Top iPhone 8/8S and iPhone X
SIM Only plans

All the plans on this page are designed for the iPhone 8/8S and iPhone X
  • Save 25% buying your iPhone outright + SIM
  • We show you how, below.
  • The best value plans for the iPhone 8/8S and iPhone X in Oz
  • Low, Medium and High voice and data options

Top iPhone 8/8S and iPhone X SIM plans in Australia

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Common questions about iPhone 8/8S and iPhone X plans

How can I save 25% on my iPhone over 2 years

We’ve done the maths, and you can save up to 25% over 2 years in 2 easy steps.

First, buy your iPhone outright from Mobileciti.

Second, add a SIM from one of our recommended range. In many cases, the network you’ll get is the same, and the customer service might even be better with our preferred providers.

Over 2 years, you’ll save up to 25%. And remember, if you avoid contracts, you’ll be given more data over time, and you’re free to change phone companies whenever you want to.

What sort of SIM does the iPhone 8 take ?

The iPhone 8 takes a Nano SIM. Nano SIMs are the smallest SIMs on the market at the moment. The nano SIM was actually designed by Apple. Its size means they can insert more components into the chassis of the phone – which is one reason why the iPhone 8 has more functionality than it’s predecessors.

Do I need to unlock my iPhone 8 to add a SIM Only plan ?

Whether or not you need to unlock your iPhone 8 to add a SIM Only plan to it depends on whether you bought it under contract. If you signed up to a 24-month contract with Optus, Telstra, Vodafone or Virgin Mobile then, yes, the chances are that you’re going to need to have the phone unlocked from the carrier you bought it from. You can find out more about unlocking, why it’s done, and how you can go about freeing yourself, here.

Can I use a prepaid SIM Only plan with my iPhone ?

Yes you can. We have prepaid recommendations on this page from a number of phone companies. Boost Mobile offer a prepaid service on the Telstra network with data inclusions which should be sufficient for most iPhone customers.

Are all iPhone 8 SIM Only plans month to month only ?

Almost all SIM Only plans are month to month agreements. These can be prepaid or postpaid in nature. Telstra is the only phone company to offer a 12-month SIM Only contract. Investing in one will save you around $10 per month on the cost of a month to month SIM Only agreement with the same company

Review and comparison of Australian iPhone plans

What's good

  • Save up to 25% on your iPhone bill - we show how, below
  • Great value SIM Only for your iPhone 8/8S and iPhone X
  • Smaller phone companies offer the best deals
  • Cheaper access to Vodafone, Telstra and Optus networks

What's bad

  • Avoid iPhone contracts
  • Make sure you choose the right SIM - Nano or Combi

What to consider when you’re buying an iPhone 8 / 8 Plus or iPhone X

Quick Summary

  • We think most people could save up to 25% of the total cost, over the life of the device.
    • We show our calculations for that, below.
    • We also outline the additional benefits you’ll get if you buy outright and add a SIM.
  • Taking a SIM Only or prepaid plan gives you flexibility, too, beyond just the financial advantages of avoiding a contract.
  • The 4G population coverage that’s available in Australia is now very similar, whichever network you choose.
    • Telstra still has a substantial 3G coverage footprint advantage.
  • We recommend phone plans for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus which have at least 5 GB of data.
    • Data is by far the most important element of your iPhone plan now.
    • You might like to consider that you have more options available to you, for a SIM plan than most people realise.
  • Bigger, newer iPhones typically use a great deal more data than their predecessors.
    • Below, we discuss some features of the iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X
    • We consider the impact they are likely to have on the amount of data you use.
  • Remember, too, that your data usage will grow over the course of your agreement with your phone company.
  • If you can afford to buy one of these devices yourself, outright, you are likely to save yourself some money

How to save up to 25% on the cost of your iPhone over 2 years

As you will see, below, the majority of iPhone users are buying their iPhone themselves, outright, from phone retailers like Mobileciti and adding a SIM themselves. Our calculations show the clear reasons for this. Users can save up to 25% over 2 years this way. Done correctly, the list of benefits is huge. Buying the iPhone handset outright like this and adding a SIM means you can  get better customer service, the same network coverage and speed as if you’d bought your phone under contract from the major phone companies, more data over the life of your iPhone and have the flexibility to change provider whenever you want.

In these examples, we are only comparing the voice, SMS and data inclusions in plans.

Here’s an example.

