Top iPhone SIM Only plans

Get the right iPhone SIM Only plan at a better price today
  • Plans for 3G and 4G iPhones
  • Low, Medium and High voice and data options
  • Best deal from network resellers
  • Consider Boost Mobile and Amaysim

Top iPhone SIM plans in Australia

Common questions about iPhone plans

Can I use any iPhone with any SIM Only Plan ?

Very much so. If you bought your iPhone through a phone company, give them a call and ask for the phone to be “unlocked” before you get a new sim.

Can I keep my phone number with SIM only mobile deal ?

Yes you can. You’ll see an option for this whichever phone company you go with. They’ll remind you while you’re checking out. You give them your current number and, by the time your SIM card arrives, it’ll have your existing number attached to it.

What if I need a Nano SIM for my iPhone ?

Don’t worry. If you have an iPhone, the phone companies now have a regular supply of nano SIMs. Again, you’ll be offered the option of choosing a Nano SIM during your online checkout process.

Does my iPhone 4S need a 4G plan ?

You can use any iPhone with any SIM. iPhone 4S is only capable of 3G speeds so, while you can put any SIM in it, you won’t get 4G speeds. We recommend Cmobile for lower end spends on the iPhone 4s ( that’s if you don’t use your iPhone a lot ) and if you are a chatterbox / SMS junkie, take a look at Boost. Both Cmobile and Boost offer SIM Only plans which are 3G enabled and they’ll suit your iPhone 4S down to the ground.

I have an iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5s – what plan do you recommend.

We recommend Amaysim. Amaysim have full 4G network coverage and cheaper access to the Optus network than you’ll get with any of the major phone companies.

What if I try one of these SIM Only plans in my iPhone and I don’t like the provider ?

Nothing. You can change whenever you’d like. If you’d rather pick up your iPhone and walk to another provider, you are free to do so at any pioint. One of the great things about putting these SIMs in your iPhone is that you are not tied to a contract.

Review and comparison of Australian iPhone plans

Here’s a list of all the top SIM only deals for iPhones we recommend in Australia. These are handpicked based on quality of the network, what you get in with the plan, and of course, value for money!

What's good

  • Great value SIMs for your existing iPhone
  • Range of plans for 3G and 4G iPhones
  • Wide range of unlimited plans
  • Cheaper access to Vodafone, Telstra and Optus networks

What's bad

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

 

What You Need to Read Before You Buy a 2017 iPhone

 

WhatPhone’s September 2017 survey

How we conducted this survey :

  • WhatPhone conducted an online survey of 500 Australians in late August 2017.
  • Results were collected immediately afterward and posted to WhatPhone in September, just in time for the 2017 Apple device release.
  • We have separated the results we received and added in other useful insights.
  • Our goal is to assist people looking to buy the 2017 iPhone.

The WhatPhone.com.au survey of 500 Australian phone users in late August 2017 provides critical insights for iPhone users who are in the market for this year’s new device.

Pick the right 2017 iPhone using the findings of our ‘Mobile Phone Basics’ Survey :

We offer some simple advice to correct some of the misunderstandings people have about phone plans. If you’re buying an iPhone this year, these are the facts you need to know.

We also have some specific information about the eSIM and the Apple Watch.

Summary of 2017 WhatPhone survey, adapted to service the needs of iPhone users. Know your options, know your data usage and don’t buy an iPhone under contract

  • 75% of people don’t know how many phone companies there are in Australia:
    Mobile phone services are provided by around 50 phone companies in Australia. WhatPhone shows the best of the bunch on this site.
    How can this information help you? : Many smaller phone companies share networks with bigger phone companies. They also, typically, offer better SIM Only / Prepaid rates than you’ll get from big phone companies.
  • Nearly three-quarters of people did not understand how their data usage is changing:
    If there was a single fact to understand about your phone usage before you buy a plan, it’s that your data usage is rising around 70% per year. Remember, you’re going to own that iPhone somewhere between 24 and 36 months. That means if you start using 5GB, you will be well over 10GB a month usage by the time you upgrade the phone.
    How can this information help you? : Do not sign a contract for our iPhone. We suggest you buy it outright and add a SIM yourself.

Understanding a few key pieces of information offer the chance to dramatically lower your stress levels and cost of ownership for your 2017 iPhone.

