $1 extra than Virgin Mobile at $57 per month. Optus comes third and Telstra is still in last place, making it unanimously the most expensive carrier for the iPhone 5 per month.

Who will you go with for your iPhone 5?


Comments

    Just preordered mine with Telstra. 32GB on Medium plan. Has 1.5GB but comes with an additional 1GB per month for the first 12 months. If you use lots of data it's worth it.

      Who could get a 4G iPhone and only use 220mb of data! I'm happy with Telstra 64GB 1GB data $77

      The only thing better would be Telstra plans a couple of months ago before they started charging substantially more money for substantially less data.

      I'm on the fence on switching to Telstra from Optus. But I need some convincing... I'm sort of sick of their rather slow speeds. >_>
      These plans suck a bit compared to my current one where I pay $59/m for 2GB data, $550 of calls and unlimited text, so dropping 1GB of data doesn't sit well with me.

        Telstra all the way! Youll find optus slows down a bit as virgin and boost mobile customers all use their towers and clog up the network.

        Whereas telstra towers are only for telstra customers, although 3 customers did use their towers in the past but are no longer.

        Switched to telstra a couple of months back and love it! No less than 4 bars almost everywhere i go and i love the speeds at 3g !! ...cant wait to jump on 4g!

          FYI, Telstra has its own wholesalers just as Optus has Virgin etc

        Telstras coverage in outlying areas and well pretty much the entire state of Tasmania is MUCH better than anything Optus can hope to achieve. Telstra might be a bit more expensive, but they do give better service and system access. They've even improved their billing, something I thought would never improve. My contract on my Ip4 just ran out last week so back to the Big T again

        I'm leaving Telstra.

        I'm over they're rudeness and "deal with it" attitude. I've investigated the plan and Virgin's $60 plan comes up trumps over Telstra AND Optus; remember Virgin uses Optus' network.

        I'm about to be a convert with this ...

        http://www.virginmobile.com.au/Shop/ProductDetails/13517/5S-Silver-16GB

      WTF!? Telstra told me there was no pre-ordering.

      Should have come to see me, i'd have kicked you in the nuts and sent you on your way, same feeling you get from buying an apple product but you walk away $1100 less poor.

    The Virigin iPhone 5 64GB doesn't add up: 29+29 != 56

    $56 per month in total.
    • $29 Big Plan, which includes 250MB of data, $450 of plan credit (talk and text).
    • 64GB iPhone 5 is $29 per month extra.

    I ordered the 32GB on the medium Telstra plan. Slightly expensive but with the service they offer it's totally worth it. Im hoping I can score the extra 1gb data for th full 24 months with a little bit of charm and luck.

    Why are the data allowances so pitiful with these plans?
    My now out of contract plan had 1gb allowance 2 and a bit years ago, so why did providers go backwards regarding the allowances? Please dont tell me "to milk the customer"

      I believe it's all to do with congestion, the more people that use 3G services, the slower the network gets for everyone and its no longer a pleasant experience. By limiting data usage, you limit the total usage of your network and therefore allow the majority of people to still use 3G at a reasonable speed.

        They want to be able to upsell you a data pack for an extra 10 bucks a month,

      To milk the customer.
      Lol

      Because stats show that 90+% of customers don't even exceed 50% of their data.

        Maybe because 90% of the time the data networks dont work. You cant use something that's useless.

        I'm one of the few that regularly goes close or even over data. I'm on a $55 plan with $750 calls etc and 2GB data and I have a 5GB data pack. I almost always go into that extra 5GB. I'm not happy with the decreased data allowances for these plans now.

      Seems like the customer is getting screwed. 4G users naturally use more data, especially with Facetime avoiding the need for calls. They are losing money off calls, so make it up via data.

    Luke, wouldn't it be better to make the comparison across similarly priced or similarly specced plans?

    I understand that there's value in knowing what the cheapest option is for getting each model on each carrier, but it's not quite a like-for-like comparison.

    These plans should really be compared on a data basis, these entry level telstra plans offer 4 to 5 times more data so of course they will be more expensive...

