The Cheapest Way To Buy An iPhone 6 Or iPhone 6 Plus In Australia

Buying on contract means you won't have to pay up-front for an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus — but you could actually end up paying more for the same phone, calls and data than you need to. Here's how much you can save by buying up-front and choosing the right prepaid plan — up to $450 compared to a 24-month contract.

Picture: Getty Images

We summarised every iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus contract plan available in Australia last week in our comprehensive Planhacker guide. Many consumers believe that a contract deal makes sense — not only do they save paying $869 or more for the handset, they also receive a "subsidy" over the life of the contract, and a fixed amount of call, text and data during that time. But does that actually result in a real saving?

To work out whether going on contract makes sense, we decided to compare the costs of Australia's best prepaid plans over a 24-month period owning an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus with the equivalent consumer contract plans on the same network. If you can buy a phone outright and pay for 24 months on prepaid and spend less than being on contract, then there's no sense in being locked in — and that's without factoring in the value of being able to switch networks or plans if you move or if a better offer emerges.

The prepaid plans

In this context, an equivalent plan is one which offers the same amount of data. Experience suggests that data inclusions are the most salient feature when comparing smartphone plans — very few people use all their call and text allocations on a contract, but running out of data on a phone plan is common. As such, we've aimed for the prepaid plans with the best available data allocations. (With that said, three of the prepaid plans we've chosen offer unlimited calls and texts to Australian numbers anyway.)

These are the plans we've highlighted (we discuss these in more detail in our roundup of the best prepaid plans). For Optus, we've included Amaysim (good value but only 3G) and Vaya (less generous but offers 4G). For Telstra, we've included the Beyond Talk plan with added data from your monthly recharge value; For Vodafone, we've looked at the Red SIM Only $50 plan, which is available month-to-month.

We've included two Vaya plans here (for people who want Optus 4G) because going for the maximum data in this case doesn't necessarily produce the best-value deal, as you'll see. Every one of these plans (except for the $29 Vaya plan) includes unlimited texting. We've calculated how much it would cost to stay on this plan for 24 months — adding that figure to the outright buy price for the iPhone 6/6 Plus handset will then inform our comparisons with the contract plans.

Plan Network Cost Data 2-min calls Total cost
Amaysim Optus 3G $44.90 5000 Unlimited $1077.60
Vaya Optus 4G $27.00 2500 150 $696.00
Vaya Optus 4G $44.00 3000 Unlimited $1368.00
Telstra Telstra 4G $50.00 2500 0 $1200.00
Vodafone Vodafone 4G $50.00 $0.02c/MB 0 $1200.00

The total costs

We've calculated the total cost for each prepaid plan by adding the outright buy price from Apple. You'll potentially be able to pick up the phones for less through non-Apple providers, and Kogan is currently offering them for cheaper — using the Apple price provides a worst-case comparison. We've then compared to the total cost on the nearest equivalent contract plan.

Amaysim

Amaysim's plans are very good value, and Amaysim can now handle both 3G and 4G, though Optus plans have become a little better, too.

We've compared Amaysim's Unlimited plan ($44.90 a month) with the closest equivalent Optus plan offering 6000MB of data, which costs $87 a month. That's a small difference, and it means that going with Amaysim results in some savings.

Model Cost Amaysim total Optus total Prepaid saving
iPhone 6 16GB $999.00 $2076.60 $2088.00 $11.40
iPhone 6 64GB $1149.00 $2226.60 $2232.00 $5.40
iPhone 6 128GB $1299.00 $2376.60 $2376.00 -$0.60

Vaya

Vaya offers access to Optus' 4G network, but has less generous data allocations than Amaysim. The $27 a month plan includes 2500MB of data, but doesn't offer unlimited calls. The closest plan on Optus offers 3GB per month, and costs $60 a month plus handset charges. Here's how the two compare, though keep in mind the Optus plan here offers a bit more data:

Model Cost Vaya total Optus total Prepaid saving
iPhone 6 16GB $999.00 $1695.00 $1968.00 $273.00
iPhone 6 64GB $1149.00 $1845.00 $2112.00 $267.00
iPhone 6 128GB $1299.00 $1995.00 $2256.00 $261.00

Vaya's most generous data allocation, 3000MB, costs $57 a month and includes unlimited Australian calls and texts. Optus' $80 plan also includes 3000MB of data, and in this case comes out ahead every single time — in this more direct comparison, prepaid will cost you more in the long run:

Model Cost Vaya total Optus total Prepaid saving
iPhone 6 16GB $999.00 $2367.00 $1968.00 -$399.00
iPhone 6 64GB $1149.00 $2517.00 $2112.00 -$405.00
iPhone 6 128GB $1299.00 $2667.00 $2256.00 -$411.00

If you don't need a lot of data and calls but do want 4G, Vaya is worth considering. If data matters, Amaysim looks a far better choice.

