As a Meteor customer I received a message  today informing me of a ‘Free iPhone 5’ offer that ends on February 28th 2013. Now as I just happen to be in the market for an iPhone 5 I was delighted but also somewhat reticent, surely theres no such thing as a free iPhone (or any other phone for that matter)?

So I decided to do some investigating, there must be a catch! Well low and behold it is indeed a free iPhone 5!! But this depends on your definition of free? My definition of getting something for free would be that it doesn’t cost me anything but not according to Meteor, all I have to do is sign up for a 24 month contract from €60.99 and in their words “can walk out of the store with a brand spanking new 16gb iPhone 5 for free” Also they kindly inform me “Don’t worry if the security guard is giving you funny looks, usually he sees people paying for phones

Maybe if the security guard opened my bank statement every month he would indeed see that I am paying for the iPhone! Lets breakdown the costings –

24 months @ €60.99 = €1,463.76 not so ‘free’ sounding now?

However if I go to Meteor’s web store and chose an iPhone 5 16gb I can then pick a 24 month contract for €45.74 with an upfront price of €99.

iPhone 5 Meteor 1

24 months @ €45.74 = €1,097.76 + €99 = €1,196.76 . A saving of €267 albeit for an initial outlay of €99.

The message I received didn’t include any details of inclusive mins/texts/data but I would presume it is the same as the €60.99/month plan!

iPhone 5 Meteor 2

Just to be fair and impartial I also checked out some other mobile providers’ costings –

Buy direct from Apple 

upfront price of €679 plus 24 months on Meteor Sim only

24 months @ €20.33 = €487.92 + €679 = €1,166.92

iPhone 5 Meteor 3

 

Three upfront price of €169.

24 months @ €40.66 a month = €975.84 + €169 = €1,144.84

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 16.35.37

 

Vodafone  upfront cost of €249.

24 months @ 48 a month = €1,152 + €249 = €1,401

iPhone 5 Vodafone 1

 

 

02 upfront cost of €219

24 months @ €45 a month = €1,080 + €219 = €1,299

iPhone 5 02 1

 

 

There are of course 18 month contract options available but I focused on the 24 month contracts as this was the option available with the “free” iPhone 5 offer!

To sum up the total costs –

Free iPhone from Meteor €1,463.76

Meteor 24 month contract €1,196.76

Apple + Meteor 30 day sim only €1,166.92

Three 24 month contract €1,144.84

Vodafone 24 month contract €1,401

o2 24 month contract €1,299

So as you can see, it is always wise to shop around and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Michael