Four of the major UK mobile networks have revealed prices for the Apple iPhone 4S, which will be released a week today.

Orange, T-Mobile, Three and Vodafone have all released costs today, with the handset available to pre-order now, other than on Orange which only allows you to register your interest.

Disappointingly for consumers, only Orange and Vodafone offer contract lengths of less than two years, meaning many will be tied into long-term deals.

Those on a 24-month deal are unlikely to be able to upgrade to the iPhone 5, if it launches next year, unless they pay high exit fees.

O2 and Tesco – which often has some of the best iPhone deals – have yet to announce prices.

High prices

As the prices below show, the new phone doesn't come cheap, but bargain-hunters can get the older iPhone 4 or 3GS at much lower prices. You can compare iPhone models showing what functions each handset possesses, on the Apple website.

The iPhone 4S is available with 16, 32, or 64GB of memory. The more you want, the more you'll pay.

However, existing customers upgrading may be able to negotiate better deals by haggling with their provider.

The networks have yet to announce pay-as-you-go prices, though you can buy the iPhone 4S from Apple for £499 for the 16GB version, £599 for 32GB or £699 for 64GB.

Here are some of the deals available from the networks:

Free handsets

It is possible to pick up an iPhone 4S for nothing but only if you sign up to a long and expensive package.

Here are the cheapest plans where a 16GB iPhone 4S is free:

Free iPhone 4S 16GB
Orange T-Mobile Three Vodafone
Monthly cost £46 £46 £43 £51
Monthly minutes 1,200 1,200 900 1,200
Contract length Two years Two years Two years 18 months
Text and data allowances vary. Prices rounded to nearest £1.

Low monthly costs

If you're more worried about keeping monthly costs down, which means choosing a low use plan with high handset cost, these are the cheapest tariffs provided by each network.

Low monthly cost iPhone 4S 16GB
Orange T-Mobile Three Vodafone
Monthly cost £20 £26 £30 £26
Phone cost £310 £240 £129 £359
Monthly minutes 50 100 300 100
Contract length Two years Two years Two years Two years
Text and data allowances vary. Prices rounded to nearest £1.

Other contracts compared

We've also picked out comparable low use (300 minutes of talk time per month) and high use (1,200 minutes) deals on all four networks on a 16GB handset, on a two-year deal.

iPhone 4S 16GB, 300mins, 24 months
Orange T-Mobile Three Vodafone
Monthly cost £36 £31 £30 £31
Phone cost £100 £170 £129 £259
Text and data allowances vary. Prices rounded to nearest £1.
iPhone 4S 16GB, 1,200mins, 24 months
Orange T-Mobile Three Vodafone
Monthly cost £46 £46 (i) £46
Phone cost Free Free (i) Free
Text and data allowances vary. Prices rounded to nearest £1. (i) The closest similar tariff is Three's 900-min contract with a free handset, at £43/month.

As Orange and Vodafone also offer 18-month contracts, here are some of their deals compared. Vodafone also has a year-long deal which is pricier but doesn't tie you in as long.

Orange Vodafone Orange Vodafone
iPhone 4S 16GB 18-months
300 mins 1,200 mins
Monthly cost £36 £36 £46 £51
Phone cost £240 £259 £100 free
Text and data allowances vary. Prices rounded to nearest £1.

Any other deals available?

Vodafone says anyone signing up today for an iPhone 4S will get £59 cashback.

Meanwhile, cashback site Quidco is paying £40 on all 24-month Vodafone 4S contacts.

Lower iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS prices

For those unwilling to pay such high prices, it is cheaper to buy one of Apple's previous two iPhone models, the 3GS or 4.

The 3GS, only available with 8GB memory, is free on all network price plans, while the 4 is free on many plans.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S on Tuesday, a day before its co-founder Steve Jobs died, after losing his battle against cancer.

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iPhone 4S prices