 

More than 50% of people think there are 10 or less phone companies in Australia

Only 25% of Australians realise the number of phone plan and company options available to them. There are around 50 phone companies in Australia. Shop around.

The key fact that will help you:
You have more options than you think when it comes to picking a phone company. Shop around to find something that suits you personally. There are plans with extra data on the weekend and which offer nice to have extras like sport or streamed music content.

Australia has 3 phone networks but around 50 phone companies. The big companies we all know, TelstraVodafone and so on, own the networks.

At the other end of the scale, there are lots of little phone companies, each of which targets a specific group of users with their plans. And remember, when it comes to the networks, if you go with a smaller phone company, you’ll get exactly the same network quality.

 

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Better pricing: 
    Smaller phone companies need to work harder to secure your money. They’ll often offer more data for less $ in their plans.

<Insert comparison infographic of plan – something on the Optus network>

  • Better fit:
    There are so many of these fit:er phone companies that they tailor their phone plans to specific groups of users. If you need a PAYG plan, if you want to build your own plan , have more data on the weekend or make international calls more than other people there is a small company out there with your name on it.
  • Smaller phone companies often use the same networks as the big phone companies :
    Compare smaller phone companies alongside the bigger phone company brands you know. Take Kogan Mobile, for example. This small phone company is one of the most popular telcos chosen by WhatPhone visitors every month. Kogan rent access to the Vodafone 3G and 4G network. Kogan plans offer exactly the same speeds and coverage as you will get if you go direct to Vodafone. Kogan’s customer support is even offered by Vodafone.

 

Only 25% of people correctly estimate the rate at which their data use is changing

Only 25% of Australians correctly estimate their data usage requirements. If you buy an iPhone in 2017, you will use more data (approximately 70% more each year to 100% more each year.

 

The key fact that will help you

If you’re like a regular iPhone user, you will use more data every year you have your iPhone. We suggest you avoid signing a contract for your iPhone. If you buy your new iPhone outright (see some suggestions below which minimize the cost of that) and add a SIM Only plan the phone companies will give you more data every year.

Check these statistics out.

Don’t buy an iPhone under contract in 2017. Optus’ data offering, at the same price more than doubled for those who are NOT under contract over the last 2 years.

Don’t buy an iPhone under contract in 2017. Vodafone’s data offering, at the same price more than doubled for those who are NOT under contract over the last 2 years.

 

How much data will my 2017 iPhone use ?

We recommend plans with 10GB or more for the 2017 iPhone.

Some of the best research we’ve ever seen in to iPhone data usage came from Citrix two years ago. See the chart below. It very clearly expresses the key factor to consider when picking a data plan. The newer your iPhone, the bigger the screen, the more data you will need.

Some of the best research we’ve ever seen in to iPhone data usage came from Citrix two years ago.

Above : Source : Cisco

 

Other things you might like to consider

In our latest Australian phone usage poll, the data plan which was used by the most people was 11GB or above. Since the latest iPhone will have the biggest screen Apple has bought to market to date and the fastest processor, we recommend plans with 10GB or more for your iPhone.

The WhatPhone September 2017 phone user survey revealed that the most common data size in the country is 11GB or more. We suggest you consider plans with data allocations of 10GB or more for your 2017 iPhone purchase.

How you can avoid signing a contract for your iPhone

If you take a SIM Only or prepaid plan the phone company you choose will give you extra data every few months. Check out these charts.

  • Leasing options : 
    The key reason people buy a phone under contract is to avoid the upfront cost. You can now avoid that one off payment by leasing a phone. Moose Mobile is one company which offers the facility but there are others. You don’t even have to use a phone service from those phone companies to get a leased phone.
  • Refurbished phones : 
    Refurbished phones are offered by Kogan and MobileCiti allow you to save between 32% and 43% of the list price in this way.
  • Second hand phones : 
    eBay is a great place for second hand phones. You’re still paying up front and a one off payment for them but you can save more than 50% of the list price by picking this sort of device.
  • Flexibility to move companies : 
    When you lease your phone or find a way to make the upfront purchase affordable, you then have free reign for decisions like changing your phone company.
  • Data growth : 
    Moving phone company will get you a lot more data than signing a contract. Data gets cheaper every year for those who are not under contract.

