Buying iPhone 5: Which Australian Carrier and Plan Should You Choose?

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By Kristin Dian Mariano | September 17, 2012 3:32 PM EST

Australian carriers wasted no time in updating their websites with the plans and deals for the new device, as tech giant Apple announced that the new iPhone 5 will be available for pre-order last September 14.

Telstra, Optus, and Virgin are gearing up for the first 4G iPhone, while Vodafone is offering the device on its 3G and "3G+" DC-HSPA network, ahead of a 4G launch in 2013.

Below is the comparison of the cheapest data plans offered by Australian carriers:

Telstra

The cheapest 16GB iPhone 5 plan is $67 per month inclusive of Unlimited SMS and $600 value of Calls and MMS and 1GB Data.

As expected, due to its wide 4G/LTE coverage in Australia, stocks of iPhone 5 that are available for pre-order are already sold out. Interested buyers in Telstra may have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the new smartphone from Apple.

Optus

The cheapest offering from Optus is $66 per month for 16GB handset inclusive 1.5GB data, $650 value, unlimited SMS and unlimited access to various social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The 32GB and 64GB variants of the new iPhone are already out of stock.

According to Optus' website, "The Optus 4G network is available in selected areas of Sydney, Newcastle and Perth, and in selected areas of Melbourne from mid- September. To access the Optus 4G network you need a compatible 4G device (1800MHz) and plan."

Vodafone

The minimum cost of availing an 16GB iPhone 5 under Vodafone is $48 inclusive $180 value, 200 MB data and $70 value for standard national voice calls to Vodafone and 3 other mobiles.

The new iPhone 5 supports 4G/LTE connectivity. According to Vodafone's website, it is set to roll out its 4G network in 2013. However, no definite date is given. Thus, the new iPhone 5 is offered under its 3G and "3G+" DC-HSPA network

Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile Australia offers the latest 16GB iPhone 5 for as low as $65 inclusive of $450 plan rates, 250 MB monthly data. The plan included unlimited calls, video calls, SMS and MMS from Virgin to Virgin subscribers.

Buying an iPhone 5 on Teltra and Optus are the best decision since both networks offered 4G networks allowing users to enjoy the new feature of the device.

However, if you want to buy the new iPhone and do not want to be bound with 24-month contracts, below are some of the stores you may want to check out.

Apple Store - Whenever a new device comes out, Fans and consumers formed a long line outside the Apple Stores in Sydney and Melbourne. This is expected to happen this Friday, September 21, when iPhone 5 finally hits the shelves worldwide.

Kogan - Kogan Australia offers unlocked iPhone for people who do not want to buy in contract handsets. IBTimes AU reported that Kogan is offering the latest smartphone much cheaper compared to the original price of the device. One can avail the new iPhone on these prices: iPhone 5 16GB - $649; iPhone 5 32GB - $749; iPhone 5 64GB - $849.

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