    Interesting that the Vodafone plans are the same as the iPhone 4S and the same prices as the Optus plans:
    http://www.mobilephonefinder.com.au/apple/iphone/iphone-5/iphone-5-plans-comparison/optus-vs-telstra-vs-vodafone-vs-virgin-mobile-iphone-5-plans-and-pricing-comparison/

      Im tipping the 4s will drop in price soon. As telecoms clear their stock.

      Well its basically the same phone so why not?

    Yeh so I'm getting the telstra one...but they still have better coverage...Think I'll have to increase my data pack tho. I never need more than 16g, specially now that everything is on the cloud. Who need 32!! for gawds sake!

      "Who need 32!! for gawds sake!"

      Those of us that don't want to use up our data credit to download stuff we already own/have ?

        +1. Australian Internet is awful. Even connected to wifi, there's no way I'm gonna waste my time and precious download limit downloading gigabytes worth of files I could otherwise have instantly. 64GB here I come!
        Also, it means I can get rid of my iPod, and only carry ONE overly-priced around with me.

      I have 13gig of music on my iPhone, 5 gig of Photos/Video, which leaves 8 gig for apps and their data the top 3 apps on my phone take up 2 gig, which leaves 6 gig for the other 500 apps and space for updating.

      So 32 gig barely covers it.

    Does Telstra still do 12 months plans?

      Does anybody know?

        yes, they just don't advertise them. You have to ask for it. My housemate has had one on the 4s and is now on one with the 5.

    why not just buy the phone outright from kogan ($699 for 16GB), and get a live connected $11.99/mth deal. That will work out to be cheaper ($987 over 24months) and get more value for your money $500 talk & 1.5GB data

      I agree with Mike, buy your phone outright and use one of the prepaid sims from live connected or woolworths (5 gb data). You will save heaps and not be stuck on contract and still benefit from a big telco network coverage.

        The woolsworth sim is a micro sim not a nano sim - will it work?

          Unfortunately it won't. I'm with Woolies and had to cut my sim down to a micro for the iPhone 4. But the nanosim is not only smaller in height and width but is also thinner (by 0.67mm or something). You could give cutting it a shot with a spare sim but I doubt it'll work.

      Agreed.. I have done the same.. Preordered iPhone 5 from Kogan.. Confirmed A1429 GSM stock I.e. works on Aussie LTE & HSDPA networks... And preordered virgin BYOD SIM for $19 with 2.25GB data month to month...

      just wondering if you considered the NANO sim issue, does live offer nano sims???

        the nano sim problem is irrelevant, you can simply cut down a full sized one to fit

          Not anymore they've actually changed the sinks shape slightly so cutting down isn't an option

      Not anymore.....all Kogan iphone5 prices have increased by $50 since this morning!

    I order an iPhone 5 outright from the apple store at 5:03pm, hopefully I will get it next Friday :)

      The question was about which telco you're going with??

      You won't, it says ships in 2 weeks.

    i thought Optus plan price are excluding GST. I believe Telstra Pricing is inc. GST.

    Just preordered mine (32gb white) from Telstra as I'm just out of contract with them for my iPhone 4. Disappointed that I'm losing 1gb off my plan (had 2gb on my current plan) but it's going to be cheaper (I'm going with the small Telstra plan) and as I never use over 1gb, use wireless network at home, it's not a huge issue for me.

    How are people accepting the new Telstra plans so easily? :O I'm on the same plan from last year but for the 4S and i'm only paying $68! Not $86! That's just ridiculous.

    Is it because of the 4G network this time round? What is causing the extra $18?

      For the past 2 years on Telstra I've been paying $49 a month which included iPhone 4 handset repayments, $400+ calls and 1.5GB data (which doubled to 3GB a couple of months into the contract for some reason). I did have to pay ~$150 upfront for the 32GB phone.
      Now to get a similar deal I'm looking at $86 a month on the medium plan with the 32GB phone.... I hate my life.

    I've decide. Samsung S3 from Kogan with $39 Amaysim !

      Did you read this is about iPhone 5 by the way you decided for copy over original and amaysim mistake ( tpg got much beter deals) all that showing that you are dumb idiot

    Ughhhh I want one. It looks really nice. I'll get the lumina 920 assuming it'll be out in November. I might get one of these after that.