Why Buy an iPhone 8 Outright from Mobileciti
+ a SIM from a small phone company

Noah

Went with Telstra contract


  • iPhone 8 64GB

  • 24 months contract on Telstra x $101.00

    $2,424.00

  • (= Unlimited Oz Talk & Text + 5GB)

Minimum Total Cost 2,424.00

On Telstra network

Amelia

Found a deal on WhatPhone


  • Bought an iPhone 8 64GB from Mobileciti

    $1,059.00

  • $30.00 per month on Belong Mobile
    (month to month)

    $720.00

  • ( = Unlimited Oz Talk & Text + 5GB  )

Minimum Total Cost 1,779.00

On Telstra network

By finding a reseller deal on WhatPhone and buying her phone outright from Mobileciti, Amelia makes a

27%

saving

Explaining the example above:
Belong Mobile is a phone company which resells the Telstra Mobile Network. Like Boost Mobile, Belong are actually a part of the Telstra company. As you can see, by tying together a deal yourself, with a phone from Mobileciti and a SIM from Belong, you get the same data allowance and save more than 25% over the 24 months you would have been paying for your contract.

 

Why Buy an iPhone 8 Outright from Mobileciti
+ a SIM from a small phone company

Oliver

Went with Vodafone contract


  • iPhone 8 64GB

  • 24 months contract on Vodafone x $84.95

    $2,038.00

  • (= Unlimited Oz Talk & Text + 6GB)

Minimum Total Cost 2,038.80

On Vodafone network

Olivia

Found a deal on WhatPhone


  • Bought an iPhone 8 64GB from Mobileciti

    $1,059

  • $29.90 per month on Kogan Mobile
    (month to month)

    $717.60

  • ( = Unlimited Oz Talk & Text + 6GB  )

Minimum Total Cost $1,915.60

On Vodafone network

By finding a reseller deal on WhatPhone and buying her phone outright from Mobileciti, Olivia makes a

13%

saving

 

Explaining the example above: 
Above, instead of taking an iPhone under contract from Vodafone, this user buys the phone from mobileciti and takes a SIM from Kogan. They save hundreds of dollars over the course of their contract.

Other reasons why you should buy your iPhone outright and add a SIM

This is a quick summary. We offer more detail on each of these points, including unique insights into the behavior of Australian iPhone users which support our findings, which have come out of our recent Australian iPhone user survey.

  • Better customer service:
    In many cases, the smaller phone companies we recommend have customer service levels which exceed those of the major phone companies. You can see just one independent customer satisfaction survey here.
  • The same network coverage and speed:
    The SIM Only and Prepaid Plans we have recommended as alternatives to the Vodafone and Telstra contracts that many consider often use exactly the same networks as you would get if you went direct. For example, Kogan Mobile and Lebara mobile use exactly the same Vodafone 3G and 4G network that Vodafone’s own customers use. Kogan and Lebara are network resellers and their users get exactly the same coverage and priority that Vodafone’s own customers do.
  • More data over the life of your plan:
    When you’re in a contract, your data allocation is locked for the 2 years you’re signed up. When you’re on a month to month or prepaid plan, the phone companies will make more data available to you as time goes by. You may not realise it, but the amount of data you’re using is rising at about 70% per year. Those locked into contracts are often charged ‘overage’ fees, that’s industry talk for more money for the data you end up buying on top of what you’re given in your plan.
  • More flexibility – to move plans or providers when you want to:
    Taking a SIM Only deal allows you to change plans and even providers when you want to. If you decide that Belong’s plan is no longer competitive after a year, you can move to a different phone company. When you’re under contract, you’re trapped and can’t do that, without incurring a hefty cancellation fee. You can also sell your phone and cancel your plan whenever you want to if you’re not under contract.
  • Keep your phone longer: 
    As we show on this page, the length of time people are holding on to their iPhone is increasing. Recently, instead of upgrading their phone every 24 months, iPhone users have decided to hold on to their current device longer. When you do this under a SIM Only agreement (as opposed to a contract), the monthly cost for service is separated from the cost of your device. The Telcos can often take advantage of the confusion with contracted plans, by continuing to charge the same monthly fee even after you’ve paid your handset off after 2 years, and the handset is yours. SIM only plans allow you to keep the cost of the plan low the whole time.

Here's a quick summary of the anatomy of an Australian iPhone user, based on our recent WhatPhone survey.

Our infographic shows the typical traits of an Australian iPhone user.

September 2017 iPhone Survey

WhatPhone studied 500 Australian phone users. We have collated the responses relating to iPhones here

The breadth of ownership is a consistent theme. A broad range of answers show through in every statistic of the questions we asked. This variety makes it hard to provide specific recommendations which apply to all Australian iPhone users. For example, providing a suggestion as to the average data usage for iPhone users is a dangerous thing to do. Some use hardly any data, some use a lot.

