iPhone 5C Pre-Orders Open in the UK Today; Here are the Numbers of Pain

By Gary Cutlack on at

The UK mobile networks have all opened up their iPhone 5C pre-orders today, letting rampant Apple fans upgrade to or sign up for the newest model. How many arms and legs are you going to have to assemble and exchange for that slightly better thing?

Quite a few. Three's iPhone 5C pricing starts at £37 a month with a £49 upfront fee for the 16GB iPhone 5C, with a SIM that gets you "All You Can Eat" unlimited mobile data, 500 minutes and 5,000 text messages. That's not bad for last year's iPhone in a shiny new shell. Upgrade to the 32GB unit and it'll cost you an extra fiver.

4G network EE's cheapest monthly tariff is £26 a month for the iPhone 5C, although that one comes with a £189.99 one-off fee for the phone and 500MB of data. At least EE's also offering the phone on 12-month contracts, which is nice, but the cheapest way of doing that is by paying £439 for the handset and agreeing to a £41 a month bill for just 500MB of data. Hefty.

Vodafone's options start at £42 a month with a £19 upfront fee for the iPhone 5C. That gets you a 24-month Red 4G plan and 2GB of mobile data (with a bonus 4GB until the end of October), plus unlimited texts and calls and all that streaming football nonsense it's currently chucking in for free.

And finally, O2 is offering it on its slightly more complex O2 Refresh scheme. The cheapest monthly option is £12 for a 3G SIM with 600 calling minutes and 750MB of data, to which you have to add a separate monthly plan to pay for the iPhone 5C itself -- or pay £600 upfront for the phone and just pay for the calling part.

No one's letting you pre-order the iPhone 5S yet. Add another fiver to all of the above and you ought to be in the right zone.