Getting or Got an iPhone for Christmas ? – Best SIM Only plans for you

iphone christmas

Introduction – summarising what’s on this page

  • For those who bought an iPhone (or were lucky enough to be given one) this Christmas, it might be time to find a SIM you can insert.
  • Below, we tell you the key things you should think about when you’re picking a plan for your new iPhone.
  • We explain the reasons behind the recommendations we have made below.
  • We show you options that you have on each phone network: We provide SIM recommendations with and without extras. We also ensure that what we show you has the flexibility you need from a modern phone plan.
  • And, finally, we show you where you can get more information to assist in your search if you need it.

iPhones at Christmas time

Picking the (i)Phone is the easy part. You know they’re going to love it. With phones (and iPhones) unlike most Christmas presents, however, there is a need for an ongoing service charge in order to use the gift you’ve been given. For people who don’t follow the SIM Only market, choosing the right plan can be a difficult nut to crack.

A lot changed in 2016. Phone companies now offer free streamed audio content on some of their plans. Optus provide access to the EPL (English Premier League) and other streamed video as part of their plans. There are a bunch of new SIM providers vying for your money, too.

Pick the wrong plan and you could be lumbered with something you hate until the next Yule tide. What a waste of an iPhone. Don’t get stuck, consider these things before you sign up.

The key thing you need to be aware of is data

It’s almost certain that you were given a 4G iPhone if you got it this Christmas. 4G data speeds are superfast. Your YouTube clip will load fast, the map will update quickly. Your Facetime session should be stutter-less Voice minutes, SMS and MMS are almost always ‘thrown in’ on top of data, in a SIM plan, these days. That’s true even on very low spend plans. The result is that data should be your key consideration. That’s not to say it’s all you should be thinking about, however.

  • The 4G networks from the major phone companies are on a par:
    The networks are about equal with each other where most people live and work. Telstra’s 4G network now covers 88.06% of the time  Optus’ covers 96.6% of the Australian population  Even Vodafone’s covers 95.3%  Most people end up paying way more than they need to for a plan. They often sign up with Telstra and, when it comes to 4G data coverage, there’s no need to. As we’ve seen from the statistics, only a tiny proportion of people will benefit from going with Telstra these dats.
  • The newer your iPhone is, the more data you will use:
    Statistics from Cisco and others shows that cellular data usage on mobile phones is doubling every year. Faster iPhones have newer processors which bring data down more data from the network more quickly than you might expect.
  • The bigger your iPhone is, the more data you will use:
    Research also shows that the bigger the screen on the phone, the more likely you are to use it. The recent iPhone ‘Plus’ series has accentuated this trend. In fact, video content makes up 75% of telco revenues these days and an even higher proportion of their network load.
  • Video entertainment offerings and zero rating:
    One of the major changes to phone plans (including phone plans for iPhones) is the inclusion of Entertainment Bundles as part of your phone plan. So long as you follow the rules (and they’re not unreasonably stringent) you’ll be able to watch sport and on some plans, TV shoes and films from providers like Netflix. These ‘zero rated’ inclusions are mostly associated with postpaid plans and higher spend levels at the moment.
  • Streamed audio entertainment options:
    Streamed Audio has also made its way in to the mainstream this year. We’ve included plans below which have access to this facility in case you want to use your iPhone for Spotify or another streamed audio service. These streamed audio facilities are mostly associated with prepaid plans from the major phone companies at the moment.
  • Best value data options:
    The presence of all these extras in your iPhone plan raises an obvious question. What if you don’t want them – and you don’t want to pay for them ? In this event, you might like to consider phone plans from one of Australia’s smaller phone companies. These have none of the bells and whistles ( like streamed audio or video ) that you’ll get with bigger phone companies but then, you don’t want those.

The SIM Only and prepaid plans we recommend for iPhone users

This year, we have a range of SIM Only plans here which will suit your needs as an iPhone user. We have deliberately chosen plans:

  • From phone companies big and small:
    We have plans from Optus, representing the top end of town. We also have plans from smaller phone companies which service more niche customer needs.
  • A range of data allowances:
    We’ve also included options for you whatever your data usage requirements. Establishing how much data you need is not always easy. With this range, whatever your data need, you’ll find a plan to suit.
  • Plans you can move up / down on:
    Each of these plans comes with an enormous level of flexibility. If you take them up, you will be able to move to a new plan at the end of the month. Now you’ve bought your iPhone outright  you can move whenever you want.

The deals specifically

  • Kogan:
    Multiple month deals. Kogan Mobile relaunched their prepaid Australian phone plans in mid 2016 and since then have been one of the top phone companies we feature on our site. You can find out more about this phone company in our full Kogan Mobile review.
  • Boost Mobile:
    One of the best known brands that use the Telstra Mobile network. We recommend Boost Mobile’s plans for iPhone users for reasons which are not dissimilar to what made us choose Kogan. Boost’s unique selling point is that they offer more data on the weekend. You can check out more in our full Boost Mobile review.
  • OVO Mobile:
    A relatively new phone company, OVO, incredibly, offer the best of both worlds. They have the best prepaid data pricing we’ve found on the Optus 3G + 4G networks. They also offer included unlimited Drag Racing and Australian Gymnastics videos as part of their plan. Read more about OVO mobile in our OVO mobile review.
  • Optus:
    If you use an incredible amount of data, we recommend Optus $2 days. There’s no more innovative and generous plan in market. You’ll also get free streamed audio on this plan.


Summing up the best Christmas iPhone plans

If you want the best value from a SIM Only or prepaid plan, your decision is not a one off event. Data pricing is falling 50% per year. Our advice is to commit to check and change your plan, especially when it comes to data, once every few months.

If you’d like more specific information on the plans that are right for your phone, we have dedicated pages for the iPhone 7  (plus it’s variants) and iPhone 6 (plus its variants).


Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.