Summing up these findings for the iPhone

The phone, especially when it’s an iPhone, is the glamourous end of your contract. The plan you take with it requires a bit more thought.

You have a huge number of options available to you but don’t worry : They’re easy to compare. Go to one of our comparison pages and you can make a decision in a few minutes.

Consider smaller phone companies. You’ll often get the same network as if you went to one of the bigger phone companies at a better price as if you went with one of the brands you’re more familiar with.

Don’t sign a contract to get your iPhone! Staying on a month to month agreement gives you more data as time goes on and, as you’ve seen from our graphs, you are going to need it. If you were going to buy an iPhone under contract to avoid the upfront cost, you have alternatives; leasing, refurbished phones and second hand phones, for example.

 

 

SIM Only Plans for iPhone

Do you already have your own iPhone ? If you got your iPhone from somewhere like eBay, a family member hand me down or a generous friend, you might just need a SIM Only plan from the phone companies. If that’s what you’re doing, you are part of a growing trend. In this article we show you how to get the best deal on your iPhone SIM card. We try to explain the different types of SIM Only / BYO / Prepaid plans and we compare the recommendations we make in some detail with the competition so you don’t have to.

If you are shopping for a SIM Only plan for an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, see our dedicated page.

 

Quick summary : iPhone + SIM Only plan is often the best deal

60% of iPhones are used with a SIM Only price plan

A huge proportion of iPhones ( roughly 60% ) are sold outside of the contract terms offered by the major phone companies in Australia these days. An increasing proportion of better informed Apple phone buyers are opting to get hold of the latest Apple gadgets outright. The CEO of eBay has even recognized the value of resold Apple phones to his business. In the press recently was his announcement that second hand iPhones net eBay billions of dollar every year.

If you are prepared to shop around, and you know where to look, this page is a great start! Most of the time, it’s a smart decision to buy your new iPhone yourself, outright and to add a SIM Only plan to it. However, whether you’ve been given an iPhone, you’ve bought it yourself, outright or you picked it up second hand, here are the best ways to get yourself a great deal on the SIM you put inside it.

 

What’s the difference between SIM Only and BYO Mobile ?

SIM Only and BYO mean exactly the same thing.

The terms SIM Only and BYO Mobile are simply different marketing ‘spins’. There is no difference at all between them. Generally, SIM Only / BYO plans are what’s called ‘postpaid’ plans. That means you use the service before you pay your bill. Technically, these are often ‘On Account’ services. On Account means you need to settle up at the end of the month with your phone company. However, remember, with SIM Only / BYO plans, there’s no contract of service between you and the phone company beyond the month you’re in. It’s worth noting though, that, to make it more convenient, you’ll probably set your SIM Only / BYO SIM plan up to continue automatically at the end of the month.

 

Prepaid plans are also SIM Only / BYO plans

Postpaid / On Account SIM only services are subtly different to prepaid SIM Only services. All prepaid plans are also SIM Only / BYO. They’re called prepaid because you pay for the service before you use it. One benefit of prepaid is that you cannot overspend beyond the amount you commit to at the start of the engagement. If you spend $30 on a recharge, the most they can get out of you is $30.

 

The benefits of choosing SIM Only plans for your iPhone

Any SIM only deal you end up with for your iPhone, prepaid or postpaid is likely to do you a number of favours :

  • It’ll probably save you money :
    Compared to the alternative ( buying your phone under contract with one of the major phone companies ) buying an iPhone yourself and adding in a SIM is likely to save you money. Especially if you do it the way we advise below. Don’t believe us ? We’ve done the maths to prove this point before in our article – “Buying my phone outright, will I save money?
  • SIM Only Plans give you total flexibility :
    • Change usage when you want to :
      With most SIM Only / BYO providers you can move up or down plans whenever you want to with no additional cost. If you know you need more voice, SMS or data one month, you can move your plan up, just for that month.
    • You can leave whenever you want to :
      The biggest commitment you’re making is the month you’re in. If you see a better SIM only deal which would suit your iPhone usage better, from a different provider – you can leave there and then.
    • No Early termination Fees :
      When you decide you’ve had enough you’ll move on without penalty. ETPs are a charge employed by the phone companies to recoup the cost of the iPhone they gave you. If you want to leave before your iPhone contract ends you’ll need to pay them back for the phone. If they haven’t give you an iPhone – because this is a SIM Only plan, then they won’t charge you ETPs.

