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Where to buy Apple's iPhone SE in the UK

Engadget Engadget 31/03/2016 Jamie Rigg
© Provided by Engadget

"Let the 4-inch form factor not perish with the aging 5s," bellowed Apple; and thus, the iPhone SE came to be. Apple's latest handset, aimed at smaller paws and skinny jeans, is a curious blend of old and new. That's true of the design, at least, but inside you're effectively looking at an iPhone 6s, the only major difference being the lack of 3D Touch. And as you may have guessed, the little power puncher goes on sale today. But where, and for how much?

O2EEVodafoneThreeCarphone WarehouseBuymobilesMobiles.co.uk
Cheapest contract (with upfront)£24 (£100)£27.49 (£50)£26 (£99)--£17.49 (£200) on EE£15 (£215) on EE£14 (£200) on EE
Cheapest contract (no upfront)£29£30--£31£26 on Voda£30 on Three£26 on Voda

The iPhone SE has the lowest launch price of any iPhone that's come before it, and that's being reflected in what carriers and contract resellers are able to offer. There are plenty of tariffs available that don't demand an upfront payment and better yet, you're not really paying over the odds each month to compensate. Bear in mind the figures above are for the 16GB model and most come with modest data allowances (500MB or 1GB), but still, you're looking at a nice low barrier of entry.

As far as competition between MVNOs is concerned, there's not a great deal in it. As usual, Tesco Mobile has the best offer, just, at £26.50 per month with no upfront and a 1GB data cap. Virgin Mobile's iPhone SE 1GB plan is £28 per month, Carphone Warehouse's iD network is slightly more expensive at £29.50 per month for 1GB, and giffgaff's 1GB tariff is £26.57 per month with an initial payment of £35. The absolute cheapest MVNO contract can be found at Virgin Mobile, but £23 per month and no upfront payment only gets you a 250MB data allowance.

Tracking down a pay-as-you-go iPhone SE plan has proved impossible, meaning an unlocked, SIM-free model is the way to go if you want to pay a lump sum and be done with it. You won't find any variation in pricing whatsoever just yet, though. So, whether you go direct to Apple, or hit up Currys, Clove, Carphone Warehouse, John Lewis or anywhere else, the best prices you'll find are £359 for a 16GB model, and £439 for 64GB of storage.

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