  • iPhone users are the biggest group in Australia :
    iPhones and their users make up the largest single part (42%) of the Australian phone market.
  • They’re buying new iPhones outright :
    It appears that the majority of users are now buying their iPhone outright and adding a SIM. This is a substantial change for the iPhone which, to this point, has been a device bought almost exclusively under contract.
  • They’re busy :
    More than 30% cannot remember the last time they compared their phone plan.
  • They’re sophisticated :
    iPhone buyers were especially aware they need to work out the costs of their phone over 2 years.
  • They’re not that excited about the 2017 iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X :
    Only 14% of current iPhone users intend to upgrade to the new iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X
  • They’re affluent :
    iPhone users in our survey were more likely to keep their devices in drawers (than Android users.) Presumably, these iPhones are being used as backup phones by users who have upgraded their own.
  • They’re under contract :
    iPhones are expensive devices which is why so many are bought under contract – to avoid the upfront cost and pay the device off over 2 years.
  • They’re generous :
    iPhone users in our survey were more generous than the average. Apple phone users were more likely to gift their old phone to a family member or friend than Android users
  • They need more data :
    iPhone users in our survey had relatively high data needs. iPhone users appear to use more data than their Android counterparts.

 

Here’s a bit more detail on those findings.

1. Which type of iPhone do you own ?
As of September 2017, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 family of devices make up the majority of Australian iPhones in use.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 users will now largely be out of contract and are likely looking for SIM Only plans to insert in to the handset they now own.

iPhone users as a group made up 42% of respondents to our survey. That makes Apple users the biggest single group of phone users. This percentage demonstrates the importance of the iPhone to the market and the dominance Apple enjoys.

As expected, more recent iPhones, the iPhone 6 and 7 family make up the majority of iPhones in use in Australia.

 

2. Where did you get your iPhone ?

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority (around 70% of iPhone users) bought their current device either from Apple themselves or a telco store. This is slightly at odds with what our survey revealed about how they intend to buy their next iPhone.

Where iPhone users buy their phones is slightly different to other phone buyers.

Increasingly, people are buying their iPhone’s outright. Another reason that SIM Only solutions are so popular for iPhone users.

We asked iPhone users ‘Where did you get your iPhone?’

The most common responses indicated that phone companies and apple themselves are the biggest outlets for phones. 44% of Apple users bought their iPhone direct from a Telco store, for example, Optus or Telstra, either online or in retail, in our survey. The next most popular answer was an Apple Store at 25%. Together, these familiar outlets make up around 70% of the market.

These numbers are likely to indicate the situation two years ago when most signed up. High Street retailers – the likes of JB HiFi – are an increasingly popular way to buy phones for others. Android users were more likely to use those types of stores or an online retailer like Mobileciti to buy their device.

What does this mean to you?
Alternatives to the Telcos and Apple themselves often offer devices at lower prices than the most popular outlets. An increasing proportion of people are buying their iPhones outright and adding a SIM later ( see below. ) Consider alternative channels to pick up your iPhone, if you have the chance.

 

3. When did you last compare the phone plan you’re on ?

The most common single answer to our question about when iPhone users last compared their plan was ‘I can’t remember’.

Most iPhone users can’t remember when they last compared their phone plan.

Unfortunately, iPhone users do not appear to compare their phone plans very often. The result will be large numbers of people paying more than they need to for their service.

We asked iPhone users “When did you last compare your phone plan’s cost & features?”

The highest frequency answer in the survey was 25% of Apple users who said they couldn’t remember the last time they compared the phone plan they were on with the competition.

The frequency of comparison for iPhone users is almost certainly impacted by the relatively high proportion of the base which is tied into a contract. Only 19% of Android users had left it that long.

What does this mean to you ? :

Data inclusions are getting cheaper all the time and your usage is going up at a rate of about 70% per year. Comparing plans every year will make sure you can afford to pay for additional data.

 

4. How much data do iPhone users need?

The newer the iPhone and the bigger the screen, the more data you’ll need for your iPhone.

Bigger screen? You’ll use more data.
Consider the data in your iPhone plan carefully. As you can see, the bigger the screen, the more data you’ll use.

Generally, the research shows that iPhones use more data than other similar devices. Our research indicated the same thing. The chart above also shows that bigger iPhones devices (iPhones with bigger screens) use more data than smaller iPhones. You can see from the split that iPhone 7 users had bigger data bundles across the board than iPhone family equivalents.