We use the terms SIM Only and BYO interchangeably throughout this article.

We use the terms BYO and SIM Only throughout this article – because they mean the same thing. Below, we have separate sections on prepaid SIM Only plans and also SIM Only Data plans. In each section, we make a recommendation on the best SIM Only plan to put in your iPhone. Further down, we compare the recommendations we’ve made with the key competitive plans to explain the reasons we’ve chosen what we have.

 

Our recommended plans are likely to give you the best iPhone SIM Only results

How can MVNOs save you money

MVNOs save their customers money by leasing network access ‘in bulk’ from the three, major Australian phone companies. Then they sell it, to customers like you, at a significant discount.

With MVNOs, you can take advantage of lower rates, and SIMs that are contract-free.  They almost always offer better deals than the major phone companies. They don’t have the same marketing spends to pass on in the costs they charge you. They don’t spend nearly as much on advertising their brand as the others. By keeping their business models simple, they reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you. They also need to charge less because they’re not as well known as their multinational competitors.

By keeping their business models simple, MVNOs reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you in their SIM Only plans.

It’s important to realize that the network coverage component of the ‘product’ the MVNOs sell is very often exactly the same thing being sold by Optus or Vodafone. The coverage you’ll get from an Optus MVNO is exactly the same as the coverage you’ll get from Optus itself. There are a few exceptions and ‘gotchas’ to think about. We’ve covered those in detail, below.

Optus Network or MVNO Comparison

 

Myths about MVNOs: Prioritization

Some shoppers suspect that MVNOs are getting low quality network bandwidth. For example, minutes that aren’t used by carriers during peak activity. That’s just not true.  In many ways, network access is like electricity. It’s a utility which is the same whomever or whichever company you buy it from. You will not get a lower priority on the network if you go with an MVNO.

Why are MVNO deals cheaper?

The MVNOs marketplace is highly competitive. The competition is focused where you want it. MVNOs have an agreed charter with the major phone companies. Each MVNO is set up to focus on servicing ( selling to ) a particular segment.

A segment is just a group of users. Here are a couple of our favorite MVNOs and the segments they are designed to address.

The recommendations on this page are specific to the iPhone range.

Finally, we’ve made our recommendations on this page specific to the iPhone range. We have tried to include recommendations on both 3G plans and 4G plans which meet the typical usage requirements.

The iPhone 4s is still in market and requires only a 3G plan since 3G is the fastest network speed it can use. For later phones, released after LTE / 4G became standard on iPhone releases ( including, specifically, the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c ) we recommend a range of plans including 4G options so you can make use of this important feature.

We have recommendations on the best SIM Only plans for your iPhone if you are an average user, a very high users ( who needs an unlimited plan ), prepaid recommendations and recommendations for those looking for data led iPhone plans.

Finally, we’ve also included recommendations for each network in Australia. Below you’ll see plans from MVNOs which use the Optus, Vodafone and Telstra network.

Whatever plan you need, whatever network you want, we have a recommendation for a SIM Only plan for you !

 

Before you choose a SIM Only plans for my iPhone

The first question that we suggests you answer, before you decide to go ahead with a SIM Only purchase is about how does the SIM Only option compare to your others.

There are 2 obvious choices that you have when you want a new iPhone. You can buy your iPhone outright or you can get it under contract. The way you deal with this will affect your spend over the next 2 years.

  • Do you want to buy your iPhone outright.
    Buying the your iPhone yourself, outright means you will pay for it in full, in one up front payment, similar to if you were buying a new camera.
  • Do you want to get your iPhone under contract.
    This means signing up to a term based agreement, usually 24 months. During this time, you agree to pay the phone company you choose a minimum amount once a month for the term. When you sign up to an iPhone contract, this can result in a reasonably significant monthly payment. Think in the region of $70 per month, each month, for 24 months.

Let’s take a look at the ramifications of those decisions.

Option 1 – Buy iPhone Outright and choose a SIM Only Plan

In option 1, where you buy the hardware yourself, you will be able to get the best price for your iPhone SIM Only plan. When you have purchased the device outright, you can take out a SIM only plan ( also known as a BYO mobile plan ) for use with your iPhone.

