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Optus drops prices on iPhone 4S ahead of iPhone 5, offers Samsung Galaxy S3 on 4G

  • New iPhone slated for Sept 12
  • Optus 4G network going live in Sydney, Newcastle, Perth and Melbourne
  • iPhone 4S discounting begins
Written by Adam Wajnberg
10/09/2012

Apple have given a surprising amount of confirmation that their September 12 press conference will unveil a new iPhone. The famously secretive firm sent out their media invites last week, amidst a storm of leaked shots and speculation, with a stark ‘It’s Almost Here’ emblazoned above a giant number 12, with the number 5 in its shadow. Unless Apple have brought all of our ‘Short Circuit’ fever dreams to life, it’s fair to assume that the new iPhone will indeed be called the iPhone 5.

iphone 5 is alive

iPhone 5...is alive!

 

Optus is the first major network to pre-empt the new release with discounts on the iPhone 4S, the year old model that will be superseded. Apple products rarely get heavy discounts, and this is no exception – it’s still notably more expensive than similar handsets in its class (like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or HTC One X), but then, only the iPhone gives you access to the Apple ecosystem of Apps, iTunes and iBooks.

 

optus iphone 4s

As the table above demonstrates, it’s still pretty difficult to get an iPhone on a 2 year contract without paying something every month – you’d have to take out the pricey $80 plan and the 16GB version. In exchange you would get $850 credit, 2GB of data and free calls to other Optus mobiles. Not bad, but we’re still talking about a 12 month old phone here.

The best mix of phone and plan is probably the 32GB for $10 on the $60 plan- enough space to pack in a good 10hrs of video, with plenty of room left over for pics and apps. All on a plan with $650 included call credit and 1.5GB of mobile data.

Similarly, Vodafone has the 16GB version for $0 on their $79 plan.

4G Network

                                  optus 4G

After ceding control of the 4G market to Telstra for the past year, Optus is making quick work of activating their own 4G network in capital cities this month. Like Telstra, Optus will run 4G services within a few km of Sydney, Perth, Newcastle and Melbourne (from Sept 15). Optus’ rollout might be linked to the release of the presumably 4G enabled iPhone 5; nevertheless, it’s good to see some competition in this space. As with Telstra, Optus’ 4G network will operate on the 1800MHz band, with download speeds between 10 and 50 Mbps depending on conditions.

The first phone to go on offer on Telstra’s 4G network is the Samsung Galaxy S3, and Optus are going for Telstra’s jugular. Samsung’s latest and greatest is available for just $7 a month on the Optus $60 cap plan, with $650 credit and 1.5GB of mobile data (unmetered access for Facebook, LinkedIn and eBay and Twitter).

By contrast, Telstra has the Galaxy S3 4G for $20 on their $60 Every Day Connect plan, which comes with $800 credit. It’s a bit of a see-saw act really – the Optus plan comes with unlimited SMS and calls to other Optus mobiles, the Telstra plan comes with free calls 7PM – 7AM. All in all, most people would be better off with the Optus plan, but the Telstra 4G network is more mature and proven to work in more places.

Stay tuned to Compare Mobile Plans in what’s sure to be a big week in mobile – apart from iPhone 5 and Optus 4G, expect new releases from Nokia, LG and Motorola!

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