An Early iPhone Upgrade

I am one of those people who loves the latest, shiny new electronic toy. If I had the budget, I’d fill my entire flat with gizmos and gadgets. Mrs P would probably object, but then if I had the money, she’d be out shopping for shoes and might not notice. But aside from budget constraints, there’s another issue that prevents me from upgrading my second favourite gadget whenever I want to. My mobile phone. It’s that two year contract with the network, locking you in. My camera is my number one gadget. Of course.

I still have seven months left on my HTC One contract. It’s a great camera. I love it. But have you seen the shiny new iPhone 6?! It’s just so….shiny. And new. I want one. But how, oh how do I get one? And by getting one, I mean now. Not is seven months. Without paying an arm and a leg for the privilege. Preferably, without paying anything more than I do now. Well, it’s actually quite simple. I sat down, did a little research and then did the maths.

First things first. I am going to have to pay Three £35 a month for the next seven months. Fact. But could I use my current plan in a different phone? More to the point, will Three swap over my plan from the micro sim of the HTC to the nano sim of the iPhone 6? The answer, happily, was yes. For a small and very affordable charge of £5.

Second issue. How can I get an iPhone, without paying a deposit (or at least only paying a small one) and without a network contract but with the payments still  spread over 24 months, without ridiculous interest charges. There’s a number of ways. I’m going to deal with the 16gb model here. You can buy one from the Apple Store on finance, paying a total of £600 for a £539 phone. Or from GiffGaff, paying Just a few pence under £590.

There are other ways to do this and pay even less interest. Such as take advantage of Curry’s Buy Now Pay 12 Months deal. In 12 months pay it off with a 0% transfer credit card and all you have to do is pay the fees – £25 to Currys as an early settlement fee and anything from £5 to £15 for the balance transfer. This adds up less than, but pretty close to, what you’d pay Apple. Which is why I went the Apple route. It’s just easier.

Third issue. For the next seven months, I will still be paying £35 to Three and now another £25 to Apple. Which leaves me £25 extra out of pocket for the next six months. That was simple to resolve. Firstly, by the time I actually get my iPhone and have paid the first instalment, I’ll only have six months left on my contract. Secondly, I’ll just sell my current phone. I don’t need two, and I’d get a handy £120 for it. Which I can offset against the extra £25 p/m I have to pay.

Ok, so I will still have to pay an extra £5 per month for the next six months. But I can manage that. And actually, I will be better off in the long run*. When my contract with Three is up, I will keep the sim only plan at £15 per month. So I’ll be paying in total the sum of £40 per month for my iPhone with unlimited data. Instead of the £45 I’d be paying Three, plus the £99 upfront cost, if I upgraded next year with them. In total, with Three, you’d pay £1179 over 2 years. Going the independent route, the total cost is £960. That’s a saving of more than £200. Plus, I’m free from the phone contracts. Sure, I’m paying the phone on finance, but I’ve split the hardware away from the network. Which is great**. Which begs the question. Why is anyone signing up to phone contracts with the network operators?

So I have ordered my phone. It’ll be here in a week or two. I plumped for the Space Grey model. Just 16 gbs. That’s plenty. I checked my 32gb HTC One. I’ve only half filled it up in 17 months, and there’s at least 5 gigs of rubbish just waiting to be cleansed.

* Yes, I know. I’d be better off still if I did wait till my upgrade date. But stop raining on my parade!

** O2 and GiggGaff both already split the call plans from the phones. That’s a great move by them. Three haven’t. That’s a poor move. I shopped elsewhere as a result.


9 thoughts on “An Early iPhone Upgrade

  1. Dan Green says:

    Gary, happily I’m a techno-phoebe! I use a 3yo Tracfone that cost $89 a year for service and gives 1200 minutes to use, AND rolls over your unused minutes! I can take photos, surf the web,listen to 4gb of music, et al, and with presently 2863 minutes to use, even talk for quite a while… Most of my communications is now done via FaceTime on this iPad, as all family (near and far) have iPads or iPhones as well! The phone I have is now relegated to “lifeline” status, and is great when needed to call the AAA, or the missus when I’m in the store having a senior moment and trying to remember what she sent me out for – after having a couple at the local! Best of luck with the new phone, and remember to NOT put it in your back pocket!


  2. But Dan, you’re missing out on something so amazing. Let me repeat the key words again. New and shiny. New. And. Shiny. So shiny.

    When I walk into a shop, I am putty in their hands. I’ll follow a salesperson wielding the latest gadget to the till just like a dog will follow you if you’re holding a bacon sandwich.


  3. I’m still using my 3-4 year old iPhone 4, which mostly still works fine, though the home button has gotten a smidgen cranky. I also had to spend some time cleaning fluff out of the headset jack recently, but sans fluff, it works great. I did look into replacing the home button, but even for this mechanically astute adventurer, the 37-step process with a bunch of VERY fiddly and small bits seemed a bit daunting. I had hoped this phone, with 4 moving parts would last a very long time, but I’m beginning to wonder whether I should upgrade. I’d also like an unlocked phone so I can swap the sim cards when I go to Mexico.

    But so far, I have bigger fish to fry, so the phone project awaits.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we have also pondered switching to android.


  4. It’s lasted 3 or 4 years? Then it has lasted a very long time! In dog years, it’s over 20. In iPhone years, it’s well over a hundred….

    Android is a perfectly valid and viable alternative. But I’m looking forward to returning to the Apple fold. For now.


      • Pollute my shiny new iPhone with exported Google debris? Pft. The very idea!

        (But on a serious note, delivery is scheduled for Wednesday, so I will find out then. Were you on Facebook, you’d be able to follow my daily update courtesy of UPS tracking!)


        • I was being facetious, but not entirely without merit. Dear old Google REALLY wants it’s very own Google + network to spread. Whether you want it to spread all over your own account or not. Google seems adamant that the 3000 odd complete strangers who have ‘added me’ remain in my contacts list. Every time I set up android afresh I have to have a little fight with Google to make it hide these contacts from my real friends. Well, maybe ‘fight’ is an exaggeration. But still. Needless to say, I don’t want them all coming over to Apple with me. So there certainly is some Google debris is like to leave behind.


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