Since when you buy outright, the telco you’re with doesn’t have to buy the iPhone hardware ( the physical phone ) product and charge it back to you over the duration of your contract ( because you’ve bought it yourself ) the inclusions ( the rates per minute / text / Megabyte of data ) you’ll get with the SIM Only plan for your iPhone are usually much, much better ( often twice as good or better ) than the alternative that it makes sense to do it.

On SIM only plans, you can often ‘get out’ much easier too. This makes sense if you think about it. The reason the telcos ‘tie you in’ to long contracts is to make sure you pay them back for the device. Where there is no device to pay back ( as in SIM only plans ) you often get much more reasonable Early Exit Fees – they’re the charges you pay to get out of your contract wtih your telco. ) Most SIM only plans, including whichever you choose for your iPhone, have no early exit fees at all.

Option 2 – Take out a Contract – not a SIM Only Plan

Where you go in to a contract with your telco ( option 2 ) you pay less up front for the device ( here, an iPhone. ) $0 upfront charging is an important consideration for many people, especially the more budget conscious, buyer. Under most contracts with Australian telcos at the moment, there are a heap of $0 upfront iPhone options available. That means that if you want to, you can completely avoid any up front component or ‘lump sum’ fee being paid before you can get your new iPhone.

However, since the telco has paid for the device, they want their pound of flesh and you’ll be tied in to a contract for the better part of 2 years with them while they extract it from you ! And the way the hardware cost of the iPhone you’re taking shows up is in the price of the plan you get on your SIM. You’ll find that you are paying significantly more ‘per minute’ or ‘per Megabyte’ than people who take SIM only plan for your iPhone.

In fact, very often towards the end of your contract with the telco, they will offer you a bonus. From month 21 of your contract ( some telcos start even earlier ) they will very often let you upgrade ( stay on the same or a similar plan, under a newly ‘renewed’ contract ) and give you a brand new device. This is just one of the ways they encourage you to stay with them !

Remember :
If you always like to have the latest phone / iPhone and you sign up to an iPhone contract, as we’ve examined here in the option 2 scenario, you will see the new iPhone come and go before you can ‘upgrade’ ! The phone companies are pretty inflexible when it comes to letting you upgrade too soon.

 

What makes a good iPhone SIM Only deal ?

Good iPhone SIM Only deals come from the major operators in all shapes and sizes. What makes a good one is finding one that suits your specific needs. Here are the things to look out for when you’re making your mind up :

Make sure that the basic voice, text and data inclusions match your future usage requirements. One of the best ways to do this is to check your own online billing history at your current telecommunications provider. Whichever phone company you’re with, you will always have access to an online depository which will tell you how much you have used of each.

  • Voice :
    Your usage is often best measured in the number of calls you made. Make sure you count up your typical month.
  • Text :
    You should also count the number of texts your making and ensure that the iphone SIM Only plan you take out covers your requirements.
  • Data :
    Is the one to be careful of. The critical trend that Whatphone always warns people about is that their data usage is likely to double during the course of their contract with their telco. If you used 1GB a month on average last year, you could be using 2 GB or 3 GB by the end of your contract. Make sure that the iPhone SIM price plan you sign up has sufficient data included and that there are facilities to add more data later.
  • Network coverage :
    We provide commentary on this page about multiple different phone providers. Every major network is represented with an MVNO. Consider your network coverage requirements. If you need metro / city coverage – you’ll be able to get it with Vodafone. For the best pricing from a Vodafone network, we recommend Cmobile Red If you want access to the Optus network, we suggest Amaysim. And, finally, if you need rural coverage and 98.6% population coverage, network coverage which is among the best in Australia, we recommend Cmobile Blue.
  • Customer Service :
    Your iPhone SIM Only plan will give you access to the call centers of the telcos you commit to for the time you are using their network. Consider the experience you have had with phone company in the past. Consider the reputations of the telecommunications provider that you are considering going with. Is it important to you to have a call center based in Australia ? Would it make sense to go with a mobile only provider to cut down the time you spend in queues waiting to talk to someone who can fix your problem ? Customer Service is, essentially, like a form of insurance. When it all goes wrong, Customer Service is who you call. And, unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as saying you get what you pay for. Some of the larger telecommunications providers have the most frustrating call centers !

What makes a good iPhone SIM Only deal is in finding the right blend of compromise or trade off between all the elements we’ve described here. Together, it’s these things that will give you the experience you’re going to have with the telecommunications provider you choose.

