Best Australian iPhone 3GS Deals

iphone3gsby4 Everyone's prices are out there and the phone is on sale, so what are the best deals for the Apple 3GS? Here's Lifehacker's picks.

In Australia, iPhone enthusiasts are relatively spoiled, because there are a range of networks selling the iPhone and a wide variety of plans. In many markets, there's a single company offering Apple's iconic phone, so the choice is limited to "Do I want one?"

In Australia, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are all selling the phone, and 3 will offer it in July. (It also seems reasonable to assume that Optus subsidiary Virgin, which sells the original 3G, will offer its own plans at some point.)

Your own individual usage of the iPhone will vary heavily, so it's impossible to make a blanket recommendation of a single plan that will suit everyone. If you're an existing iPhone 3G owner (and aren't content simply to upgrade the OS), you'll also need to look at what upgrade options your carrier will offer. These seem to vary even with customers using the same provider, so if that's you, get on the phone or head into a store and haggle.

Plan pricing for the 3GS isn't remarkably different to that for the existing 3G, and the older model has become cheaper to reflect the appearance of its new sibling. If you're not fussed about storage, the 8GB 3G is a good bargain deal right now.

Also bear in mind that the iPhone won't work any miracles in the reception department. If you live in an area where a particular telco has poor or non-existent signal, you need to cross them off the list no matter how appealing a particular deal might sound.

With that said, here's some of the options that stand out for particular use cases of the 3GS.

Best deal on a 24-month contract: Vodafone's $69 deal for the 16GB model offers 1GB of data and $400 of calls. On launch day, Optus announced a $10 rebate on its $79 plan which means it offers more calls and texts — but the fact you'll still have to pay the tethering charge makes it a pricier deal unless you really just want the iPhone to be a phone.

Best deal on a 12-month contract: Optus was originally the only provider offering a 12-month contract, but Vodafone has also added that option, albeit with high handset charges. hard to pick here, though again tethering would be an issue for Optus users.

Best deal for an outright buy: If you can get to an Apple store, then its apparent prices of $879 for the 16GB model or $1040 for the 32GB will be hard to beat.

Best telco for tethering: Vodafone is the best option if tethering is a feature you want to use regularly as (opposed to occasionally) — Optus' tethering charge puts it out of contention and Telstra's data allowance is way too stingy.

What criteria have you used when choosing a plan? Share your approach in the comments.


    Is Optus still offering a 12 month contract option? The URL that had that data yesterday now responds with a page not found error. Check iPhone pricing on Optus now and you only see 24 month plans. Unclear about whether there's still an Optus tether tax from new page.

      Yes they are still offering the 12 month contracts, even though they removed it from the main page of the website.

      I went in this morning, and got the 12 month x $19 cap, and paid it out on the spot without any problems.

        Hi Garth Stone,

        Is there any reason to choose 19$ plan while paying for handset instead of higher plan (and pay less or free for handphone)?.

      There are two great 8GB iPhone deals are there in the Australian market. 3 Mobile and Vodafone are offering FREE iPhones with their 24 months contracts. For details about the offers you can visit the following link:

    Vodafone are actually offering 12 month contracts on their $69, $79 and $99 pm plans. See

      i just like to let you all know that vodafone is about to end their deal on $114 unlimited calls and texts and 2gb data at end of august so if you want to get in you better hurry. 24mth contracts come with 32g iphone.

    Virgin do have their plans up at

    They have the same plans as when the 3G was released, but this time the phone cost is a bit more.

    The $70 24-month plan gives you $520 credit & 1GB of data, and you pay an extra $8 a month for the 16GB 3GS, or $15/month for the 32GB.

    The $100 24-month plan is $520 credit & 5GB of data, with the same phone payment costs.

    How does Vodafone's 3G network compare with Optus'?

    I was considering getting the iPhone on an Optus plan, but Vodafone's pricing seems more appealing...

    Yes Optus are still doing a 12 month contract option, but you need to go in store. I just signed up for one this morning.

    Of course, they'd rather lock you in for two years.

    Why does Optus have 1.5Gb of data on the $99 plan but if you pick the $119 plan you only get 1Gb?

      Yeah I saw that to and it didn't seem right that for paying $20 more you are getting the same value but you get 500mb less internet use? There must be a type somewhere there.

    "In Australia, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are all selling the phone, and 3 will offer it in July."

    Just to clarify, 3 would start selling the 3GS or just the 3G itself considering that they had never had iphone in their mobile phone range.

    Bad luck if telstra is your only option.

    Optus is attractive but Telstra has the coverage as usual.

    Vodafone are offering existing 3G customers a decent upgrade option: details here:

      But I prefer Tesco iPhone Deals on 12-months having free iPhone handset......... for more info you can visit here:

    The Optus $79 cap for $69 with a free iPhone 3GS is a good deal, but it is a better deal if you buy it online and get three months free. Averaged over 24 months, this brings the monthly price down to $60.375.

      Hi Tim U

      Your deal seems good - do you know if its still valid. I had a look online and couldnt see it.


    Optus have 'Yes' iPhone plans, not Caps plans. If you are thinking of buying the iPhone 3GS outright you are better off going for say the $39 'Yes' iPhone plan over 12 months with a handset repayment of $49 per month. Pay off the handset fee up front, and have a 12 month contract where you get $34 call credits, 500Meg data and you can choose the option of having 5 Optus numbers to call free for up to 5 mins 24/7. This equates to $588 upfront & 500Meg data.
    You wont find anything about this on their web site but you can ask at an Optus shop or at Telechoice stores.
    There are also $19, $29, $49, $59 etc 'Yes' iPhone plans and the handset repayments & data vary but I recon the $39 plan is the best for an average user. Certainly beats going for a $19 Cap plan with a huge handset payment over 12 months.

      Hello. Wondering if anyone knows the best plans/prepaid for someone who doesnt need a phone. Ie Ive already bout and paid for the phone on an overseas contract - now all I need to do is find the best deal to provide voice and 3g in Australia.

      Any thoughts appreciated

    Why do I have to pay such a price for buy this phone in Australia. iPhone 3GS 16GB sells for 199 USD in America and the same product I have to pay 879 AUD. It doesn't make sense!

      LOL Kaushik. the $879 AUD is for the phone outright, (even though i have seen them go on ebay for 600) the $199 USD is an upfront payment, you then pay a minimum $30 per month for 24 months and the phone is locked to the AT&T American network. so all up to buy this in USD it would cost a minimum of $919 and thats not including the cost to have it unlocked! hope this helps! :)

    I have a question - can someone directly go into an Apple store in Australia and buy the iPhone 3Gs factory unlocked for 879 A$ without having to be an Aussie resident? I'd like to use the phone in Dubai. Your replies will b highly appreciated

    Wanting to buy if 32gb for my Son, to me the data plans are the main selling point. How much data will a 500mb,1Gb etc take to complete, on average for a 14 y.o. Obvious will not down load movies via the phone.

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