 

Voice and SMS is going to be unlimited at this price point

There are no plans we’re aware of in Australia which have a 5GB data inclusion ( or more ) and doesn’t offer unlimited voice and SMS as part of that plan. iPhone data trends have been clear for some time, as you can see in the chart below. Voice utilisation on iPhones has been decreasing for some time at a linear rate. Data consumption is increasing exponentially. This chart is ‘notional’ – that is, it’s not drawn from data directly. However, a number of reports confirm the trend including Deloitte’s most recent Australian consumer survey which points out that 30% of people do not regularly use their phone to make voice calls, anymore. (See sources at the bottom of this page.)

 

 

The new features on the iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X family mean you’ll be using more data

What all this means is, if you’ve got an iPhone 8, you’re going to need a lot more data in your phone plan.

The new features and functions of Apple’s 2017 iPhone release added value to what was already the world’s most valuable IT brand. Recent iPhones have included bigger and better screens than those we’ve seen before. The 2017 iPhones fitted the same mould. Larger screen sizes have been associated with more data usage in a number of studies conducted in recent years. As Android handsets have filled every niche in screen size requirement and grown in size since the Samsung Galaxy S2, a clear association between the diagonal size of a screen and the quantity of cellular data used by the owner has been evident. For these new iPhones, other factors come in to play, too. In addition to the larger screen size, the new iPhone got a faster processor and more storage options.

What all this means is, if you’ve got an iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X, you’re going to need a lot more data in your phone plan. Bigger screens, faster processors and 4G speeds wherever you take your iPhone 6 all contribute to a greater requirement for data. The trend towards greater data utilisation has been commented on by many in the field, notably, Citrix who produced this infographic underlining the point.

We recommend iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X users invest in a plan which includes 5GB or more of data each month.

Here’s why:

  • SVOD – Streaming Video On Demand:
    In addition to YouTube, purchasing your new iPhone now means you’ll be using it when you might well have invested in a Streaming Video on demand service. Streaming video services like Netflix and Stan are now available in Australia at very reasonable prices. Phone plans often include some forms of video streaming for free. However, much video streaming is not free in any type of plan (YouTube for example). 60% of 18-24 year olds watch short videos every week, on their phone. 4G subscribers are twice as likely as 3G users to watch video on their phone. Video data usage will dwarf any app/web browsing or messaging requirement you have and form the majority of the data you use in any one month and the key component of our 5GB recommendation.
  • Faster processors mean more data :
    Since the launch of the first iPhone, every new device Apple has brought to market has had a faster processor. Faster processors mean the phone can access more data from the network more quickly. The videos you do download are likely to be downloaded automatically at a higher bit rate and incur higher data charges. Faster processors also allow for multitasking which can lead to multiple apps or web browsers accessing the internet at any time.
  • 4G and Double 4G speeds :
    The iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X is one of the few devices to be capable of not only 4G but double 4G speeds (where available). Again, this increases the amount of data which is transacted with the phone. Both Telstra and Optus offer faster 4G speeds in selected and growing areas.

We recommend iPhone 8 users invest in a plan which includes 5GB or more of data each month.

What does this mean to you?
Be aware that the bigger your iPhone’s screen, the more data you’re going to use.

 

5. What proportion of iPhone users are aiming to upgrade in 2017?Only 14% of current iPhone users intend to upgrade to the iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X.

The new iPhone does not appear to be as popular as those which preceded it.

Our survey revealed that only 14% of people want to upgrade their iPhones to the latest model.

We asked “Now You know The Australian price, do you intend to upgrade To The New iPhone 8 (from $1079) / iPhone 8 Plus (from $1229) / iPhone X (from $1579) ?” (Pricing from September 2017.)

Apple users most likely to upgrade their device with a replacement 2017 model were iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S users. iPhone 6 & iPhone 6S contracts will be coming to an end shortly, and many users will be eligible for upgrades. iPhone 4 devices are outdated now and no longer sold new – so they’re overdue for a change.

Not a single ‘other’ phone type user (e.g. Samsung, Google Pixel) in our survey intended to upgrade to the new iPhone.

What this means to you :
People are holding on to their iPhones longer. The latest research indicates that people have had their iPhone on average, around 30 months. Less frequently updating your phone obviously lowers your cost of ownership.

 

6. What’s the best way to minimize the cost of your iPhone over its term?

Apple users are unusually sophisticated in their approach to figuring out the best way to buy their phone plan. 55% know the best way to save money is to compare contract pricing with SIM Only + buy outright alternatives.

iPhone users are sophisticated in cutting their total cost of ownership.

55% of people realise that it makes sense to compare SIM Only pricing and contracts when considering the most cost-efficient method of getting a new device.