 

Questions to ask yourself about your BYO iPhone Plans

Here, we suggest a few key questions you might like to answer to ensure the plan you pick is right for you.

Key Questions for BYO iPhone plan buyers

Remember, everyone is different. No-one can tell you exactly the right plan for you. The decision you make should ivolve careful consideration of the CIS or Critical Information Summary. You’ll find it on any product page on any of the Phone Companies websites. Some important questions to ask yourself when reviewing the CIS are :

  • Is Voicemail retrieval included in my plan ?
    How often do I pick my voicemail up ? How much of my cap or allocated minutes will that ‘cost’ me every month ?
  • Does this plan include charging for 13 or 18 numbers ?
    How often do I call those ? When I call them, am I on hold for 45 minutes ?!
  • Where do my friends and family buy their phones and plans from ?
    Many phone companies include plans which allow for free calls to others on the same network. If you call the same people a lot, this can make a big difference to your expenses and the BYO iPhone plan that’s right for you.
  • If I don’t use all my voice allocation, what happens to it ?
    Some providers ( notably Virgin Mobile ) let you ‘roll over’ unused credit.
  • How much does it cost to call customer services ?
    Not all the telcos include calls to their call center within the cap or minute allocation you get. Many customers consider this adding insult to injury – being charged to log a complaint about the Telco’s service !
  • Do I need more data ?
    All of the phone companies offer ‘Bolt Ons’ sometimes called ‘DVAs’ or Data Value Adds. For a few dollars more, you can buy another few hundred MB of data or a GB.

Remember, most people find they use their phone a lot more in the first month because it’s a new toy. Then usage tends to increase over the course of your contract. Most customers find their data usage is doubling every year. Think carefully about what the best plan for your iPhone including all the data you need.

 

4G iPhone Network Coverage

In Australia, the 4G network was first launched by Telstra in 2011. Optus has 3G coverage in many of Australia’s most significant cities. Vodafone plans to roll out some 4G coverage in the first half of 2013. All the telcos – Optus, Virgin Mobile, Telstra and Vodafone Australia are working hard and spending significant quantities of money upgrading their existing network coverage to 4G speeds.

Find out more about how the 4G Coverage of Optus, Vodafone, Telstra and Virgin Mobile compare in Australia .

With 4G on the iPhone 5, data access and other network services are faster than you’ve ever experienced them before. Owners of iPhone version 5 or above can download and stream high-definition video from YouTube, without a stutter. Key benefits include :

  • Emails come down faster :
    Emails, even those with large attachments can be sent and received in just seconds.
  • Maps work more quickly :
    Browsing maps, including the onboard iOS maps ( much maligned but actually, turning in to quite a nice feature ) is fluid and fast, even when swooshing around your iPhone 5’s screen quickly.
  • Downloads are here sooner :
    Downloading songs from iTunes is done in a fraction of the time you would experience over a 3G connection.
  • Video calling is simpler :
    Facetime has been enabled over the 4G network on the iPhone 5, allowing you to talk face to face with the people you want to
    ( if they too have an iPhone ! )
  • High Res Images :
    Higher resolution images can be viewed and downloaded in a flash if your iPhone is connected on the 4G network.
  • Better browsing :
    Browse the web is a significantly improved – you are likely to be amazed and impressed at how quickly web pages load on your iPhone 5.

 

 

The 2017 iPhone and Apple’s Newest Passion – AR

For those who don’t know, AR is Artificial and/or Augmented Reality. It looks like this technology, which most of us would usually associate more with SciFi films than a phone, will be included in the 2017 iPhone.
The phone also seems likely to include LASER sensors in its rear camera.

 

iPhone Augmented Reality

The craze and love shown by people for Pokemon Go suggest a great deal of potential for Apple’s new technology inclusion. Those in the know say that AR is likely the next step in the digital domain, despite the hype and promise shown by Artificial Reality (the ‘other AR’) which seems to be talked of more often.

Apple is not the only technology giant considering the impact. Google Glass has recently been resurrected in a business context, from, obviously, Google. Microsoft has their own HoloLens product. A new generation of products are either being created or modified to provide consumers with amazing AR experience and Apple is no exception to the trend.

