iPhone pricing: Choosing the best Optus plan

iPhone3G.jpgOptus is the first Australian iPhone vendor to reveal its full range of iPhone prices, ahead of the launch on July 11. We've analysed the plans to work out which options offer the best deals for typical users. (We'll repeat this exercise for the other carriers as their full details get released.) Click after the jump to pick the right plan for you if Optus is your chosen carrier.

One appealing feature across all Optus' contract and prepaid plans is that mobile data downloads are unlimited for the first month of use for customers who sign up before the end of August. Even after that date, prepaid customers get a similar deal with 1GB of free data to use in the first 30 days. If you use that first month to get everything set up, hopefully you won't suffer bad withdrawal symptoms subsequently. WiFi access is free at Optus' WiFi hotspots, which are reasonably extensive in capital cities but not as widespread as Telstra's.
Prepaid options. For $729, you can get an 8GB iPhone and choose from any of Optus' existing prepaid plans; the 16GB model is $849. The cheapest plan is $30 a month but includes no data; $40 includes 50MB; $50 includes 500MB; $70 includes 700MB; $100 includes 1GB. $400 credit is included. ?Unlocking the phone from the Optus network costs $80.
Contract options. For $79 a month over 24 months ($1896 minimum), you can get an 8GB iPhone for no upfront cost. The plan includes 700MB of mobile data — a generous but not massive amount. Cheaper monthly plans are available, but include lower mobile data packages and require phone repayments. The cheapest is $19 a month for services and $21 a month for the 8GB model, but only includes 100MB of mobile data. If you want the 16GB iPhone for free, you'll need at least an $89 plan.
The data prices go up rapidly after the $79 plan. The $89 plan includes 850MB of data, but to get to 1GB you'll need to pay a whopping $149 — a major disincentive for heavy data users.
The bottom line? Without prices from other carriers, it's hard to do direct comparisons yet. The data prices on offer aren't the cheapest on the market by any means — 3G broadband can be had for much less than this — but are pretty good with an included iPhone, though the lack of 1GB+ data options is a concern for active users. The free downloads until August are generous, but given that the first batch of phones are already sold out, if you're not on the list you may not get the chance to take advantage. On the whole, paying upfront and signing up for he $100 plan seems like a reasonable deal that's easy to quit if something better comes along.
Which plans do you like the look of the most? Let us know in the comments.


Comments

    not too shabby IMO

    Well the telco's are out to make a killing,
    These prices are what I would have expected a year ago for the iPhone 2G, Ridiculous!!

    I have actively been watching the iPhone pricing globally, and of course here in Australia for outright we are looking at between $200 and $300 more than elsewhere.

    On top of that our data plans are far behind the rest of the world, it's sad really we almost fall into the third world category for our data/telecommunications services.

    Tell me what is the point of faster data connections (meaning you just go through your allotment faster) if you can't really use them unless you have major excess cash to fork out?

    Great in a day and age when pages are become more and more rich media full, we are still being limited, a good medium sized page these days is around 512KB of transfer size, this page is 412KBs, so hypothetically in 2000 pages you've done a gig of browsing. A medium sized slideshow will be around 2MBs so in 500 pages your done, now iPhone Push Email, Push Calendars and I am sure there was a Push something else, Web applications, Web aligned GPS etc.. etc.. so how many days do you think 1GB will last? Even more important is how long do you think 100MB will last?

    It's a joke really, I have .mac ($149) which will soon become MobileMe.com ($119) [bear to be answered who will be pushing your Emails etc], I will be 98% of the time be relying on Wi-Fi using a Wi-Fi finder and I'll map my routes and auto connect to the free Wi-Fi that is almost everywhere, thank-you very much people for not locking your home and business Wi-Fi networks..

    If anybody wants to have a good cry I suggest you subscribe to http://www.dslreports.com/ they also have a great xml/rss feed

    DATA DATA DATA!!!! Where is our data? I think the $89 plan is the one I am going to get but 850mb of data scares me a little. Sure I have wifi in most places I spend the majority of my time but will it be enough? There really is no option for heavy data use. What about an add on pack for an extra amount of data? Less included calls and more data?

    telstra have released their prices! Will coent again with the link, I'm on the train ATM ( posting with my iPhone )

    None of the plans seem very good for making a medium amount of phone calls and just "some" browsing.

    I like my current plan which is $30pm with $140 worth-of-calls. Add $10 and give me 100mg or so and I'd be happy.

    >> given that the first batch of phones are already sold out

    What?? Where did you hear this? As someone who didn't fork out $100, this makes me sad :(

    totally freaking useless....
    does anyone have any clue how much maps.app use's in bandwidth... A HELL of alot.... forget about anything else... 850 buyout.. + 80 unlock... 930... HA.... import it for 700.... ya... great.. well done ppl... a bit of common sence... how many people do u know who'd rather pay 700 over 930.... ALOT... more then enuf to make up the less initital cash flow.. dues to quantity...
    whinge mode off

    How are we paying $200 to $300 more than elsewhere for outright? I mean, i know its older info, but...

    Vodafone Italy announces 3G iphone prepaid prices
    8 GB 3G iphone = 499 euro ($772 US)
    16 GB 3G iphone = 569 euro ($880 US)

    I use my laptop every day for all sorts of internet crap, but there's no way in hell i'm hitting 1gb on an iphone unless i'm raping music and video and the like. its perfectly fine for just some ordinary browsing, i mean come on...

    just look at canada, they're the ones getting raped, not us. we're actually pretty competitive...

    anyword on 32gb?

    What's new? I knew it was trouble when I didn't read the Telstra fine print and got stitched up $90 for a 6Mb email, like dmc I'm now wireless or nothing, mind you while people keep paying the telcos these outrageous charges they will keep making hay while the sun shines.

    These prices consider use of 3G network. WiFi is by far the faster, cheaper option. Australia really is far behind the rest of the world with regards to WiFi hotspots, and free ones at that (see airports, public areas, cafes, malls etc). I just came back from traveling and even Israel has cheaper internet and many WiFi hotspots. The public there pretty much boycotted and lobbied the government for cheaper access...and got it.
    Australians need to stop sucking from the teet and crying to demanding money go into infrastructure to connect us better to the rest of the world thus giving us cheaper access.

    Beware of the Optus pre-paid options. The only ones that offer data are those in the "Turbo cap" set and for these all credits expire after 30 days. This is not a good deal. Especially if you're an existing pre-paid customer (of any telco) who is accustomed to topping up in a frugal way and not necessarily going through all the included value in a month.

    Does anyone know if it is possible to use a first gen Iphone on the 3g plans?

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