iPhone 4 - Buy outright or on contract?


macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 13, 2008
Hi all,

I sent my iPhone 3G 16GB to be fixed last month to a company which my insurance company (bank) advised me to for a crack above the dock connector. After sending it back to them 3 TIMES for various other problems when they sent it back to me, my bank has now advised I send them the phone and will send me a cheque for £449 :D.

Now for my question!! Would you buy the iPhone outright (£499) or get it on contract and pocket part of the £449 for a rainy day, my other half's new phone etc?

If I was to get it on contract I was looking at getting one through Tesco, can anyone tell me what it is like with Tesco?



macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2009
Buy it outright and get O2 simplicity. :) Seems to be the best way to go, and is very reasonably priced.


Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
You should end up paying less if you go onto a good PAYG tariff, compared to a contract iPhone.

I would think buying one PAYG and then using an iPhone simplicity tarif from O2 would be the cheapest option.


macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2010
London, UK
There is another alternative that I'm surprised nobody seems to have been doing:
a) At the end of your contract negotiate a cheap tariff deal with your existing network based on the worst phone they offer
b) After getting the best tariff deal you can (more than 1 person I know got £12-£15 for ~800mins, ~1,000 txts, unlimited data), get the best phone you can get with the deal and try and get some accessories thrown in (eg bluetooth handsfree kit)
c) Sell your new phone and accessories (I got £250 for mine)
d) Buy an iPhone 4 outright

You save a few hundred over 2 years and get the phone you want compared to going on an iPhone contract. I have heard that O2 have taken issue with people using iPhones on non-iPhone contracts, but the others seem to be fine with it.