Telstra

It's hard to get a decent prepaid deal with Telstra — the best option is to use L prepaid plan. That gives you 6GB of data for $70 a month. The relevant contract plan to compare is Telstra's $95 a month L plan — that includes 7GB of data with its bonus offer of an additional 1000MB. It looks like Telstra have fixed their plans now to be cheaper overall on a contract:

Model Cost Telstra prepaid total Telstra contract total Prepaid saving
iPhone 6 16GB $999.00 $2679.00 $2112.00 $-567.00
iPhone 6 64GB $1149.00 $2829.00 $2256.00 $-573.00
iPhone 6 128GB $1299.00 $2979.00 $2448.00 $-531.00
iPhone 6 Plus 16GB $1149.00 $2829.00 $2256.00 $-573.00
iPhone 6 Plus 64GB $1299.00 $2979.00 $2448.00 $-531.00
iPhone 6 Plus 128GB $1449.00 $3129.00 $2592.00 $-537.00

That's not much savings, and given that it also involves fewer calls and texts, we're honestly not sure it's worth it if you want an iPhone 6 on the Telstra network.

Vodafone

Vodafone an example of there not being much difference between prepaid and contract options. The difference is so small, one might choose to go the prepaid route simply to not be locked into anything. However it's important to note that the prepaid plans now charge $0.02 per MB, and give nthe nature of this PAYG system, its real cost will depend entirely on you. It might be a better option if you never really watch Youtube videos or download onto your phone:

Model Cost Vodafone prepaid total Vodafone contract total Prepaid saving
iPhone 6 16GB $999.00 $2069.00 $2040.00 -$29.00
iPhone 6 64GB $1149.00 $2199.00 $2160.00 -$39.00
iPhone 6 128GB $1299.00 $2329.00 $2352.00 -$7.00
iPhone 6 Plus 16GB $1149.00 $2199.00 $2160.00 -$39.00
iPhone 6 Plus 64GB $1299.00 $2329.00 $2352.00 -$7.00
iPhone 6 Plus 128GB $1449.00 $2449.00 $2496.00 $47.00

This post has been updated to reflect pricing and plan changes.


Comments

    Boost prepaid mobile would be better than Telstra Prepaid?
    $40/m on Telstra network, with unlimited text and calls and 2.5gb of data?

      Hadn't included Boost as it's not 4G and also a fairly low data allowance. But yes, also an option to consider.

        Plus on checking, it's only 2000MB of data -- bit low to take seriously.

          Boost also charge data funny.I've got a dataman app on iPhone that says I've used say 800mbs yet boost reckons I've used 1.5 gigs.they say my apps are sucking data when not in use but a big discrepancy nonetheless.any advice? Didn't have this big a discrepancy when on Vodafone .ive heard boost charges in different increments.time to change?

          First of all, I think LifeHacker/PlanHacker is a fantastic highly beneficial website to many. Consumers/businesses no longer have time to analyse fair options in the market or try and compare apples to apples of course.
          I feel Boost should be included here given that they use the mature Telstra 3G network and 2000MB is not far off from the Vaya 2500MB (when its debatable if providers count and bill data use 100% correctly each month anyway). By the way, using a prepaid plan type is a great way to control data use each month as you never get charged extra for data usage if you used too much before the next month billing cycle!
          To a general iPhone user I wouldn't think having 4G speed instead of 3G on the Telstra network using Boostmobile.com.au would have much benefit/advantage. Telstra's 3G networks that Boost Mobile uses (and most of Boost Mobile is operated by Telstra directly - evident with their support teams being Telstra people it seems and payment gateways being Telstra Corp branded also) are pretty fast anyway and quick enough to use general apps on an iPhone and download/check your email and do a bit of googling/browsing. These days when in an office or at home, iPhone users can tap into their home/office Wi-Fi internet access so they aren't chewing up much data from their 2GB Boost Mobile plan (well, that would be wise to do!). I think Boost is the best option around in this scenario for general use and uses a great trusted network coverage (Telstra 3G) - until another no contract competitor comes along to knock them off that perch! Great well written, "beneficial to many" article none the less...as always.
          Regards,
          SmartCostSolutions.com.au

          Thanks Angus, I take it seriously, 2GB is plenty for me and most people I know. As most people I seem to talk with access wifi at home and even on the go or at work. As for the 4G comment, sorry, 3G is plenty fast enough for me and probably most/average users? being in a regional city with limited 4G access, your point is lost on thousands of other regional people too.

