Tesco has launched a new iPhone tariff that is best for mid-end users who don't want to be tied to a long contract.

It has also simplified its low-user tariff which is the cheapest-available iPhone contract, but that may mean fewer minutes for some (see the Cheapest iPhone guide).

The company's new £35 a month tariff offers 750 minutes and unlimited texts and mobile internet on a 12-month contract. The popular 16GB 3GS model (the latest available) costs £200 on that deal, meaning you pay £620 over the year.

The nearest comparable offer comes from Orange. It charges £35 a month for 600 minutes, 500 texts and unlimited mobile internet on an 18-month contract. The 16GB 3GS handset costs £189. Over 12 months, you pay £609.

While £11 cheaper than Tesco, you get 150 fewer minutes on Orange. Plus, you're locked in for six months longer, when prices may fall further due to increased competition.

No more monopoly

Until a few months ago, you could only get an iPhone from O2 but Orange, Tesco and Vodafone have since entered the fray.

Tesco's £20 per month deal, also available for 12 months, now comes with 250 minutes, unlimited texts and internet at £320 for the 16GB handset.

What's changed is you used to get 300 mins OR 600 texts per month, or a combination of the two.

Daniel Lawrence, MoneySavingExpert.com consumer products analyst, says: "These are the sort of iPhone deals we have been waiting for.

"But while they are good for those who want the handset now, remember that Apple is likely to bring out a new model in the summer so you should seriously consider waiting."

Further reading/Key links

Slash mobile costs: Cheap Mobiles
Sell old mobiles: Sell Old Mobiles
iPhone guide: Cheap iPhones