Many se­duc­tive of­fers

CityPress - - Trending - GAR­RETH VAN NIEK­ERK gar­reth.van­niek­erk@city­

There are many al­lur­ing of­fers avail­able for some­one look­ing to get a smart­phone – with most of us ei­ther con­sid­er­ing spe­cial deals for new phones or pre­paid and con­tract op­tions from a net­work provider.

How­ever, a new op­tion on the South African mar­ket is the iPhone Upgrade Plan (IUP) now be­ing of­fered by iS­tores. The of­fer stip­u­lates that for 12 months you “pay off” the iPhone of your choice, but at the end of that year you are en­ti­tled to trade in the model you’ve been us­ing, re­plac­ing it with the lat­est iPhone.

Though the idea of al­ways hav­ing the lat­est iPhone may sound good, when you con­sider that you never re­ally “own” your iPhone in this process and don’t get any of the stan­dard net­work of­fer­ings of air­time or data with it, you may be in­clined to see what else is out there.

So in this week’s quest to help save you money, be­cause we all know things are tight, we looked at the four ma­jor net­work of­fers and com­pared them with the Ap­ple of­fer to find a glim­mer of hope be­tween the many con­fus­ing num­bers ( see graphic).

Our ver­dict? This is a tough one, and though the num­bers might sug­gest oth­er­wise, the de­ci­sion you make will have to re­quire some strate­gic plan­ning on your part. A con­tract is a two-year, some­times three-year, com­mit­ment and, with South Africans’ credit rat­ings be­ing the way they are, it could re­ally get you into big trou­ble if you de­fault on a pay­ment.

For those with the cash on hand to buy a de­vice out­right, you can re­ally save a chunk of money in what you would have spent on in­ter­est. But if you’re not the pre­paid sort of per­son, MTN does seem to have the best con­tract of­fer.

Ei­ther way, shop around be­fore jump­ing in – a smart­phone is not very smart if it’s cost­ing you too much.

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