Shopping around for your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus? This is where you start. We've got the best value deals all wrapped up.
Before We Start...
We want to get you a sweet deal, but I feel we need to mention something really important to keep in mind before we get started.
Best value does not mean cheapest. Value comes down to getting the absolute most for your money, rather than paying the least amount of money to get in on the action. If we were to recommend the carrier with the absolute cheapest iPhone 6s deal, we'd tell you to go get a 16GB iPhone 6s on Virgin Mobile.
That would get you an iPhone 6s, but for $61 per month over 24 months you'd only have a 16GB model, $300 worth of calls and texts and 300MB of data. That isn't great, especially considering the average Australian burns through a minimum of 650MB of mobile data per month. And that's according to figures from the ACMA that are almost a year old. Last year the average data consumed per subscriber went up by 97 per cent, so keeping to that trend, by December 2015 we'll all be using an average of 1.3GB per month.
Seeing as how the sting in your mobile bill from any new phone purchase comes from data spend, getting you the most data for your buck while simultaneously nabbing you a 64GB iPhone 6s or 6s Plus is what we're going to be going for in this exercise. Because ain't nobody got time for 16GB iPhones.
So, with that in mind, what's the best value iPhone plan you can get? Let's take a look at Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile.
So this is a tough one. Understand from the outset that you aren't really going to get away with getting an iPhone 6s on-contract for less than $70 per month. That's just a given with new phones. The reason why it's tough is because there's a weird tie for first place between Virgin Mobile and Optus.
Virgin Mobile will sell you a 64GB iPhone 6s for $80 per month. That cost comes from a $50 Plan which includes $500 worth of calls and texts, and 2GB of data over 24 months. That means you're paying $30 per month for the iPhone, making the total cost of the device itself to $720 over the two year period: a far cry from the $1229 Apple will sell it to you for. (The whole service plan inclusive of the phone is $1920 over two years.)
Optus, meanwhile, has the 64GB iPhone 6s on a 24-month plan for $88 per month. Dollar-to-dollar, Virgin has its MVNO parent beat, but consider the inclusions of the Optus plan. For your $88 per month, you get unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB of data and 150 minutes to international destinations thanks to the $60 plan, making the phone an extra $28 per month. The phone itself will cost you $672 over 24 months, while the whole bundle costs $2112 over the same period.
Again, going with Virgin means you're parting with $8 less per month, but if it was my money, I'd spend the extra $8 per month for more data, unlimited talk and text, future plans for LTE-A carrier aggregation and international talk inclusions. To me, Optus is the best value.
Bringing up the rear is Vodafone and Telstra in third and fourth place, respectively.
Calculating Vodafone's inclusions is tough, simply because the carrier is boosting data inclusions on entry-level plans for iPhone customers. It can be tough to decipher what the actual bang-for-buck is with such inclusions, so for the sake of fairness we've removed any new sign-up bonuses from this test just to level the playing field. (That being said, you should always put the screws to your telco before you sign on the dotted line. You never know what a bit of haggling can get you)
Even with Vodafone's bonus inclusions, however, it's oddly expensive. For $87 per month, you get infinite standard national calls and texts, $5 Red Roaming and a paltry 500MB of data thanks to the $40 Plan. A bonus offer sees that 500MB doubled up to 1GB of data if you sign up before 29 September 2015, but even then this plan is too pricey to recommend. The next plan up will cost you a $90 per month for 3GB of data, but even then we've got Optus keeping us cosy for $2 less per month and more capable 4G.
Then there's Telstra, which will sell you a 64GB iPhone 6s for a total payment of $95 per month. That includes $550 worth of talk and text and 1GB of data on the $55 Go Mobile plan, with the phone coming in at an extra $40 per month over 24 months. The next plan up costs you $102 per month and gets you $1000 of talk and 2.5GB of data on the Go Mobile $70 Plan, with the phone costing $32 per month. No thanks.
iPhone 6s Plus
Going big with your phone also means going big with your wallet. The iPhone 6s Plus is not cheap.
The leaderboard here is much the same: Virgin wins dollar-for-dollar, Optus takes out the best value in our opinion, while Vodafone and Telstra bring up the rear.
Virgin Mobile will sell you the 64GB iPhone 6s Plus for $86 per month. That cost comes from a $50 Plan which includes $500 worth of calls and texts, and 2GB of data over 24 months. The phone will cost $36 per month over 24 months.
Going with Optus means you're spending a little more money, but getting more bang for buck, which makes it the best choice in our minds. You'll get the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus on Optus for $94 per month. The $60 plan gives you unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB of data and 150 minutes to international destinations, making the phone an extra $34 per month.
Vodafone will sell you an iPhone 6s Plus for a minimum of $93 per month inclusive of only 1GB of data, and Telstra starts at $102 per month for the same amount of data.
Optus and Virgin are the place to be.
Keep in mind that carriers don't have a whole lot of 6s Plus stock, so if you want one, get in quick. Or, perhaps you could buy outright?
Compare how much you pay a carrier for your phone per month over 24 months with what you'll pay Apple to get a device outright, and you realise that carriers are still softening the blow to your wallet with partial subsidies. We mentioned earlier that with a Virgin or Optus plan you'd only end up paying $720 or $632 respectively for your device over a 24 month period, but don't be fooled. Yes, it can be more expensive as a one-off cost buying a phone outright, but you can offset the cost with a super-cheap SIM-only service.
Amaysim, for example, will give you unlimited talk, text and MMS a month, as well as 2GB of data for just $29.90 per month with no contract. Vodafone will give you infinite standard national calls and texts and 3GB of data for just $40 per month with no contract. It all balances out in the end, it's just where you want to spend your money: outright or month-by-month. That decision is up to you.
Did you pre-order an iPhone 6s? Who did you go with? Let us know in the comments!