Pre-orders for Apple’s new 4in iPhone SE are now open. This titchy addition to the iPhone family is arguably going to be one of the most hotly-anticipated Apple products yet, as it not only combines all the power of the iPhone 6S into a tiny 4in chassis, but it’s also going to be the cheapest iPhone you can buy.
If all this sounds right up your street, then you’ll probably want to put in a pre-order for the iPhone SE before it goes on sale on the 31st March. To help you make the right choice, we’ve taken a look at all the major networks who currently have pre-orders open to find the best deals currently available. Three and O2 have yet to announce theircontract pricing, but I’ll update this article as soon as that information becomes available.
As you’re buying a high-end handset, we’ve assumed that you want a hefty contract to go with it, particularly when it comes to data. As such, we’ve narrowed our search to contracts with at least 2GB of data or more, as we’re expecting you’re going to be using your phone a lot.
All the deals here are for the standard 16GB iPhone SE and are two-year contracts. We’ll also tell you both the monthly and total cost of ownership (TCO) over the contract. Our current favourite deals are with iD Mobile and giffgaff.
Vodafone has a variety of deals available for the iPhone SE, but its cheapest 2GB deal costs £34-per-month with an upfront cost of £9. This takes the TCO to £825 and is one of Vodafone’s Red deals, which means you also get unlimited texts and minutes.
If you want one of Vodafone’s Red Value deals, which also gets you a free six-month subscription to Netflix, NOW TV, Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV, you’ll have to pay £39-per-month with an upfront cost of £9. This gets you 4GB of data as well as unlimited texts and minutes, taking the TCO to £945.
EE isn’t offering a 2GB plan for the iPhone SE, so you’ll either have to settle for 1GB of data, which simply costs £29.99-per-month and brings TCO to £720, or opt for EE’s 4GB package. This costs £34.99-per-month and once again has no upfront cost, taking the TCO to £840. Either way, both contracts include EE’s inclusive EU roaming calls and texts deal as well as double speed 4G.
If those plans sound a little high, then why not give giffgaff a go? The 16GB SE will be available for £359 upfront, which you can then add a monthly £12-per-month 2GB data goody bag to, taking TCO to £647. Alternatively, you can also pay for the phone in monthly instalments for £17.81-per-month, which comes to £427.44 over the course of two years, but you’ll still need to pay for a goody bag on top of this, which brings TCO to £715.44. Either way, both still work out cheaper than any of EE or Vodafone’s deals.
However, giffgaff’s option face some stiff competition from Carphone Warehouse, which has a huge variety of details available on the SE. The best is easily its £26-per-month deal with an upfront cost of £60. This gets you 3GB of data, unlimited calls and texts, and only comes out as £684 over the course of two years.
The next best deal is one of its 2GB plans, which costs £30-per-month and has an upfront cost of £30. This means you’ll be paying £750 in total, which is marginally better than another 2GB data deal that only sees you pay £31.50-per-month, as this one’s TCO comes out as £756.
That might make Carphone Warehouse the clear winner, but if you like going abroad a lot, then you might want to consider opting for iD Mobile, which is a network tied to Carphone Warehouse. This currently has two deals available, and both of them let you roam for free in 29 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the USA.
The cheapest is £27.50-per-month, and this gets you 2GB of data, 5,000 texts and 600 minutes, taking TCO to just £660. The other gives you 4GB of data, 1,200 minutes and 5,000 texts and costs £31.50-per-month, taking TCO to £756.
As a result, iD Mobile has the best contract deal currently available, but if you can afford to pay for the phone upfront, then giffgaff is your next best option.