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

    black 32gb on virgin! i wasn't too fussed by 4g but its a nice bonus!

    I was looking at buying this out right (as I did with my iPhone 4S), however after speaking to Telstra and Optus, neither were able to tell me if I can get a 4G BYO plan. The customer rep from Optus said I could only get a nano sim for my iPhone 5 if I got it on contract.
    Beginning to think that people buying them out right will be left with a very expensive iPod touch.

      Both Telstra and optus offer 4G on ALL their plans, it is the handset which determines it not the plan itself :)

        Yep, just got off the live chat with Telstra, said the same thing .

      yes you can and if have a mobile phone number connected to telstra you have 4G LTE. The Telstra staff member should know and i'm on Telstra and i've orded the iPhone 5 through Apple and when the is plugged in LTE will come up and i have put my Telstra sim into my Bigpond LTE wifi modem and the 4G logo came up and that is the answer is yes but i don't know about Optus network setup is but it should be the same. I wouldn't touch Optus with my experience and the same with Vodafone.

      You were told incorrect information.. you can get a prepaid sim even from Telstra, however may have to wait a few days for stock. Stores have a habit of saying no to outright purchases as the sales people are working around with commission dollar signs in their eyes. Last launch telstra said 'internally only' not to sell outright but not this year... they aren't allowed. Talk to someone about a plan, find out if they have stock, then say actually Ill just buy it outright thanks.

    Outright purchase for me, can't beat that $12 LiveConnected plan. I wonder if they'll do 4G?

    I still got an older 80$/month on Telstra (for another year) with 2gb of data, and bought the iPhone outright online. I'll have to get a nano sim on Friday from a Telstra shop !!

    I am with telstra. Prepaid Beyond Talk, usually recharge $30/month. Outright 64GB works out best for me me. Ordered 64GB Black from Telstra. Due for delivery on the 21st . . happy all round!!!

    Just pre-ordered mine through Telstra with the small plan for a 64GB Black phone after being out of contract on 3 Mobile for 4 years. Anything is better than what i was paying so it will be a welcoming upgrade with good signal and Internet speeds. I don't call much and really only text and since where i work, uni and home all have Wifi. I am excited to try 4G speeds.

    Eventhough Telstra is the most expensive, I'd rather pay a bit more for the better coverage then go back to optus... iPhone 5 Black 64g M Plan Pre-ordered and incoming! :)

    that's actually not too bad

    What if I only want data? Can I use one of the iPad plans? (I make very few mobile calls, but I want always-available internet). All these plans assume I want to make hundreds of calls every month rather than 1 or 2.

      I wouldn't think so. They know a lot of people, like yourself want more data, so they give you more calls. Therefore you have to pay through the nose for more data.

      Yes you can use an ipad plan, but you'll need to cut the microsim to a nano size yourself, for obvious reasons.

      And you won't be able to make/receive calls or SMSs at all.

    It's insanity only having a 250MB data ration. I'd eat that for breakfast.
    I'll stick to my Boost pre-paid on $40/month I get 3GB of data, UNLIMITED speech to any phone in Oz and UNLIMITED text to any phone in Oz, for a 30 day month.... NO BILL SHOCK

      With Redbull- 5GB data a month with unlimited talk and SMS to any Oz phone for less than $29 a month- pre-paid.
      Only "disadvantage" is it's on the Vodaphone network, but honnestly I've found it to have pretty much the same coverage and speed as Telstra in Perth, and that's 3G, not 4G.

      Not used it with an iphone, but it'd be pretty much the same.

    anyone have any luck at squeezing out better plans from optus?? had a friend do that previouslly (not for the 5 but with ipad and vodafone) and the sales gave him an awesome discount on the deal

    I just ordered the 32gb on Virgin. $29 plan plus $23 for the phone, with the addition of the 500mb data plan at $5 per month. $57/month total.
    $13/m more than I'm paying now for my iPhone 4 16gb with 300mb download, but a higher capacity and 450mb more data.

