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The best way to buy a new iPhone

Updated 04/10/17 


Everyone loves getting the best deals, so we took some time to try and find the best value ways to buy an iPhone in the UK, from iPhone SE to iPhone 8 Plus.

In the following tables we’ve calculated the cost of a 2 year contract with a carrier based on 24 standard monthly payments covering the costs of a locked iPhone and airtime, and compared that to the equivalent costs of purchasing an unlocked SIM free iPhone from KRCS, contracting to a SIM only airtime plan with a carrier, then selling or trading in the iPhone after two years to realise it’s ‘residual value'. Residual values after two years can fluctuate of course, but the values we’ve used are conservative if anything for an iPhone in good condition.

Something else we’ve been quite conservative about is the cost of the SIM only contract, mainly because we have to be fair and use one that’s available as SIM only and as part of an iPhone bundle (so we’re comparing like for like). But almost always that’s not going to be the best option for you. Buying an unlocked iPhone gives you the freedom to shop around and get a great deal on a SIM only deal with the right amount of data, texts and minutes for you.

Another significant benefit on top of having an unlocked iPhone and the ability to use any network you wish is KRCS’s no quibble 2 year guarantee for consumers, and should you experience any issues with your iPhone outside of the two year coverage you will have reassurance of having sourced iPhone from an Apple Authorised Service Provider and the benefit of EU consumer law.

The deal illustrated here from KRCS does rely on having the funds available to buy the unlocked iPhone, but KRCS can also offer competitive personal finance for your iPhone purchase which would still represent savings over a carrier.



How much to buy an unlocked iPhone and SIM-only contract?

The best value plan at time of publication - The 3 Mobile Advanced Plan with 12gb of data with unlimited texts and calls @ £14 per month


*TCO = Total Cost of Ownership




Up Front Cost

SIM Only Contract Monthly Cost

Estimated iPhone Value After 2 Years

TCO* over 2 Years

iPhone SE 32GB £349.00 £14.00 £100.00 £585.00
iPhone SE 128GB £449.00 £14.00 £125.00 £660.00
iPhone 6s 32GB £449.00 £14.00 £150.00 £635.00
iPhone 6s 128GB £549.00 £14.00 £175.00 £710.00
iPhone 6s Plus 32GB £549.00 £14.00 £175.00 £710.00
iPhone 6s Plus 128GB £649.00 £14.00 £200.00 £785.00
iPhone 7 32GB £549.00 £14.00 £200.00 £685.00
iPhone 7 128GB £649.00 £14.00 £215.00 £770.00
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB £669.00 £14.00 £250.00 £775.00
iPhone 7 Plus 128GB £769.00 £14.00 £275.00 £830.00
iPhone 8 64GB £699.00 £14.00 £300.00 £735.00
iPhone 8 256GB £849.00 £14.00 £315.00 £870.00
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB £799.00 £14.00 £335.00 £800.00
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB £949.00 £14.00 £350.00 £935.00


How does that compare to a 2 year contract with a carrier?

Based on the same The 3 Mobile Advanced Plan with 12gb of data with unlimited texts and calls

Note - Resale value of an iPhone can be negatively affected by 'locked' network status. Although, iPhones purchased through 3 are unlocked. 

If your phone is locked to it's network, you can read our dedicated blog article on how to unlock it on the major UK networks. 




