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'Free' iPhones - contracts with no upfront cost

How to find a 'free' iPhone deal

People often talk about getting a 'free' iPhone when they sign up for a new contract. There’s no such thing of course - you’ll pay it off over the course of your contract - but you do get the handset for no upfront cost.

Compare deals

There are loads of these 'free' plans available, covering multiple iPhone models, including:

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 5

See loads more 'free' phone deals here.

How to get a 'free' iPhone pay monthly deal

It couldn’t be simpler to find an iPhone plan with no upfront cost. Simply look at the top of this page, and you’ll see plenty of options already laid out for you - including the option to pick a ‘free’ phone. If you want to refine your search, use the filters to select everything from the specific iPhone model, to the amount of data included in your monthly plan.

Alternatively you can head over to this page on broadbandchoices for even more great iPhone deals - including some with unlimited data.

How do 'free' iPhone deals work?

These plans are designed for people who want an iPhone, but don’t want to splurge a large amount of cash all at once.

Say, for example, you want an iPhone 7, but don’t have £100+ to blow all at once. One of these ‘free’ mobile plans means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront - instead you spread the cost over the life of the contract.

The trade-off is that you’ll typically end up spending more overall than you would if you just paid upfront - or bought the phone outright. But for some people, it’s the most affordable way of getting their hands on Apple’s latest wonderphone.

What’s the cheapest iPhone plan?

The cheapest iPhone plan will depend on when you look, as deals change all the time. The easiest thing to do is sort by cost in our comparison tool. Still, here are a few other tips that may help you skimp a little on the bill:

  • Use a reseller - These companies offer plans for the major networks, including Three, O2, Vodafone and EE, that are often noticeably cheaper than going through the network directly. If you want the cheapest plan possible, you should definitely look at what they offer. Find out more about resellers in our guide.
  • Get an earlier iPhone model - The latest iPhone may get all the headlines, but the older models are still darn good phones. Choosing a model that’s one or two years old, such as the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, for example, dramatically lowers the price, as well as the chance at getting a cheap no upfront cost plan.
  • Get a refurbished iPhone - These are used handsets that have been revamped, so they’re in good condition and full working order. Not everyone is comfortable with a refurbished phone, but if you want the cheapest plan possible, this is likely to be it.

What’s good about 'free' iPhone plans?

  • Spreads the cost of the handset - It’s easier to absorb the cost of an iPhone X when payments are split over a two year contract rather than one big lump sum.
  • Makes the most expensive iPhones affordable - iPhones have changed a lot over the years, but one thing’s consistent - they’re ruddy expensive! These type of plans put them within reach of more people.
  • Lots of choice available - Many networks and resellers offer iPhone pay monthly contracts with no upfront cost, so you should be able to find one that suits you.

What’s bad about 'free' iPhone plans?

  • They’re not free - We just want to stress this. You may not be paying anything initially, but you are still paying for that phone.
  • More expensive in the long term - You’ll likely end up paying more than the value of the phone over the course of your contract. Buying the phone outright and getting a SIM-only deal, or getting a plan with an upfront payment will work out cheaper overall.
  • Long contract terms - A standard no upfront cost contract can run 24-months. That does spread out the cost, but it also locks you in for longer than you might be comfortable with.
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