Planning to get a new iPhone 5 on contract? Here are 5 tips to guide you along.
1. Watch included data and excess data rates. All iPhone 5 plans come with included data, but it can range from a tiny 200 MB all the way to 4GB, more if you add on a data pack. iPhone 5 is 4G enabled which means high speed data wherever there is coverage. But 4G speeds make it all too easy to go over included data allowance and you dont want to be slugged with excess usage charges a month down the track. If you are likely to be online while out and about, try and pick the highest level of included data you can afford.
2. Pick the contract term right for you. You can get the iPhone 5 outright at the Apple online store and pair it with a no contract SIM, or get the phone on a 12 or 24 month contract. Nowadays new phones are released every few months. And if you like to be up to speed with the latest in gadgets, the flexibility of outright purchase or 12 month plans may be the better option to a 2 year contract.
3. Check network coverage at home, commute and work. Telstra and Optus/Virgin are still in the process of rolling out their 4G networks, and Vodafone will go live early 2013. Make sure you check the coverage to know what data speeds to expect. iPhone 5 is designed to fall back to 3G or even 2G networks when higher speeds are unavailable.
4. Get the plan right for your usage, not the one that looks cheapest on paper. Most people find it hard to change their calling habits, so pick the plan thats meets your current usage pattern. Cheaper plans come with less included value and if you exceed the plan inclusions, expect to pay significant excess charges. Better to pick a plan that is a few dollars more per month to avoid paying hundreds in excess charges. Use our free mobile deal finder tool to work out which one plan is best for your usage.
5. Consider your existing contract. The iPhone 5 will be around tomorrow so don’t rush to break your existing contract and pay early termination fees. If you are getting towards the end of your current contract, call your provider to negotiate a recontract for the iPhone 5. Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin all run customer retention programs and would love to have you locked in with them again right away, rather than wait till the end of your contract and risk losing you to another provider.
Bonus tip: The iPhone 5 comes in 16, 32 and 64 GB storage options. Pick the highest storage you can afford. The 8 MP camera with HD video can fill up the phone very quickly and unlike Android phones, the iPhone 5 doesn’t allow you to add memory cards when you run out of space.