Looking for an iPhone 4 in Ireland? Wondering which operator offers the best deal?
Irish operators have been pitching some interesting deals on the iPhone 4 over the past month or two. As always, there's a fair bit of marketing involved in the presentation of the offers. To cut through the PR-speak, here is a basic comparison of iPhone 4 prices, availablility and conditions.
I'm going to do two tables: one based on 'free' iPhone offers and one based on comparative monthly tariff charges.
Upfront Monthly Data Minutes/texts Contract
Vodafone FREE €100 1GB 700+700 18 months
O2 FREE €100 1GB 700+350 18 months
3 FREE €40 15GB* 350 24 months
Meteor FREE €45 5GB 200+200 24 months
eMobile FREE €60 3GB 300+300 24 months
Monthly Upfront Data Minutes/texts Contract
Vodafone €45 €280 0.5GB 150+150 18 months
O2 €35 €260 0.25GB 250+250 18 months
3 €40 free 15GB* 350 24 months
Meteor €45 free 5GB 200+200 24 months
eMobile €45 €300 2GB 300+300 18 months
* A couple of additional notes, especially with regards to the distinction between "all you can eat" and a 15GB limit on 3's service:
1. The 15GB data allowance that I refer to is the level set out in its terms and conditions for what it calls 'All You Can Eat' data. While the inference is clearly that data use is unlimited, the 15GB level is a figure that the company has inserted for its own reasons, probably as a precaution against abuse. Privately, company executives insist that the 15GB level is simply a nominal level that will not be enforced. But that 15GB is the only specified data level that a customer can rely on if there is any dispute with the company as to 'fair use'. The problem is that there are several examples where 'unlimited' services spawn disputes that end up being decided on what is specifically, designedly set down in the terms and conditions. On the 'all you can eat' service's terms and conditions, this is what it says: "Should your data usage exceed 15GB in a billing cycle and your usage affect other network users, we reserve the right to limit your Service."
Leaving data caps aside, the 350 minutes/texts that 3 offers can be divided into wither texts or minutes. Finally, 3 says that its 'free iPhone' offer only lasts until June 30th.
2. eMobile plans quotes also give "unlimited" calls to Eircom landlines.
Finally, there are many different ways of comparing packages and mobile operators will always want to see the one that benefits their particular package ("what? You're comparing the devices without mentioning the free pink accessory kit you get with our offer? That's completely unbalanced!"). Also, I'm not going to go into all the add-ons (data, roaming etc) that operators offer: it defeats the purpose of a digestible table.