            Hi all! Ive been a Boost user for over a year now, They had started off as 3gb then changed to 2gb, but for the last few months they had come back to 3gb. With also bonus 1gb to use on sundays as long as you recharge with $40. Apparently they have plans to release 4g network soon as I had chatted to one of the staff online.

        You can get 4G on Boost if you can get Telstra to port your details onto a Telstra sim. I've had a few mates do this who're with boost who got an iPhone 5C or similar with a nano sim when upgrading from something with a micro sim.

      It is now 3gb per month plus an extra 1gb every sunday so up to 7gb per month

    No surprises there for us. Buying a phone outright and then going prepaid is ALWAYS cheaper. GUARANTEED!! We have done lots of research into this (on all new smartphone models) and crunch the numbers regularly. This option ALWAYS end up being cheaper.
    For the BEST VALUE prepaid mobile plans for your specific needs (based on your usage patterns), check out our 100% free report. http://spendinghacker.com.au/best-mobile-plans-in-australia/

      As this data shows, that's clearly not guaranteed -- check the Vodafone data.

        Hi Angus,

        I am Michael, the 'Chief Hacker' at Spending Hacker.

        I'd like to clarify our previous statement and demonstrate that it is indeed true.

        The key is to find the ABSOLUTE BEST value plan based on each individual's usage patterns as well as the ABSOLUTE BEST outright price for your chosen smartphone.

        You pointed out that the official apple pricing is far from being the absolute best and much better deals will likely emerge shortly after the official launch. I totally agree.

        It is also important to factor in the 'opportunity cost' of being locked into a plan that could no longer be the absolute best value or having to keep paying off a phone that has either been lost or no longer works due to so called 'negligence' (such as breaking the screen) which is not covered under warranty and/or insurance.

        With regards to the pricing variations, I am happy to demonstrate our reasoning and PROVE that buying outright and going prepaid ALWAYS wins:

        The Spintel plans offer access to the Optus 4G network. While not technically prepaid, they are all month-by-month with no fixed contract.
        For $36 a month, you get unlimited calls and text and 2.5GB of data (including 4G where the Optus 4G network is available).
        If you don't need that many calls and texts, you will pay even less per month! For example, if you can manage with only 50 minutes of calls and 50 texts per month, you will only pay $24. If you want unlimited text, you can get that for $30 a month with the same amount of included data and calls.

        If 2.5GB of included data is not enough, you can get more at $10 per GB. If you lower your included amount of calls and text (because you no longer need as much as you mainly use apps for communication), you can actually maintain the same overall cost while having more data.
        For example: get 50 minutes of calls, 50 texts and 3.5GB of included data for $34.

        Assuming we work on the 'base' unlimited plan, here are the numbers:
        $36 X 24 months + outright cost of iphone 6 = $864 + $869 = $1,733

        No carrier can offer at present a 24 month contract plan for the iphone 6 that can match that overall cost.

        Finally, the new "My Prepaid Daily" plan from Optus caters for those who don't use their phone each and every single day (e.g. only receive calls and texts and use wifi at home or work on certain days). People with these usage patterns can save a significant amount of money buying outright and going with this plan as opposed to going on a 24 month contract.

        Hope that clarifies things a bit from our end. Keep up the good work :)

        Last edited 16/09/14 12:51 pm

          Spintel just got formally warned by ACMA, so I'm not sure it represents a good value choice for anyone, quite frankly. And none of that eliminates the fact that if Vodafone is your best choice of network for reception reasons, prepaid does not pay off.

      *this is not a guarantee #spendinghacker #cantreadsimpledata

      I have to agree with this guy.

      I've bought iPhones outright since the iPhone 4, and sell my old one. I'm also still rocking Woolworths Mobile PrePaid (Optus now of course) and pay $26/45 Days for 5GB of data, and I don't know how many calls/texts I get, but I've never exceeded the limit. I'm very happy.

      Last edited 24/10/14 5:04 pm

      Sorry but I just can't take someone seriously when their comment includes the words "100% free report" followed by a URL they are obviously associated with.

    Hey 'Spending Hacker' - how come your profiles in your 'about us' section read like something on an MLM scheme site ? Is 'spending hacker' going to metamorphose into one of those, are you simply following the cookie-cutter templates for self-congratulatory content creation where EVERY blogger from this school is invariably an 'entrepreneur' who 'travels the world blogging' or similar ?

    Last edited 15/09/14 9:54 am

    Hey spending hacker.why would do I have to share on Facebook to read your data.your data could be shit and I've just annoyed all of my friends.

      I did it via my junk facebook account (you can also just make the post private so it doesnt bother anyone), i was prompted to enter my email address which i did and i was supposedly subscribed to some crap list of theirs and still didn't get the PDF, so its getting a high rating on my 'scamdar'.