 

ARKit

As always, Apple has set up the infrastructure around their AR facility which will support innovation and drive useful applications for their users. Instead of trying to do everything themselves, they’re created their own software development kit with the name ‘ARKit’ which will be formally released at the same time as the new iPhone, tentatively called the iPhone8. Lately, at WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference) the company made the announcement of ARKit which created a lot of buzz in tech circles. ARKit is primarily a software development kit which helps developers to create apps enriched with Augmented Reality. It is exclusive to Apple products.

 

LASER Sensors

AR is a ‘virtual overlay’ on top of the video stream you might usually see from the phone’s camera. FAST Company claims that Apple is going to use VSCEL Laser System in its next iPhone which wouldn’t cost more than $2 per iPhone. Together with what is likely to soon be a slew of effective AR apps, this relatively cheap enhancement to the phone hardware will soon see a markedly different way of us using our smartphones.

 

What’s in for Consumers?

  • The first mainstream AR Experience:
    Apple’s LASER sensors are going to help in conveying AR experience to the end user. The new LASER facility will help iPhones judge depth detection and ranging information better. That’s going to mean that the images we see on top of the live video we are watching of ‘the real world’ through our phones will be accurately displayed.Apple’s LASER sensors are going to help in conveying AR experience to the end user. The new LASER facility will help iPhones judge depth detection and ranging information better. That’s going to mean that the images we see on top of the live video we are watching of ‘the real world’ through our phones will be accurately displayed.
  • Better Camera Focusing:
    The LASER guidance system will also assist with more familiar aspects of our phone experience. Phone cameras are the way we record our lives. Apple’s new 3D LASER sensors will help smartphone cameras auto focus. This is likely to amplify the photo and video quality.
  • Face Detection:
    Finally, the new facility has security implications. Apple’s new camera with 3D laser sensors will help in face detection mainly for authentication. Many other mobile companies are using this feature of face detection but it’s a first for Apple.

 

What’s in AR For Apple

  • Innovative and Predictive:
    Apple like to be first with life changing technology. They define new categories with their launch. This is the 10th year anniversary of the iPhone and the inclusion of AR maintains the expectation we all have of Apple changing our lives with technology. Apple knows that AR is a critical component of the future of the internet and so it is striving hard to show itself as a pioneer of AR in consumer related products.
  • Better Consumer Experience:
    Apple has always tried to present their consumers with larger-than-life customer experiences. AR offers what is literally a new visual interface to the real world. Consider looking around a new town when you get off a plane and seeing signs translated for you in real time through your phone’s screen.Apple has always tried to present their consumers with larger-than-life customer experiences. AR offers what is literally a new visual interface to the real world. Consider looking around a new town when you get off a plane and seeing signs translated for you in real time through your phone’s screen. Imagine asking the way to the train station and being given a red line projected on your screen along the ground to direct you that way. Life is going to get easier.
  • Competitive Edge:
    AR has been used by Google, Facebook, and other companies but the magnitude of which Apple is going to launch their AR services with seems set to surpass everyone else. If Apple manages to launch ARkit with numerous AR applications in its next iPhone, it’s going to be huge.AR has been used by Google, Facebook, and other companies but the magnitude of which Apple is going to launch their AR services with seems set to surpass everyone else. If Apple manages to launch ARkit with numerous AR applications in its next iPhone, it’s going to be huge.

 

Is it too early for AR?

People are not yet fully aware of the facilities AR will add to their lives. Demonstrations to this point have been associated more with fun and games and less with real-life use cases.
Like the Apple watches, where uptake initially was not strong, Apple is going to have to take us on the journey when it comes to AR on their phones.
We think there is always a risk of failure with daring and bold decisions. In this particular case, we think Apple wants to blow away expectations of its consumers and introduce a new trend in society. We’ll  see if laser sensors are going to be a part of iPhone 8 or not but AR is definitely going to be a part and parcel of Apple products in the future.

 

Sources :

Apple’s AR kit is well explained, in video format here: https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2017/602/

And Business Insider covers the inclusion of AR in the 2017 iPhone here: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/apple-iphone-8-rumors-3d-laser-camera-augmented-reality-2017-7

Citrix’s 2015 Mobile Data Analytics report provided some unique insight in to the impact that screen size has on data usage for iPhones : https://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/products-solutions/citrix-mobile-analytics-report-february-2015.pdf

 

 

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