Update: 6 May 2015: It's likely the prices in this news story have changed since the time of writing, so use our Cheap iPhones tool to get the best deal to suit your needs. Apple has also since launched the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

If you're planning to join the queues for the latest iPhones, which went on sale today, MoneySavingExpert.com has compared prices from all the major mobile providers to make sure you get the cheapest deal.

Apple's new models were unveiled on 10 September, with pay-monthly prices for the iPhone 5C announced last week. But despite being touted as a "budget" option, the 5C will still cost an arm and a leg. See the iPhone 5C price plans launched MSE News story for full details of the cheapest 5C tariffs.

The 5S costs even more than the 5C, but is a higher-spec product. It comes in silver, gold and "space grey", with a faster A7 chip, a better camera, a fingerprint sensor and an M7 motion coprocessor, which can be used with a host of new fitness apps.

Below we compare the cheapest pay monthly tariffs, as well as the pay monthly plans where you can get the iPhone 5S for free. However, other tariffs may be better for you depending on your usage.

Come back to our iPhone Deals tool next week once it's been updated with all the new prices.

Martin Lewis
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Weigh up the costs

Before you take the plunge by getting either new iPhone, check you're getting the best deal, and also consider getting a mobile that doesn't come with a hefty price tag (see our Cheap Samsung or Cheap Phones guides to explore your options).

"No iPhone is MoneySaving, but people absolutely love them. Witness the queues outside Apple stores worldwide this morning," says MoneySavingExpert.com’s deputy head of editorial, Guy Anker.

"So if you desperately want to be an early adopter, even though it can be cheaper to wait, make sure you do your research and do it the cheapest way possible."

Apple will no longer sell the iPhone 5, but the 4S will still be available to buy new and it includes most of the 5S features such as Siri and the iOS 7 operating system. It's also likely the launch of the 5C and 5S will force the prices of older models down – so look out for a deal if you're not too fussed about having the most up-to-date model.

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) costs

An unlocked iPhone 5S, directly from Apple, will set you back £549 for the 16GB model, £629 for the 32GB model, and a whopping £709 for 64GB of memory.

On the other hand, an unlocked iPhone 5C, directly from Apple, will set you back £469 for the 16GB model or £549 for 32GB of memory.

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) prices for the 5S are yet to be released, so keep an eye out for these if you don't want to get locked into a monthly contract.

Pay monthly deals

To avoid paying any upfront fee for a 5S, your only option is to go for a 16GB phone on a more expensive two-year tariff. There are no upfront costs on any Tesco Mobile iPhone 5S tariffs, but it doesn't currently offer 4G coverage.

So calculate all the costs over the length of the contract before deciding which plan to go for.

Here are the cheapest plans where the handset is free:

Free iPhone 5S (16GB)
O2 Tesco Mobile Three Vodafone (i)
3G 4G (ii) 3G (iii) 3G (iv) 3G 4G-ready (v)
Monthly cost £42 £47 £39.50 £52 £42 £47
Inclusive minutes Unlimited Unlimited 1,000 2,000 (vi) Unlimited Unlimited
Inclusive texts Unlimited Unlimited 5,000 5,000 Unlimited Unlimited
Inclusive data 1GB 1GB 2GB Unlimited 2GB 4GB
Contract length 24 months 24 months 24 months 24 months 24 months 24 months

There are no free handsets available with EE. (i) No upfront cost only when you trade in a working iPhone 4, 4S or 5. (ii) 4G is only available in certain cities. (iii) Tesco Mobile doesn't currently offer 4G coverage. (iv) Three customers on a 3G pay monthly contract will be automatically upgraded to 4G at no extra cost when it rolls out 4G coverage in December. (v) Vodafone's 4G signal is only available in London, extending to most major UK cities by the end of 2013. If you sign up for a 4G contract before November, you'll also get an extra 4GB of data each month for the duration of your contract. If you get an iPhone 5C or 5S contract online with Vodafone before Fri 27 Sep, you'll get a £20 bill credit within 12 weeks. (vi) 2,000 'any network' minutes, plus 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes.

If you're more worried about keeping monthly costs down, which means combining a low-usage plan with stumping up the cash for a handset, these are each network's cheapest monthly tariffs:

Lowest monthly cost 4G iPhone 5S (16GB) by provider
EE O2 (i) Vodafone (ii)
Monthly cost £26 £22 £47 £47
Phone cost £259.99 £600 £0 (iii) £79
Inclusive minutes Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Inclusive texts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Inclusive data 500MB 1GB 4GB 2GB
Contract length 24 months 24 months 24 months 24 months

Three has no 4G tariffs at present as it won't roll out 4G coverage until December. (i) 4G is only available in certain cities. (ii) Vodafone's 4G signal is only available in London, extending to most major UK cities by the end of 2013. (iii) No upfront cost only when you trade in a working iPhone 4, 4S or 5.


Lowest monthly cost 3G iPhone 5S (16GB) by provider
O2 Orange (EE) T-Mobile (EE) Tesco Mobile Three Vodafone
Monthly cost £17 £10.50 £7 £39.50 £37 £38
Phone cost £600 £369.99 £419.99 £0 £99 £149
Inclusive minutes Unlimited 30 50 1,000 2,000 (i) 600
Inclusive texts Unlimited 500 100 5,000 5,000 Unlimited
Inclusive data 1MB 100MB 250MB 2GB Unlimited 500MB
Contract length 24 months 24 months 24 months 24 months 24 months 24 months
(i) 2,000 'any network' minutes, plus 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes.

Getting the best price

Be sure to check cashback sites to see if you can save money on buying a new iPhone (see our guide to using Cashback Sites).

It's also worth using your consumer clout to haggle a good deal with your network provider, especially if you've been a loyal customer for several years. Threaten to switch and see if they'll lower your costs or throw in any extras.

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