Up Front Cost

Standard Contract Monthly Cost

Estimated iPhone Value After 2 Years

TCO Over 2 Years

Savings Over 2 Years Buying From KRCS

iPhone SE 32GB £19.00 £25.00 £100.00 £519.00 -£66.00
iPhone SE 128GB £19.00 £28.00 £125.00 £566.00 -£94.00
iPhone 6s 32GB £0.00 £39.00 £150.00 £786.00 £151.00
iPhone 6s 128GB x x x x x
iPhone 6s Plus 32GB £49.00 £43.00 £175.00 £906.00 £196.00
iPhone 6s Plus 128GB x x x x x
iPhone 7 32GB £29.00 £42.00 £200.00 £837.00 £152.00
iPhone 7 128GB £29.00 £47.00 £215.00 £942.00 £172.00
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB £29.00 £49.00 £250.00 £955.00 £200.00
iPhone 7 Plus 128GB £29.00 £57.00 £275.00 £1122.00 £292.00
iPhone 8 64GB £79.00 £55.00 £300.00 £1099.00 £364.00
iPhone 8 256GB £79.00 £65.00 £315.00 £1304.00 £454.00
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB £79.00 £60.00 £335.00 £1169.00 £384.00
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB £79.00 £70.00 £350.00 £1384.00 £474.00


Annual upgrade programs

Below you can see how much purchasing the iPhone's over a single year with KRCS, (with the same SIM-only Three Mobile Advanced Plan with 12gb of data with unlimited texts and calls) could cost you. We then compare that to the new upgrade programmes that have recently been introduced by Apple, EE and Sky.




Up Front Cost

Same SIM-only price

Estimated iPhone value after 1 year

TCO Over a Year

iPhone SE 32GB £349.00 £14.00 £125.00 £392.00
iPhone SE 128GB £449.00 £14.00 £155.00 £462.00
iPhone 6S 32GB £449.00 £14.00 £175.00 £442.00
iPhone 6S 128GB £549.00 £14.00 £200.00 £517.00
iPhone 6S Plus 32GB £549.00 £14.00 £200.00 £517.00
iPhone 6S Plus 128GB £649.00 £14.00 £225.00 £592.00
iPhone 7 32GB £549.00 £14.00 £225.00 £492.00
iPhone 7 128GB £649.00 £14.00 £240.00 £577.00
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB £669.00 £14.00 £260.00 £577.00
iPhone 7 Plus 128GB £769.00 £14.00 £285.00 £652.00
iPhone 8 64GB £699.00 £14.00 £325.00 £542.00
iPhone 8 256GB £849.00 £14.00 £350.00 £667.00
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB £799.00 £14.00 £375.00 £592.00
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB £949.00 £14.00 £425.00 £692.00


Apple's iPhone Upgrade Programme

Apple's iPhone Upgrade Programme was launched to give those who "have to have the latest" iPhone a way to ensure they can stay up to date when typically most UK networks only offer 24 month plans. The benefits include:

  • Get a new iPhone every year.
  • Unlocked - Choose your carrier
  • Low monthly payments at 0% APR
  • iPhone protection with AppleCare+

There is an up-front payment of £69 on the day of purchase. After that, you spread the remaining cost of your iPhone and AppleCare +, over 20 months with 0% interest. You are then able to upgrade after 11 payments. All the information regarding Apple's iPhone Upgrade programme can be found here. The pricing for the iPhone 8 on the Upgrade Programme can be seen below.




Up Front Cost

Upgrade Programme Monthly Cost

Same SIM-only price

TCO Over a Year

Saving with KRCS

iPhone 8 64GB £69.00 £37.95 £14.00 £692.40 £200.40
iPhone 8 256GB £69.00 £45.45 £14.00 £782.40 £165.40
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB £69.00 £43.95 £14.00 £764.40 £222.40
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB £69.00 £51.45 £14.00 £854.40 £187.40


EE Annual Upgrade

EE have introduced their own upgrade scheme, where, instead of renewing and upgrading at the end of a standard 24 month agreement, you can pay a little extra and upgrade every 12 months. This is only available on select 4GEE deals. The current phone you're using must be handed back, which means you cannot sell the handset and realise the re-sale value, the way you might having bought the same iPhone out-right from KRCS. You will also need to pay any upfront costs when upgrading.

You can find all the information on EE's upgrade plans here. Below, we base the pricing on purchasing the iPhone with the cheapest 4GEE Max Plan including the annual upgrade on that particular phone.




