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Hold the handset! Don't buy a new iPhone 7 until you find out this trick to save £100's

14 September 2016

Gocompare.com reveals the most cost-effective way of bagging the latest must-have handset from a top network provider, saving customers up to £442

  • Cheapest deal over 24 months is £911 from Virgin Media
  • Difference between best and worst deal a staggering £442.75
  • Customers would save £213 on average by buying the handset separately

Ahead of the launch of the latest must-have phone from tech giant Apple this Friday, Gocompare.com Money has compared providers to help customers find the cheapest deal for them. After scouring providers and tariffs, the comparison site found the most cost effective way of purchasing the flagship phone.

The study found that the cheapest combination for people to get their hands on the iPhone 7 plus on a major network (with the specified criteria below), would be to buy the phone directly from Apple at a cost of £719 and then take out a SIM only tariff with Virgin Media.

With Virgin Media’s SIM only plan, customers can get 1GB of data, 1,000 minutes and unlimited texts for £8 per month on a 30 day rolling contract, a total cost over 24 months of £192. By purchasing the phone from Apple at £719, this means the total cost of both the handset and tariff would be £911.

By doing this instead of taking out a comparable 24 month tariff with Virgin Media which included the phone, customers would save £193. When compared to the most expensive comparable tariff found, customers would save a staggering £442.75.

For customers who want more minutes or data, Three’s ‘Essential Plan’ offers unlimited calls and texts along with 4GB of data for £9 a month (a 12 month contract). This means the total cost of the tariff over 24 months would be £216. With the cost of the phone, customers would pay a total of just £935 over 24 months – a saving of £294 against financing the phone on the same tariff with the provider.

The comparison site found that purchasing the phone as part of a contract with a provider was consistently the most expensive way of obtaining the new Apple product, with networks charging customers a premium to spread the cost of the handset as part of their monthly deal. On average customers would save £213 by buying the phone separately.

Tariff comparison tables

Tariffs which include the handset as part of the deal

Provider

Upfront cost

Tariff cost per month

Tariff details

Total over 24 months

Vodaphone

£250

£42

1GB data, unlimited calls & texts

£1,258

EE

£129.99

£50.99

2GB data, unlimited calls & texts

£1,353.75

O2

£189.99

£43

1 GB data, unlimited calls & texts

£1,221.99

Virgin Media

£0

£46

1GB data, unlimited calls & texts

£1,104

Three

£149

£45

4GB** data, unlimited calls & texts

£1,229



SIM only tariffs

Provider

Phone cost (from Apple)

Tariff cost per month

Tariff details

Total over 24 months

Saving vs pay monthly

Vodaphone

£719

£15

1GB data, 1000 min & unlimited texts

£1,079

£179

EE

£719

£17.99

2GB data, unlimited calls &  unlimited texts

£1,150.76

£202.99

O2

£719

£12.75

1 GB data, 1000 min  &  unlimited texts

£1,025

£196.99

Virgin Media

£719

£8

1GB data, 1000 min &  unlimited texts

£911

£193

Three

£719

£9

4GB** data, unlimited calls & texts

£935

£294



Comparison criteria can be found in the notes to editors section of this release.

Matt Sanders, head of money at Gocompare.com, said: “With phones getting increasingly expensive, it’s time for consumers to reconsider how to finance their purchases. Our study found that getting your handset as part of a pay monthly deal with a phone provider was routinely the most expensive way to get a new handset, and it’s shocking that customers are overpaying by as much as £213 on average.

“Not everyone can afford to buy a phone upfront and therefore the ability to spread the cost over time can be appealing to many, but there are other ways of doing this. For instance, there are a wide range of purchase credit cards available at the moment, which charge 0% interest on balances for up to 26 months. By purchasing your phone with one of these you could structure your own repayment schedule without paying extra for the privilege.

“Financing your new purchase through one of the many 0% credit cards on the market could save you £213 versus going through a phone provider, so it’s well worth getting online and shopping around for one that’s right for you. Remember though, any balance you have left on the card at the end of the 0% period will incur interest, so it’s important to pay off your balance in full before that time.”

See Gocompare.com's guide for more information on 0% credit cards.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

Comparison criteria

  • Gocompare.com looked at the five major UK networks; O2, EE, Vodaphone, Virgin Media and Three.
  • The tariff chosen would be the cheapest monthly cost available for a 32GB iPhone 7 plus that had a minimum of 1GB of data along with unlimited texts and minutes
  • *2GB was the minimum tariff offered on the iPhone 7 plus from EE
  • **In the case of Three, its 4GB tariff offered comes at the same cost as its 1GB tariff. As a result the larger data tariff is presented in the table
  • SIM only tariff chosen would be the closest possible match its counterpart. Any differences are stated.
  • Cost spread over 24 months, even if the sim only tariff has a shorter contract period.
  • All costs are taken from each provider’s website, exclusive deals etc have not been taken into consideration.
  • Retail cost of the iPhone 7 plus (£719) is taken from the official Apple website.
  • Information is correct as of the 14/09/2016.