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Buying new iPhone upfront may be cheaper than a contract

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The new iPhone X launches in the US today at 6pm UK time. The latest incarnation is rumoured to have wireless charging, facial recognition and an edge-to-edge display.

However, if you are keen to get hold of the latest version – likely to cost around $1,000 (rumoured to be around £1,000) – a monthly contract may not be the best option, according to comparison site

Peter Earl, head of utilities at said that the group’s research on the iPhone 7 shows that taking a ‘free’ handset on a 24 month contract is likely to be the least cost-effective way to buy it.

He said: “Those able to buy the handset outright also stand to benefit from very attractive SIM only deals, a space where providers are becoming increasingly competitive. Someone who bought the iPhone 7 handset and, separately, a competitive contract offering 2gb data, unlimited texts and 1,000 minutes over a two-year period could have saved almost £100 over that time. Those willing to wait and purchase a ‘refurbished’ model could have paid up to £266 less than those who took a new model for ‘free’ alongside a two-year contract.”

Earl admitted that not everyone would be able to pay for the new iPhone upfront. However, Apple also plans to launch the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus at the same time, which are likely to be cheaper. It is expected these will be closer to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus prices of £599 and £719.

Earl said: “Consumers could consider using a credit card with an interest free period on purchases to buy the handset and then clear the balance before the offer period expires to benefit from the savings. This would be a more savvy option, rather than taking out a short payday loan or adding the cost to a higher interest card. People who want an iPhone but who are not desperate to have the new iPhone should bear in mind the price of the iPhone 7 is likely to drop significantly after the new model becomes available, making having one much more affordable.”

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