It used to be that the cheapest way to buy a new smartphone, especially a costly handset like the iPhone, was to pay for it outright. But with the price of phones doubling over the past couple of years, is an outright purchase still the way to go?
The truth is that you have to look at bit harder to find a money-saving SIM Only plan. Telco contracts may still seem expensive, but when your compare the cost of ownership over a couple of years, you won’t come out far ahead these days.
For example, the price of an iPhone XS 64GB spread over 24 months is just under $68 per month. Decent contract plans start from about $100 per month, so you'll need to find a SIM plan for about $30 per month or less to come out ahead. This is the sort of plan you can get at this price.
$30 SIM Only plans with the most data
There are several strong options in there, especially if you’re happy to sign a one-year contract.
But if your want more from your plan, and the price exceeds $35 per month, you lose the cost advantage and you might be better off getting a contract. You'll usually get more data included with a standard phone plan, plus other benefits like streaming video and music subscriptions, discounted broadband plans, and a better rate on overseas calling and international roaming.
iPhone XS 64GB Plans
If you’re not saving money, the real decision is whether you're happy signing a two-year commitment for the convenience of paying off the phone in instalments.
An outright purchase keeps your options open, and given how much has changed in phone plans over the last two years, it might be wise to maintain the freedom to move to a better deal when one comes along.
Joe Hanlon is Publisher at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. He’s been writing about phones and plans for far too long.