We asked, “What’s the best way to minimize the cost of your phone over the time you own it?”

iPhone users are more sophisticated in their approach to minimizing the cost of their phone than Android users. iPhone buyers are more likely to ‘do the maths’ and compare the total cost they will pay over 2 years. It’s possible this finding demonstrates the relatively high cost of Apple products and peoples’ willingness to spend time figuring out how to lower their total cost of ownership.

What this means to you :
iPhone users are right to approach the problem this way. WhatPhone calculations show it’s possible to save between 10% and 20% over 2 years buying the new iPhone outright and adding a SIM to it.

 

7. If you upgrade, how will you do it?
A majority of iPhone users who are going to upgrade to a new iPhone this year intend to buy the hardware themselves and add a SIM. This is markedly different to previous years in which most iPhone users received their iPhone under contract from the phone company.

Of those who intend to upgrade this year, most will buy the phone outright and add a SIM.

Most iPhone users will be buying their phone outright and adding a SIM, as our chart shows. In the past, most would get their iPhone under contract.

We asked users who were going to upgrade how they intended to approach the situation.

iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S users were most likely to buy the new Apple devices, released for the first time in September 2017. Many iPhone 6 and 6S users are coming to the end of their contract term in a position to upgrade their contract.

Of iPhone users who intend to upgrade, 53% say they will buy the device outright and add a SIM, a rapidly growing trend for Australian users. Analysis by WhatPhone shows that tying together this sort of deal can save users between 12% and 21% over a 2-year term.

Contracts are only one reason people stay with Apple. They have the highest retention rate of any phone. Never-the-less, this is a substantial change from years gone by. The high cost of iPhones is a key reason people typically take a contract. By doing so, they spread the cost of the device over two years.

What this means to you :
Those who can afford to pay up front and add a SIM are likely, as our calculations show, to save money doing so.

 

8. Would you consider buying a phone from a lesser known brand?

52% of iPhone users would be prepared to consider a SIM from a smaller phone company (although some would need reassurance about it.) This is an important finding. Smaller phone companies often offer the same network coverage and more data for less money. They’re a great way to save money on your iPhone bill.

The key to success in keeping your iPhone bill down is considering phone plans from smaller companies.

We asked iPhone users “Would you consider buying a phone plan from an unknown / lesser known brand if it was cheaper and offered the same service and benefits?”

Around 45% of iPhone users are open to the idea – although they may need some reassurance to do so.

SIM only plans for an iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X have a notable advantage over contracts. Flexibility.

In the past, when we’ve done the calculations, it has always made a lot more sense to buy an iPhone ( or any phone for that matter ) outright. Paying for the phone upfront and adding a SIM Only card to it has been the cheapest way to do things. The iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X  is an example where there is much less of a clear distinction either way. You can see details of our calculations in this article. In short, you’ll save a bit of money if you buy your new iPhone outright and add a SIM Only plan to it – but the gap is not as wide as it has been in previous years.

SIM only plans for an iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X, however, have a notable advantage over contracts. Flexibility. SIM Only plans are offered almost universally without the need to sign up to a multi-month commitment.

As we’ve seen recently in Australia, hue changes can be implemented on the Australian phone plan market in a short amount of time. In mid-2015, led by Telstra, the phone companies essentially doubled their data inclusions on a broad range of plans. Being tied into a contract means many customers will not see the benefit of that change. But, if they were on a SIM Only plan, they could change to one of the new tariffs and benefit from the extra inclusions.

What this means to you :
This result is another reliable indicator of iPhone users’ sophistication in the comparisons they undertake. Preparedness to consider lesser known brands is an essential part of saving money on your iPhone.

 

9. What did you do with your old iPhone

iPhone users are apparently affluent. 58% of them leave their old iPhone in a drawer - presumably as a spare.

Incredibly, 58% of iPhone users leave their old device in a drawer.

We asked iPhone users “What did you do with your old phone ?”

The results show another layer of affluence among iPhone users. 58% of old iPhones are sitting in drawers at home – presumably for use as a backup.

iPhone users also appear more generous than Android users. iPhone owners are more likely to gift their old device to a friend or family member than Android owners.

What this means to you :
Consider selling your old iPhones and using the cash for your plan.

 

Summing up this iPhone research

This iPhone research is encouraging. A small amount of comparing can go a long way for users about to enter an agreement to get a new iPhone which will likely be in place for at least a couple of years.

The critical thing to remember is that individual phone data usage is rising between 70% and 100% per year, every year. If you’re signing a contract to get your new iPhone, make sure your plan has the data you’ll need at the end of the agreement, not just the beginning, or you’ll end up paying overage fees.

 

Sources: