The iPhone 5 is officially on sale, and right now, you can grab yourself an iPhone 5 from £529 off-network direct from Apple (if you can get in the store), or order one through a network on one of the numerous price plans. If you want 4G, Orange and T-Mobile are your friends, but we still don't know how much 4G will actually cost just yet.
On the supposedly "budget" arm of EE, T-Mobile, you can pick up the iPhone 5 on price plans starting at £21 a month for 24 months, with the phone setting you back £339 for the 16GB variant. If you want the phone for free, you'll have to look elsewhere I'm afraid, as even on the top-end £66-a-month plan you'll still have to fork out £19 for the phone. That's such a negligible price, that it's surprising they're not just giving it away for free at that stage.
Orange on the other hand will let you grab the 16GB variant of the iPhone 5 for free (with a strange £50 deposit), but you'll have to fork out £46 a month for 24 months to get it. Plans start at £20, with a £320 phone-asking fee, so whichever way you spin it, it's not going to work out cheap.
Mind you, neither Orange or T-Mobile have their 4G pricing up yet, and while we don't know for sure quite how it's going to work, the current assumption is you'll sign up with the old 3G networks and slap a 4G EE subscription on top.
As for the definitely no-4G-iPhone-5-for-you fully-fledged networks, Vodafone's offering both 24-and 12-month plans, which is nice, but you'll pay a premium for the privilege of swapping your phone in a year's time. 24-month plans start at £33 a month, with a £149 initial outlay on a 16GB iPhone 5, and top out at £42 a month with 2GB data and unlimited everything else; you'll still have to pay £49 for the phone, though. 12-month contracts kick off at £36-a-month (£349 for the phone), and top out at £51-a-month with only 1GB of data, but everything else unlimited (£169 for the phone).
On Three the phone will cost you £79 up-front for the 16GB variant, and you'll have the option of two 24-month plans. The One Plan is £36 a month, with all-you-can-eat-data, 2000 any-network minutes, 5000 Three-minutes, and 5000 texts. If you don't actually call anyone, Unlimited Internet 500 gives you the same all-you-can-eat data and 5000 texts, but with only 500 minutes -- who actually makes calls on their phones these days anyway?
On O2 the phone will cost from free, but you'll have to shell out £43 a month to grab it. Plans are all 24-monthers, and start at £21 a month for unlimited minutes and texts, plus 1GB of data. They ramp up to £63 with the exact same allowances, but you'll pay nothing for the phone and get a 6-month early upgrade.
The MVNOs have yet to announce their iPhone 5 pricing, but we've heard from GiffGaff that it'll have nano SIMs on tap at some point soon, for those looking to go SIM-only.
To make choosing the right deal a bit easier for you, we've worked out, well, our Intern Gana has, that the cheapest total cost is still to buy contract-free. But, if that's not an option, Vodafone at 12 months is the cheapest at £781-all-in to just get the phone, or Orange at 24 months for £799.99 all-in (not that you get anything usable for that). Anyway, here are all the tables to make your choice a little easier (click for full size).
Hit us in the comments with the best deals you find, and help other Giz UKers out -- after you've snagged one for yourself, obviously.
This article was originally published on the 14th September, and has since been updated with total cost tables to save your brains from melting.