iPhone 8 plans: Which Australian plans offer the best value?

Alex Kidman 15 September 2017

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With Australia's carriers announcing their iPhone 8 plans, we've delved into the details to find the ideal plan for every budget.

If you're not in a position to purchase an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus outright but you still want Apple's latest premium smartphone, the solution is to sign up for a phone plan from one of Australia's telecommunications carriers.

Doing so spreads the cost of the phone out over a period of typically 24 months but ties you to that carrier for the contract duration. Depending on the level of your spend with Telstra, Virgin Mobile or Optus, the cost of handset acquisition may drop, although that's usually offset by the higher plan costs you incur.

If you just want to compare within a single carrier for reasons of preference or coverage, you can check out each carrier's deals at their respective plan pages:

Lease the new iPhone 8 64GB from Telstra for $99/month from Telstra deals

  • Lease the new iPhone 8 from Telstra
  • $99 per month for 24 months
  • 20GB of data every month
  • Unlimited calls to standard local, national and mobile numbers and text
  • 12 months Foxtel Now with 1 starter pack (data charges apply)

  • All for use within Australia. Min cost $2,376 over 24 months when phone is returned in working order.

    View details

    Everyone's financial situations and needs are different, but we'll try to address as many scenarios as possible to score you the ideal iPhone 8 plan. For the purposes of analysis we'll focus on the iPhone 8 64GB, but you can always use our Mobile Plan Finder to select the handset of your dreams and compare away. We're also using regular plans where you own the handset at the conclusion of the contract, not lease plans, although those are always an option.

    Australia's cheapest iPhone 8 64GB plan

    Strictly speaking, that title belongs to Vodafone because of the way it has decoupled handset costs from plan costs. The practical upshot of this is that for any of its plans, the minimum you would pay would be a single month of your plan costs plus the cost of the phone.

    However, that's not a terribly helpful figure because that would only provide you with a month's worth of service and a phone, and you would have to source another plan to fill out the remaining 23 months for comparative purposes. For the sake of completeness, Vodafone's $30 RED plan plus a 64GB iPhone 8 has a minimum cost of just $1,108.80 for the handset and one month of service.

    Still, there's little doubt that Vodafone figures customers will instead opt to stay the whole 24-month course. So how do the carriers' low-cost plans compare when you look at them over a whole 24 months?

    Provider/planCapacityPlan costHandset repaymentTotal monthly costCalls/textsDataMinimum 24-month cost
    Virgin Mobile $40 iPhone 8 64GB64GB$40.00$29.00$69.00Unlimited2GB$1,656.00
    Vodafone Red $30 iPhone 8 64GB64GB$30.00$44.95$74.95Unlimited2GB$1,798.80
    Optus My Plan Plus $40 iPhone 8 64GB64GB$40$35$75Unlimited1GB$1,800.00
    Telstra S iPhone 8 64GB64GB$59$30$89Unlimited2GB$2,136.00

    In this scenario, Virgin Mobile carries the day pretty convincingly, with 2GB of data at the lowest total minimum monthly cost. It's fascinating that corporate parent Optus doesn't compare anywhere near as well, especially given its plan only includes 1GB of data.

    Australia's ideal mid-range iPhone 8 64GB plan

    1–2GB isn't a great deal of data to use on a high-end handset, so in many ways it makes more sense to opt for something with at least a middle-range data inclusion. If you're looking to spend around $100 a month for a contract 64GB iPhone 8, here's what you can expect to get:

    Provider/planCapacityPlan costHandset repaymentTotal monthly costCalls/textsDataMinimum 24-month cost
    Virgin Mobile $70 iPhone 8 64GB64GB$70$19$89Unlimited9GB$2,136.00
    Optus My Plan Plus $65 iPhone 8 64GB64GB$65$25$90Unlimited7GB$2,160.00
    Vodafone Red $50 iPhone 8 64GB64GB$50.00$44.95$94.95Unlimited14GB/16GB (inc. bonus 2GB)$2,278.80
    Telstra M iPhone 8 64GB64GB$79$22$101Unlimited5GB$2,424.00

    Virgin Mobile again stakes out the low-cost ground, but there's a very strong argument for Vodafone's Red $50 plan simply because it comes with more data, whether you opt for the "global" variant (which includes a quantity of international calling minutes) or the "data" version, which as the name suggests gives you extra data instead. It's only slightly more expensive than Virgin Mobile or Optus' deal but it's offering a lot more value.

    Australia's top high-data iPhone 8 64GB plan

    Apple's contention is that the iPhone 8 is a serious premium phone, although it's due to be somewhat eclipsed by the iPhone X at the end of November. As such, matching it with a plan with lots of data may appeal to you, but how much can (or should) you pay? Here's how each carrier compares at the top end.

    Provider/planCapacityPlan costHandset repaymentTotal monthly costCalls/textsDataMinimum 24-month cost
    Vodafone Red $100 iPhone 8 64GB64GB$100.00$44.95$144.95Unlimited50GB$3,478.80
    Telstra Premium iPhone 8 64GB64GB$199$0$199Unlimited100GB$4,776.00
    Telstra XXL iPhone 8 64GB64GB$149$0$149Unlimited50GB$3,576.00
    Optus My Plan Plus $120 iPhone 8 64GB64GB$100$27$127Unlimited100GB$3,048.00
    Virgin Mobile $100 iPhone 8 64GB64GB$100$3$103Unlimited24GB$2,472.00

    Telstra is in here twice for a reason.

    Its Premium plan is its top-tier plan at the moment, but it doesn't make a great deal of sense to opt for only the 64GB iPhone 8 at that plan price. Telstra will give you literally any phone in its range right now for $199 per month with no handset repayments at all. We'll have to wait and see if that includes the iPhone X 64GB or 256GB when they launch, but if Telstra Premium tempts you, you really ought to consider the iPhone 8 Plus 256GB, or at least the iPhone 8 256GB if you don't like the size of the larger iPhones. Neither would cost you any extra, but that's why Telstra's XXL plan also gets a look in, because it's more closely comparable with the other carriers' plans.

    Virgin Mobile again stakes out the low price territory, but it does so matching up a plan with a comparably low data allocation. Optus is the clear winner in this space, with its discounted $160 plan available at launch at a serious discount, and with a winning 100GB of data allowance thrown in.

    Want to compare against your own criteria for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus plans? Our Mobile Phone Finder below can help you find the right plan. We've preselected all iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models, but you can adjust any parameter you need by clicking or tapping on "modify results" below:

    Latest mobile plan deals on finder

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