Tesco to introduce iPhone on Monday for £20 per month [UK]

Tesco supermarket in the UK said today that it will introduce the iPhone 3G and 3GS on Monday December 14 for £20 a month based on a 12 month contract. The catch you ask? The iPhone will cost you at least £222.

News broke last month that Tesco was planning to introduce the iPhone before Christmas but many had assumed the supermarket would offer monthly contracts similar to those of O2 and Orange. Tesco confirmed today that it will offer the iPhone 3GS with £60 worth of calls and texts a month (approx 150 mins and 300 texts) for a monthly cost of £20. The 16GB iPhone 3GS will cost customers £320 up front based on a 12 month contract or will be offered free on an unlimited calls and texts contract which lasts 24 months and is charged at £60 per month.

Tesco also confirmed it will be offering the iPhone 3G and 3GS on pay as you go, the prices are identical to that of O2. It's interesting to see Tesco offering new contract options for the iPhone when you consider that Tesco uses O2's network. Tesco Mobile is a 50/50, joint venture between O2 and Tesco meaning that Tesco SIMs use the O2 network for calls and data.

View: Tesco iPhone

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47 Comments

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Still way to expensive for just how tied down the OS is and lacking in multitasking. If the next iphone sorts these things out then I'm first in the queue as its so fast!

Sooo all the UK folks are saying it's damn expensive and the US folks are saying it's a steal and cheap.

Now that is interesting.

RawGutts said,
Sooo all the UK folks are saying it's damn expensive and the US folks are saying it's a steal and cheap.

Now that is interesting.


haha, i like this post

Putting this in perspective, w/ AT&T in America the cheapest plan for the iPhone is £57.7/month (I have included my local taxes in that figure). That is with 550 mins, 200 texts and "unlimited data". The 32GB 3GS phone is £203.69 with a 2 year contract.

Edit: Correction, you can get a plan with no texting for about £54.31

Shadrack said,
Putting this in perspective, w/ AT&T in America the cheapest plan for the iPhone is £57.7/month (I have included my local taxes in that figure). That is with 550 mins, 200 texts and "unlimited data". The 32GB 3GS phone is £203.69 with a 2 year contract.

Edit: Correction, you can get a plan with no texting for about £54.31


It's like comparing two kinds of crap really, but good comparison, its unusual to see something cheaper in the UK than it is in the US.

Chicane-UK said,
�60/month is UNLIMITED calls and texts. Awesome if you're a business user!

T-Mobile are currently doing unlimited everything for £25 a month, 24 month contract, free blackberry 8520.

WooHoo!!! said,
Then Apple release the new iPhone next year and make it exclusive again. Round and round we go.

One of the many reasons I don't see the iphone as being a very good investment for such a large amount of money, and one of the reasons I wouldn't ever consider buying one.

The iPhone is a nice phone but it's not worth what these companies are offering. You can get a Sony Ericsson Satio for �25 a month and pay nothing upfront (24month/600text/300min) and it's a far more advanced phone. It just doesn't have the Apps, and it's not an Apple-branded product.

The iPhone should be similarly priced - if not cheaper. Considering you have to pay for most of the Apps as well.

Quigley Guy said,
not really... lacks a lot of features

And the iPhone doesnt? Wheres the decent camera, and flash? And up until recently it didn't even support MMS. What is it lacking exactly? Apart from the Apps. I don't think I'm prepared to pay £90 upfront and then £35 a month for 2 years for 150 texts and 50 minutes or something. That's just stupid.

Overall, neither phone is far more advanced than the other (at least not enough to put "far" in italics). I find it highly ridiculous that you're championing a phone because of its (necessary?) 12.1MP capabilities, but then act dismissive of the App Store on iPhones. (Personally I find the 3MP camera to be decent and I'd trade an extra ~9MP for the App Store anyday.) It's also very silly to bring up MMS, when it is currently supported and it was available on the iPhone before the Satio even came out (using availability info. from Wiki). I'm not sure what tariff you're talking about at the end, but I do agree it is stupid.

Manish said,
Overall, neither phone is far more advanced than the other (at least not enough to put "far" in italics). I find it highly ridiculous that you're championing a phone because of its (necessary?) 12.1MP capabilities, but then act dismissive of the App Store on iPhones. (Personally I find the 3MP camera to be decent and I'd trade an extra ~9MP for the App Store anyday.) It's also very silly to bring up MMS, when it is currently supported and it was available on the iPhone before the Satio even came out (using availability info. from Wiki). I'm not sure what tariff you're talking about at the end, but I do agree it is stupid.

You seem very emotionally attached to your iphone, have you considered proposing yet, or would it be to soon?

I just like to tell it like it is. In the 7 minutes it took you to perfect that lame comment, you could've tried to point out where I said anything wrong.

Manish said,
I just like to tell it like it is. In the 7 minutes it took you to perfect that lame comment, you could've tried to point out where I said anything wrong.

Feeling the need to defend an inanimate object?

