With just two weeks until the new Samsung Galaxy S8 hits stores in Australia, it’s time to ask the tough questions. Is the edge-to-edge Infinity Display all it’s cracked up to be? What’s the deal with DeX, and does it work? But perhaps most importantly: is it cheaper to buy an S8 on a plan than an iPhone 7?
Now, I know there are ideological, quasi-religious factors in the decision of whether to buy Samsung or Apple, and while I respect your decision to worship at whichever alter you choose, I’m going to sidestep these arguments for now and just talk plans. This one is for the OS agnostics out there.
To make this as fair a comparison as I can, let’s set some ground rules. All plans include unlimited calls and SMS, and we’ll set a data limit at 10GB because we’re not screwing around. And, because they never make it easy and the storage options aren’t the same, I’ll put in two examples of iPhone plans: the 32GB model and the 128GB model to bookend the Galaxy S8 with 64GB storage.
Despite being 6-months old, the iPhone 7 is still as expensive as the still unreleased Samsung. In fact, what you see is that the differences in plan prices nearly perfectly align with with the full RRP prices of the handsets. The 32GB iPhone is $100 cheaper than the Galaxy S8, and the 128GB model is $100 more expensive. Over a 24-month phone plan, these differences in price bear out the same.
The same is basically true when you look the plus-sized models: the iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S8+.
This suggests a few things. Firstly, the telcos seem to have a subsidy model now that doesn’t vary too much from phone to phone. No real surprises here, but it shows they aren’t playing favourites when it comes to the most popular phones.
Also, if the iPhone came down in price over time, like pretty much all electronics, then you’d expect it to have a price advantage in plans at this point in the year. On the flip side of this, Samsung’s do tend to come down in price over time, so if you can wait a few months, the price gap will start to show.
The good news is that if you’re shopping for a new phone plan in the next couple of weeks, you can’t go wrong. You’re free to choose whichever phone you like, safe in the knowledge that the other is just as expensive.