Do you own an iPhone?
Which SIM Only contract is right for your iPhone? Which type of SIM card will you need – micro or nano? And how much money can you save?
Maybe you’re near, or at, the end of your contract and want to save money with a SIM Only iPhone deal. Or, you’ve cleverly just bought your iPhone outright and SIM free. If either of these rings true, then you’ve plenty of SIM Only plans to choose from.
The great thing about SIM Only is that you can easily switch to another network with a great deal. You will however, need to make sure your phone is unlocked to any network. If it isn't, you can find out more about how to unlock your iPhone here.
How much data do you need?
The contracts we’ve detailed are a selection of the best ones suited to most users looking for a decent sized data package to get the best out of their iPhone.
With more Internet data included, you can enjoy more data intensive applications such as Google Maps, Twitter and Facebook. Downloading these apps, watching YouTube videos, emailing etc, can mean you build up the amount of data you use without realising. We therefore recommend you choose a tariff with enough Internet data for all your needs.
Although 500MB is enough for the average user, we advise a minimum of 1GB of data allowance for iPhone users to be on the safe side. Unlimited Internet options are ideal if you stream videos, download music and apps frequently.
Should you buy your iPhone outright?
Although buying your mobile phone SIM free can seem expensive, the cost is wiped out by the continuous monthly savings on your cheaper tariff. This is especially true if you bought your iPhone for a good price or even second hand. Choose a cheap iPhone SIM Only deal between £10-£15 and those savings will happen even faster. To calculate how much you could save, use our savings calculator
Buying online can be cheaper
Tariffs online sometimes offer deals with savings of between £5-10 a month and going for a SIM Only could be up to 50% cheaper than a monthly iPhone contract tarrif.
Do bear in mind that you can get both 30-day and 12-month SIM Only contracts. The longer option gives more minutes and data for your money, which we recommend.
Nearly all of the networks now offer specialised iPhone SIM Only tariffs with a sizeable data package for you. Vodafone contracts with over 1200 minutes give you 25MB of European data each day at no extra cost. Three, T-Mobile, giffgaff and Virgin Mobile all offer unlimited Internet on selected plans.
Which SIM for which iPhone?
iPhone 3 and 3G
Look for the Smartphone tariffs as these will offer the standard SIM card you need for your iPhone 3G/3GS. There are now combi SIMs available too so if you decide to upgrade your phone at a later stage you will have a Micro SIM card ready to use.
iPhone 4 and 4S
The iPhone 4 is unique in many ways, especially with its micro SIM card, giving you two options to get a SIM card for your Smartphone. You can either order a micro SIM or cut a normal one down to size. Unless you’re confident about this, it’s probably safer and easier to buy it or ask your network provider for a replacement SIM card.
You can buy a micro or nano SIM from Three
online. If you’re with O2, you need to ring them up or go in-store to get a Nano SIM. You can always buy a normal SIM card from them online and ask to change it later.
The new iPhone 5 has a larger screen for great Internet surfing at your fingertips. This only takes the nano-SIM: no other type is compatible and you can’t cut a normal sized SIM down to fit. As with the iPhone 4/4S the nano SIM is only sold online by selected networks.
Our editor’s top pick
Three Mobile have some great Internet deals and our current favourite is The One Plan. This fantastic tariff is made for the iPhone as it gives you truly unlimited Internet plus 2000 minutes plus unlimited texts. Vodafone always has money saving promotions with surprising value, so do check those out. Whichever type of SIM card you need, Three provide them all online.
Looking for something cheaper? Three’s £12.90 p/mth option gives you 600 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB of data. Alternatively, for even more savings and flexibility, we highly recommend giffgaff's £10 goodybag PAYG SIM which gives you 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data.
The next best tariffs are available on Vodafone: do be sure to select the micro SIM card option at checkout. Although their data options aren't as fantastic, 500MB is normally enough for the average Smartphone user.