Many seductive offers
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.