It's been a year of big announcements from some of the major smartphone makers like Apple, HTC, and Samsung with launches of their latest premium handset models to the Australian market. This included the releases of rival top-dog models like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Apple iPhone 5S. What I usually find though, is that once there's been a chance for the hype to die down, it's often an opportune time to look for good deals on mobile handsets/plans. Reason being that by this stage telco's are generally look to shift what they now consider "old stock" online and in-store. So if you're thinking about renewing or upgrading your existing contract, now's the time to have a look at choosing some of these handsets which, up until a few months ago, would have seen much higher levels of demand - and therefore associated cost too.
In my investigation, I decided to focus on averagely priced mobile plans costing between the $30 - $50 mark per month. What I discovered is that there are a couple of deals offering great value on certain top ranked handsets in the market including the iPhone 4S (16GB), HTC One (32GB), and even the Samsung Galaxy S4 (16GB). Also interesting was that of the plans offering the best value in this price range, and which included these handsets, all were from Vodafone. Here's a quick breakdown to help with your decision making.
Vodafone $30 Plan with the Apple iPhone 4s 16GB Handset
At $43 a month, this is the base plan for the Apple iPhone 4S which requires that you pay an additional $13 per month for the handset itself. This is on top of the $30 fee that goes towards the cost for the rest of the services. It's a 24 month contract which includes $200 worth of call time (or an estimated 169 minutes) and a 200MB download limit on data usage. Standard national calls outside of your monthly inclusion limit are charged at a rate of $0.98 per minute while text messages cost about $0.30 each. Extra data usage charges are $1 for every additional 10MB that you use if you exceed your limit. Your fixed costs over the 24 month period work out at $1,032.
Vodafone $30 Plan with the HTC One 32GB Handset
Offering another highly rated smartphone, the Vodafone $30 Plan lets you take home the HTC One (32GB) handset for an additional $16 on top of the regular service charges for a total monthly outlay of $46. You'll basically get the same limits as the plan above - i.e. $200 worth of call time (or an estimated 169 minutes) with a 200MB download limit on data usage. Your total minimum spend over the duration of the contract therefore ends up being $1,104.
Vodafone $40 Plan with the Apple iPhone 4s 16GB Handset
Moving up the cost ladder, the next best-value offer is the Vodafone $40 Plan which also gets you the iPhone 4S (16GB) for an extra $9 bringing the monthly total to $49. However, for this additional overall expenditure you'll be getting a bigger call time credit of $250 (or an estimated 211 minutes) along with a higher data limit of 500mb per month. Additional data usage charges are the same as the base plan, $0.10 per extra MB used, as are the call charges. Over the 24 month period you'll be committed to spending a minimum of $1,176 on this plan.
Vodafone $50 plan for the Samsung GALAXY S4 16GB Handset
If you're looking to get your hands on the most popular of all smartphones, then you can go with the Vodafone $30 Plan again and pay an extra $20 per month to get the new Samsung Galaxy S4 (16GB) handset. So for $50 per month, you'll get the same call time credit of $200 on standard national calls (or an estimated 169 minutes) along with the 200mb data limit each month. Your overall spending commitment for the 24 month period comes to a total of $1,200.
Ultimately what you're looking at above is a $7 difference on the monthly costs between these four Vodafone mobile plans. Over a two year period that's only $168 in additional expenditure between the most and least expensive options. As neither of these plans offer particularly generous free calls, SMS, or data limits, it makes it easier to pick one based on the handset you prefer most. One thing I will point out though, is if you click on the link at the beginning of the article which shows the top 10 smartphones on the market, the only one that isn't listed is the iPhone 4S (which you may want to take into consideration). So whether you'd purposefully decided to hold out on getting a new contract or if your existing one just so happens to be coming up for renewal, then it's well timed for you to take advantage of these great value offers from Vodafone right now.