Apple’s colourful iPhone 5c is now available for pre-order both direct from Apple and from the UK’s largest mobile networks.
Over the past few months networks have been announcing new ways for customers to buy themselves our of existing contracts so they can upgrade earlier.
But under one such deal, O2’s Refresh plan which separates the cost of the handset and airtime, the cost of the iPhone 5c seems to defy logic.
When bought on a 4G tariff – which range between £22 and £32 pounds per month – the 16GB version of the handset is available on five different pricing options as shown in this screen grab:
Let’s do the math:
Option 1: 24 months x £25 = £600
Option 2: 24 months x £20 = £480 + £29.99 = £509.99
Option 3: 24 months x £15 = £360 + £99.99 = £459.99
Option 4: 24 months x £10 = £240 + £229.99 = £469.99
Option 5: 1 x £600
So a customer buying the phone outright from O2 today will pay the same £600 as someone paying nothing upfront and spreading the whole cost over 24 months.
Plus, they’ll pay more than someone who makes a partial upfront payment and then spreads the balance over 24 months – despite there logically being a cost to O2 to service what is effectively a loan for the handset’s full cost.
And anyone buying the handset outright today will pay £131 more than Apple’s price of £469 just for dealing with O2.
Which is all a bit weird.
An O2 spokesman confirmed the prices were correct and insisted the firm’s Refresh tariff represented good value for customers.