        Terribly sorry to hear that you got a negative perception of our site Tim.

        Let me assure you we are totally fair dinkum and not out to scam anybody.

        When you clicked the blue Facebook share button and shared on Facebook, it should have changed into green and when you click on it then, the report is shown immediately. I just double checked it and it's all working fine and as described above.

        You are not required to provide your email or any other personal details in order to access any of our reports. The only thing we ask is a Facebook share and this is only so that more people are able to access our reports which we think are top notch in each of their categories.
        We spent countless of hours researching each of them and provide our research for free and with no strings attached because we genuinely want to help our fellow Aussies and help put an end to the blatant rip-off which is happening in this country in pretty much all areas of consumer life.

        http://spendinghacker.com.au/about/

        Sorry again if you got the wrong impression from us.

        Cheers,
        Michael Ginsburg
        Co-founder and 'Chief Hacker'

    Wouldn't this apply to any other make ?There are new smartphones being introduced just about every week, yet the media get very giddy at the introduction of any apple product.

    Iphone is $2 on $80 plan with Optus which currently includes 5GB of data - $532 cheaper than you listed, plus when you take into account that early upgrades happen 3-6 months before the end of your contract, it works out significantly cheaper than amaysim.

      This is the plan I chose and commented on this article over on Giz - from my research it was one of the best value ways to purchase, hands down, thanks to the generous data offer (5GB + Unlimited sms/mms/calls)

    When Virgin has the iPhone 6 Plus 128GB back in stock (hopefully before mid-Oct), I will order it, with 2GB bonus data. $30 plan +$40 phone = $70 per month would be enough.

    The biggest saving to be had is picking up an S5 or G3 and saving $500.

      We totally agree cyberpunk. The obsession for getting the ultimate latest and greatest is an un-winnable race when it comes to technology.
      The best strategy that we recommend to all our readers is to get a 12 month old model as a prepaid unit (which means it is heavily subsidized) and then have the network locking removed either through a 3rd party or even sometimes through the carrier directly (Vodafone sometimes provides unlock codes for free).

      For example, this deal from a few months back was an absolute steal for a 4G capable phone. Many of our readers were able to unlock the phone for free through Vodafone and those that didn't were able to get the unlock code for $5.

      http://spendinghacker.com.au/cheapest-4g-smartphone/

      Last edited 16/09/14 4:51 pm

    I would advise severe caution when considering Vaya or other Post-paid MB billing providers.
    Vaya bills sessions by the megabyte. This means that at the end of every session your data is rounded UP to the nearest megabyte. So if you send a 10 kilo-byte sized iMessage and then terminate your session, your data will be rounded up 10-fold to a megabyte. That would be a worst-case scenario but users have reported an average 103% increase in data consumption.

    See here: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2216943

    After reading their (vaya, amaysim) critical info, I found that they count per MB....A bit worrying for me as I'm an data-holic

    Thanks for your analysis and comparison, I did my own about 18 months ago and decided to go that way. I've been using Amaysim ever since and am very happy with their service-it is so simple and the peace of mind knowing that my set monthly fee won't increase (due to over usage fees) is invaluable. I'd like to know more about affordable phones as alternatives to the big dollar ones (such as iPhones) as their initial outlay cost is taking them beyond my budget.

    reading all these penny pinching posts is very frustrating. yes you can save money and go with a poor carrier that will have dead spots, the 3g and 4g will drop in an out. but good on you , youve saved $4 per month. if you want any item to work properly and want the best. you have to pay for it.

    Right now on optus they have a deal 16gb 5gb unlimited for $80. until November 2nd

    Such great information - thank you so much! I'm wondering if looking at buying a new phone outright - is there any places to shop around for iPhone 6Plus cheaper than the apple store?

      https://www.kogan.com/au/shop/?keywords=apple+iphone+6+plus

    128gb iPhone 6 $132/month - unlimited calls & txt 7gb/month on 12mth contract total $1584

    Nice Article, I was having problems in deciding which one to go with, just finalized iPhone, and for transfer of pics,videos,contacts,calenders from my old android phone I am going with SmartIO App, you should also try it when you opting to transfer content from old phone to new iPhone 6.

    alicia78, Does SmartIO also let you transfer sms history and call logs? Those are things I want to take with me from my old Android phone to my new iPhone 6, as soon as the Otterbox Resurgence case I bought from HK arrives.

    Im using a month to month $30 plan with iinet, 2GB of data, unlimited sms and $500 worth of calls using the optus network and the 4G is actually really good. The data is doubled if you have a broadband account with them. you can check you usage anytime with their app, i must say it works very well and its way cheaper than my last plan. If you want to migrate from Android to iOS there is an app which I have used several times that work great called "Move to iOS" available on the google store.

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