iPhone 4S contract deals announced

A day after Apple announced the price of the SIM-free deals, the first network deals have also been announced, all of which aren't a million miles away from each other. As ever, it's all in the detail.

The first networks to show their hands are Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile, all of whom are offering you a free 16GB iPhone 4S for a £46 monthly fee. 'Free' is obviously a fairly loose term, as each of those deals will cost you £1,104 over the 24-month period, plus any costs you might incur along the way. But if you haven't the money to pay upfront and/or the time to hunt down a better sim deal, it's probably the way to go.

With Vodafone, that deal gets you 1,200 minutes, 750MB of data and unlimited texts. Obviously other deals are on the table too, with the monthly deal as cheap as £26 if you pay £359 upfront. There are also deals for 18 and 12 month contracts too, as well as variants for the larger capacity handsets. If you want the 64GB phone on the £46 deal, you'll need to pay £159 for the privilege. See the Vodafone page for the breakdown.

The Orange deal is fairly similar, although the detail varies. £46 in this case gets you a free phone and two-year contract with 900 minutes, unlimited text messages and a more generous 1GB of mobile data each month. Again, you can see the variations of that deal at the company's website.

You would expect the T-Mobile deal to be the same as the Orange one in light of the companies being under the same 'roof', but that's not actually the case. The headline price for the free phone is a fraction less at £45.96, but you get less data at 750MB per month, more minutes (1,200) and 500 texts. You can use one of the company's Flexible Boosters too, should you want more of something in particular. Again, variations abound, so you'll need to check out all the prices at the T-Mobile site.

No news as yet from O2 and Three, not to mention Tesco Mobile. Look out for all of those in the near future - you might want to do a full comparison before you commit. Because it is a big financial commitment, no matter what deal you sign up for.

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