Up Front Cost

4GEE Contract Monthly Cost

TCO Over 1 year

Saving with KRCS

iPhone SE 32GB x x x x
iPhone SE 128GB x x x x
iPhone 6S 32GB x x x x
iPhone 6S 128GB x x x x
iPhone 6S Plus 32GB x x x x
iPhone 6S Plus 128GB x x x x
iPhone 7 32GB £9.99 £67.99 £825.87 £333.87
iPhone 7 128GB £9.99 £62.99 £765.87 £188.87
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB £9.99 £62.99 £765.87 £188.87
iPhone 7 Plus 128GB £9.99 £67.99 £825.87 £177.87
iPhone 8 64GB £9.99 £77.99 £825.87 £283.87
iPhone 8 256GB £9.99 £77.99 £945.87 £278.87
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB £9.99 £72.99 £885.87 £293.87
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB £39.99 £77.99 £975.87 £283.87


Sky Swap

Sky Swap is an additional "bolt-on" to your Sky mobile contact. There are two options:

  • Swap 12 - A 24 month agreement where you pay more a month which enables you to swap your phone every 12 months, which begins a new 24 month agreement.
  • Swap 24 - A 30 month agreement you can swap your handset out every 24 months, for a lower monthly cost.

Note, Sky don't offer a fixed 'trade-in' value. In order to swap your phone before the agreement has ended, they use the amount left on the agreement as the phones value.  Information regarding Sky Swap can be found here.

Sky do not have an equivalent to Three's Three Mobile Advanced Plan. Instead the monthly pricing included in these two tables is based on the Sky Mobile package with 10GB of data.



Sky Swap 12


Up Front Cost

Monthly Cost w/Sky Swap 12

TCO over 1 years

Saving with KRCS

iPhone SE 32GB £0.00 £51.00 £612.00 £220.00
iPhone SE 128GB £0.00 £59.00 £708.00 £246.00
iPhone 6S 32GB £99.00 £58.00 £795.00 £353.00
iPhone 6S 128GB £99.00 £63.00 £855.00 £338.00
iPhone 6S Plus 32GB £99.00 £65.00 £879.00 £362.00
iPhone 6S Plus 128GB £99.00 £72.00 £963.00 £371.00
iPhone 7 32GB £99.00 £57.00 £783.00 £291.00
iPhone 7 128GB £99.00 £62.00 £843.00 £266.00
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB £99.00 £67.00 £903.00 £326.00
iPhone 7 Plus 128GB £99.00 £74.00 £987.00 £335.00
iPhone 8 64GB £99.00 £62.00 £843.00 £301.00
iPhone 8 256GB £99.00 £67.00 £903.00 £236.00
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB £99.00 £69.00 £927.00 £335.00
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB £99.00 £72.00 £963.00 £271.00


Sky Swap 24


Up Front Cost

Monthly Cost w/Sky Swap 24

TCO over 2 year

Saving with KRCS

iPhone SE 32GB £0.00 £40.00 £960.00 £375.00
iPhone SE 128GB £0.00 £45.00 £1080.00 £420.00
iPhone 6S 32GB £0.00 £48.00 £1152.00 £517.00
iPhone 6S 128GB £0.00 £53.00 £1272.00 £562.00
iPhone 6S Plus 32GB £0.00 £53.00 £1272.00 £562.00
iPhone 6S Plus 128GB £0.00 £58.00 £1392.00 £607.00
iPhone 7 32GB £0.00 £52.00 £1248.00 £563.00
iPhone 7 128GB £0.00 £57.00 £1368.00 £598.00
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB £0.00 £57.00 £1368.00 £613.00
iPhone 7 Plus 128GB £0.00 £62.00 £1488.00 £658.00
iPhone 8 64GB £0.00 £57.00 £1368.00 £633.00
iPhone 8 256GB £0.00 £62.00 £1488.00 £618.00
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB £0.00 £62.00 £1488.00 £688.00
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB £0.00 £67.00 £1608.00 £673.00


If you would like to discuss any of the benefits of purchasing a handset outright with KRCS, please feel free to get in touch with us on the details below.


Follow us on Twitter.

Email us at info@krcs.co.uk

Give us a call on 0115 985 1797

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