Laura said,
Yeah still too much for povvos like me. I could never justify paying such huge amounts of money for it:/

Maybe if it were a liver we were talking about here, but all that money for a freaking phone?

Quite pricy. I have to say that its a much better deal to go Pay as you Go if you want an iPhone. First of all you get 12 months free 3G + OpenZone Wifi, and if you top up £20 a month you get a bolt-on of your choosing which may include 3G/WiFi or free Minutes/Txts it works out a lot cheaper than the Monthly unless you find yourself using your phone every minute of the day with it glued to your face.

I think the best deal is actually the O2 simplicity tariffs for the iPhone. £20 for 600 mins and 1200 texts, as well as free web/wi-fi and visual voicemail. Only a 30 day contract. Great for people already with an iPhone, and still pretty good if you buy a new iPhone on as PAYG.

Manish said,
I think the best deal is actually the O2 simplicity tariffs for the iPhone. £20 for 600 mins and 1200 texts, as well as free web/wi-fi and visual voicemail. Only a 30 day contract. Great for people already with an iPhone, and still pretty good if you buy a new iPhone on as PAYG.

It depends who and how much you use the voice minutes. If you don't make all that many calls and you mainly phone O2 numbers, you can top up two months, and then skip topping up the third (repeat the cycle). That means it works out £10 a month for minutes, texts and data... Half the cost of simplicity. Entirely depends on usage.

Fair point. I should have added "(assuming you top-up £20 every month and/or require a decent amount of minutes and texts)" after "the best deal is".

Interesting a few days ago I seen Tesco Mobile on the iPhone Bt Openzone pages, it all makes sense now!

I would presume these deals are because of the fact that Tesco manage contracts differently to other carriers, with no termination fees and just a direct debit.

CarlJ said,
I would assume the usual 20p a min calls and 10p a min texts which when you convert it is 300mins or 600 texts.

Remember it's half price to 5 numbers you pick so it'll probably work out as more minutes/texts than that.

Forget all that paying up front for the phone nonsense. I just look at the lowest monthly cost where you can also get the phone for free, and that's £60 per month with Tesco. £15 less per month than o2 charge just to get a 6 month contract reduction.... no thanks.

Edit: Wait a minute... its a bloody 24 month contract at £60 to get the phone free! What a rip-off! I thought Tesco should be cheaper than going to o2 direct?

The retailers have to subsidise the cost of the iPhone... Tesco didn't get so big by selling stuff at a massive loss...

Is that the only choice? £20 or £60 contracts? Neither looks like an amazing deal to be honest. It's hard to tell because I don't know what £60 of calls and texts (on the £20 contract) translates to on Tesco's network?

Thats a headline grabbing number that one and it worked here for me... i msgd someone str8 away.... then read the details and msg'd back saysing "False Alarm"

£20 per month for a 12-month iPhone contract contract sounds good, until you check how much you're paying up-front for the phone.

But then O2 and Orange are offering rip off contracts. I think the Tesco one actually works out cheaper. Hopefully this will make Vodafone more competitive when they put the phone on their network in 2010.

Considering the original 2-year AT&T-only 4GB iPhone started at US $499 up front, and this 1-year 16GB iPhone 3GS starts at US $471, I think it's a steal. Surely I can't be the only person who would rather pay more up front for the device to get the lower monthly price and the added flexibility that gives me should I become unhappy with my carrier's service.

McDave said,
Better to get it on O2 with a simplicity sim a lot more txts and calls.

How so?

The total cost of the iPhone over 12 months on Tesco is £460 for the 16GB 3GS.

To get it on Simplicity on o2 would require you to buy the PAYG version for £440 which is not far off the total cost for Tesco with the same call/text package and web/wifi browsing for 12 months. The cheapest Simpicity deal is £10 a month which gives you exactly the same amount of minutes as the Tesco deal and the total cost would be £560. And that isn't even with Web & Wifi included which would cause the total cost to balloon to £730 which is getting very close to the total cost of the £35/month contract over 18 months which has 600mins and 500 texts.

How so?

The online £10/month Simplicity deal gives you 150 mins + 300 texts. The iPhone would cost you £440 and Simplicity £120, so the total cost is £560 for 12 months. Like what you said.
The "£60 worth of free calls" £20/month tariff gives you the same minutes and texts. Like what you said. The iPhone costs £320 and the Tesco tariff £240, so the total cost is £560 for 12 months. Unlike what you said.
Also Web & WiFi is £10/month, which means it would balloon the cost to £680 for 12 months. Unlike what you said.
But I agree that Tesco is better with the above tariffs.

However with O2's new simplicity deals for the iPhone, £20/month gets you 600 mins + 1200 texts, including Web & WiFi and Visual Voicemail. Again the iPhone is £440, new simplicity is £240, so the total is £680. But for £120 extra, I get 4x as many minutes and texts. Well worth it, and, I think, that's what McDave meant. (Assuming you make calls lasting longer 2.5 hours and send more than 300 texts, in one month.)