    I had considered buying it outright for $799 from Kogan, which works out to $33/m. The Virgin $29 plan gives a $10 bonus when you BYO, so it would be $19 + $33 + the $5 data cap = $57. The exact same, except I'd be out of pocket up front, rather than essentially getting it interest free.

    Other minor providers have better BYO plans, but trying to get a nano-SIM might be hard, and I'm happy with Virgin; I get Velocity points, and my family can sms/call me for free.

      You should ask for extra 1 GB or more. I was offed $57 a month plan with 1 GB on Telstra and i'm on a $60 a month on a BYO plan and i updated an extra 1GB for $15 on top. From what you say have a look at Telstra for the same money you get $57 plan you get $600 in calls 1 GB data and the phone as well.

    So you pay $700 more for Telstra then Virgin. Get poorer depth of coverage in CBD areas with Telstra 4G than Virgin 4G.
    Am I missing something why would anyone pick Telstra over Virgin. Do you get a brown cardigan with the Telstra plans? Oh sorry , Telstra is great if you are travelling across the Nullabor.

      Here in Brisbane i get great coverage on the LTE network in the CBD.

    The Telstra plans are listed as $600 Talk and Text, but they are actually $600 Talk and UNLIMITED Text..

    just a heads up and correction, you mention the telstra plan credits are for talk and text but all plans above the $60 include free sms to australian numbers* conditions apply

    Mr Hopewell, I'm sorry but I think that your analysis of these companies offerings is totally off.
    If you are comparing a $60 Telstra plan, then you should compare it with the $60 Optus plan, $59 Virgin plan and $59 Vodafone plan. They are by far the most common plans taken by customers and would make your analysis much more fair.
    It would also change your conclusions that Telstra offer more data and cheaper handset repayments.

    Been doing the rounds and I'm still of the opinion that the $39 monthly package (pre-pay) from Amaysim represents best value.

    The plans that Vodafone, virgin and Optus is a joke with iPhone plans someone would go over the data usage under 5 minutes without a problem and Telstra makes a lot of sense with data usage. If you get a iPhone 5 get more then 1 GB to be safe because they charge over usage and when using a LTE network with the speed you would use like with iTunes i have downloaded music on the Telstra LTE network it doesn't take long to use 1 GB when downloading movies off iTunes and one movie is 1GB or more and a hd movie is from 4 to 6 GB and that depends on the amount of time the movie goes for and i know this by experience with using a LTE modem on a computer but i have a 15 GB plan with Bigpond but just think about the data speeds and it goes through data then 3G or in 3G DC mode. It could cost more then a $60 a month plan and i would go for a $50 or $60 a month plan. I'm on a $60 a month plan with 2 GB included and i have got an extra 1 GB for $15 on top on Telstra and they have options to add up to 8 GB on top of the plan and that is great if you use your phone as a wifi modem. I have herd of some people getting in a lot of trouble of cheap plans and smart phones.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    any news on nano sims from optus for existing customers that wanna buy the iphone 5 outright???

    Why has this been on the top of the Giz feed for 3 days?? Is it paid advertising?

      It's not paid. We'd indicate it if it were. It's up there because it's relevant news. At 7pm today it's getting taken down.

    please post an article on outright best deals downunder?

    Virgin and Optus are the same company. Virgin where briefly a "MVNO" (wholesale customer) of Optus but Optus now run the whole show. Odd huh? Almost like there is a deliberate attempt to rip off "sheep" who buy Optus ... or perhaps something to do with bundle discounts for other services impacting Optus "rack rate" mobile pricing. Bottom line - if you just have mobile phones with Optus, don't, switch to Virgin.

    Just signed up to telstra 32gb on a medium plan. Been waiting to get off Optus as their network in sydney gets worse by the day.

    It's only 6 bucks more expensive than my current Optus plan but I'm looking forward to the coverage more than anything else. Optus is just crap.

    If I have the money I go with TELSTRA, OPTUS/VIRGIN sucks in term of International calls not included in the plan. VODAFAIL is included but the service is crap.

    But if you do not call overseas, I go with OPTUS

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