    OK I have decided I am going to get my FIRST smartphone. I want the 64GB phone (to store photos, music, apps, videos). I am a little unsure on the Data, How far does 250mb go?

      Honestly not very far at all.. It really depends on your habits though, I use my phone to access the net (easiest ways to settle bets / debates / arguments) and its the first thing I go for when I'm bored on a train etc. When it comes to downloading apps and music etc. I do it at home on my computer and transfer it, or via wireless network so my phone data isn't used. Even with that I still use 500mb+ a month without even trying.

      Not far at all. I would not suggest the 250Mb limit if it is your first smart phone. It is amazing how much you use when it is available.

      If you don't store stuff in the cloud (which you won't need to do with 64Gb), you might be wise to start with 1 or 2 gb per month.

      If you plan on using it for e-mail (and why wouldn't you?) you need to consider whether you send/get lots of mail with big attachments or just text.

      If you use Facebook/Twitter etc a lot (or plan to) you might want to consider plans that give you uncapped (ie: does not come out of your normal data cap) use of those sites.

      It also depends on your usage pattern and your access to Wifi networks. If you have home Wifi and/or free Wifi at your favourite cafe, you might get away with a lower data cap.

      Some carriers give you the option to buy extra data on a month to month basis, which gives you a chance to see how much data you will need.

      One of the reasons it's not enough is that the fine print on the smaller data rates and casual plans often reveals that a minimum data charge of 1mb applies. If you download a 100kb web page and that's your whole session you'll get charged for 1mb.

    Get a Galaxy Note 2, better buy than these lemons.

      No thanks, my pockets aren't large enough to carry THAT microwave around constantly.

      Lol. Microwave. I love the note! Everytime I see one I get Note envy...

        Got one of those myself and I love it. I don't think I could go back to a smaller phone anymore after the Note.

      where from?

      Amazing that you know so much about the performance of something that you haven't touched. Of course, you're smart because you bought a Note. Who wouldn't want a phone that you need a backpack to carry around?

        You have my deepest sympathies. Not having pants big enough to fit something over 4 inches in.

        It actually fits in most reasonable pockets.

    are there any 12 month plans??

      Vodafone usually have 12 month plans. You might want to check with them.

    Telstra pricing is wrong.

    $67/mo for S *includes* the MRO (and MRO bonus). It is not $7 a month extra.

    https://onlineshop.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/promotion/iPhone-5

    This does not take into consideration war the mist suitable plan us for someone - only the cheapest total spend by device.

      rephrase?

        I'm guessing it was a victim of auto-correction.
        "This does not take into consideration what the most suitable plan is for someone - only the cheapest total spend by device".
        I'd agree. I'd prefer to buy outright and get a good 12 month plan.

          You're correction is perfect... And my mobile typing is horrible :) The fact is that mobile plans have a lot of different components to consider. I'm currently with Voda because I got the HTC One X on a good offer, and while many will laugh at this, I actually have found their network improvements have made a big difference. I know they're not 4g yet but I'm happy with them at the moment. The surprising thing this year is it looks like the iPhone plans are less competitive.

    This isn't very helpful as it doesn't offer the higher plans with more data which is what I would need.

    I was originally going to buy this outright, but the lack of decent 4g caps / prepaid lead me to get the 5 on Telstra's medium plan
    $80 dollars a month, but I get 4g everywhere I'm going + 1gb of bonus data every month.
    It really wasnt much of a competition

    After 17 years of Optus contracts and recently rubbish coverage, I will be switching to Telstra. Will buy it outright for some flexibility and as I'm heading overseas soon, the 10% Tourist Refund Scheme will be useful.

      Can this be claimed if purchased from kogan.

    Just Pre-Ordered on Telstra. And boy are they going quick. 32GB Black, Sold Out. Betting the 32 White or 64 Black will go next. Oh and the Aussie Apple store is showing 2 week delay in shipping already. Suspect the initial quota for online sales has already sold out completely. This is gonna be one hot piece of property to get your hands on by Monday the 24th......

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