If you’re looking to pre-order an iPhone 6s in the near future, you’re probably dreading trying to figure out what kind of cash you’re going to be on the hook for.
Well, never fear! We’ve got a crack team of spreadsheet monkeys to help make that choice a bit simpler.
Confused? Jump to our “I am confused, so just tell me what to buy” post.
Update 5:20pm: We’ve now got all plans from the major telcos (Optus, Telstra and Vodafone) in our spreadsheet. Flip between the tabs to jump from handset plans, to prepaid, to SIM only plans.
As of today (Saturday morning, 12th September 2015) only Optus has released handset plans — we’ve still got Vodafone and Telstra to go. However, we can still go ahead and compare both prepaid and SIM-only plans as well, so you can figure out if buying outright is worth it. Note: We’ll be updating this post (and the accompanying spreadsheets) when more info about plans come to light.
Handset Plan Notes
Oh handset plans, you love to make it confusing, don’t you?
Let’s start with Telstra plans. You can get 12 months of Apple Music (worth $11.99 per month) when you sign up for a Telstra handset plan. That could be a saving of $143.90 over the life of your contract (if you dig Apple Music, that is). If you sign up for a $95 or above plan, that extends to 24 months.
There’s also the New Phone Feeling upgrade program, which you should only consider if you like being locked into Telstra indefinitely.
Next up, Optus. The major feature of Optus handset plans worth discussing is that you can get a $10 monthly discount if you have Optus broadband (worth $240 over the life of the contract) — definitely worth considering if that’s how you roll. Optus has a phone trade-in program. The prices aren’t the best vs. selling on Gumtree or eBay, but if the process of selling your iPhone upsets you, giving it to Optus in return for a credit on your bill might suit you.
On Vodafone, their plans come with two worthwhile perks — you can get a free 12 months of Spotify (worth $11.99 per month), or 12 months of Stan ($10 per month). If you dig either of those services that’s $120-$144 worth of streaming-service goodness for the first half of your contract.
Second, Vodafone still have their international $5 roaming, which is pretty great if you’re planning on taking a holiday in the next 2 years.
Excess data charges are the same on Optus, Vodafone and Telstra plans – they’ll automatically add an extra 1GB of data for $10 once you go over your set data limit for that month, then remove it at the end of that month when your data cap resets.
All 3 telcos also do data sharing now, so if you have a partner or a family member you can put on the same account, you can stockpile loads of data. For example, you and your partner have a smartphone plan each. You’ve got 8GB and they’ve got 2GB. With data sharing you get 10GB a month for both of you to use. So if you only use 5GB out ouf your 8GB, your partner can use 3GB or 4GB and not pay anything extra. IF you have 3 plans on the same account – (10GB data, 5GB data and 1GB data) all 3 SIMs can use the same pool of 16GB of data. It’s a pretty nifty feature I reckon.
Telstra calls it Data Share and it’s free as well across plans on the same account, but if you want a spare data SIM to chuck in a tablet, it is $5/m, not a once off $5.
Vodafone just calls it shared data and it applies to all their plans too. Vodafone doesn’t have a specific no data/no calls SIM. It just spreads the data out across all your plans on the same account. They will give you a bonus 500MB of data for each additional plan you add to your account though.
There are definitely less confusing ‘extras’ to talk about when considering a prepaid deal, but still a few things worth knowing.
Firstly, you should know that both Telstra and Vodafone do a somewhat-sneaky 28 day recharge expiry window. This means that effectively you’ll be recharging 13 times in a year, so you have to factor that into costs.
Both Optus and Telstra offer prepaid data rollover, as long as you recharge before expiry. This means if you’re a light data user, you can hang onto all your extra datas for a rainy day. Just don’t let it expire.
Vodafone is also notable in that you can frequently find recharges available at Woolworths/Coles for 20% off. Interesting to know, but not totally dependable, and when a homie gotta recharge, a discount may not be there.
SIM-only Plans Notes
There are some compelling SIM only plans at the moment, notably the 10GB for $50/m from Vodafone, 5GB for $50/m from Telstra and a whopping 15GB for $80/m from Optus. They’re great because you are not locked in for 24 months. If you end up not liking the service for some reason, it’s easy to move, with no fees or penalties. They’re also available to use with data sharing. $100/m gets you 20.5GB across two plans, or $150/m for 31GB across three.
Unfortunately, these lose some of the perks of the handset contract plans. There’s no free Apple Music from Telstra, or Stan/Spotify from Vodafone. Also means you have to splash out the cost of a handset up front, which for the iPhone 6s is a fair bit of cash. You are also subject to a credit check, which for some people can pose an issue. leaving them relegated to pre-paid.
Over 24 months it’s better value to go on a handset plan, you’ll pay less overall (e.g: 64GB iPhone 6s from Optus with is $86/m with 6GB – a 4GB/m plan is $96/m if you BYO iPhone and go on a SIM only plan, or $111/m on prepaid for 6GB). But if you upgrade every year, the SIM only plans are mostly better value than pre-paid, with some edge cases depending on how much data you use (e.g: 3GB on Telstra pre-paid is $13/m cheaper than 5GB on Telstra SIM only, but if you need more than 3GB, it’s cheaper to go SIM only than pre-paid).