Mobile providers take orders ahead of iPhone 8 release date

18 September 2017   By Samantha Smith

MOBILE providers are now taking pre-orders for the iPhone 8 ahead of the smartphone's release date of September 22nd, when it will be available in the providers' high street stores.

iphone 8 cropped

The new Apple device was unveiled to the world last Tuesday, with the UK's mobile operators quickly following up the announcement on Friday by making it available for pre-order.

As is usually the case with new phone launches, providers are selling slightly different plans with slightly different prices and structures, with some offering lower monthly fees in exchange for higher upfront costs, and vice versa.

Yet the question of who offers the best iPhone 8 deal won't simply be about prices, since the high technical specifications of the device could mean that the network with the highest performance - generally EE's - is more likely to make better use of its capabilities.

Cat 16

Relevant guides
Why phone cameras won't top DSLRs
Revealed: best budget smartphones
Can I get a phone for under £50?

By now, everyone with even the weakest of contact with the outside world is well aware that Apple have announced the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X (of which a bit more later).

As can be expected, the new iPhone 8 comes with a number of enhancements, such as wireless charging and even more powerful dual 12-megapixel cameras. Yet more importantly in the context of mobile phone operators, it also comes equipped with Category 16 LTE, which enables it reach higher download speeds so long as the network it's using is fast enough.

It's for this reason that the choice of network could make a big difference to the mileage customers get out of it, especially when its ability to capture HD and even 4K video would suggest that customers might need a strong mobile broadband connection in order to upload their amateur films.

It was precisely for this kind of reason that EE shrewdly announced last week that they were upgrading their network at over 600 locations, converting older 2G airwaves into faster 4G spectrum so as to provide (theoretical) upload speeds of 100Mb.

And given that EE have been found by mobile analysts RootMetrics to be the best network in terms of technical performance for eight consecutive quarters, it would indeed seem that they might be the best choice for those customers who want to wring every last drop of power from the upcoming iPhone 8.


Relevant guides
EE mobile network: our review
Are O2 worth it as network?
Vodafone: our guide to their network
How good are Three?

That said, EE may not necessarily be the best choice for iPhone 8 fans when it comes to price (or for customers in general when it comes to customer service).

They're asking for £67.99 a month for the 64GB version of the smartphone (there's also a version with 256GB of memory), as well as a £9.99 upfront cost. For the time being at least, this deal provides 100GB of data a month.

EE customers with an Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will benefit from our world leading 4G network which has coverage in more places across the UK, as well as WiFi Calling and 4G Calling
Marc Allera, EE

By contrast, O2 - who have the most loyal customers of all mobile operators - are offering the same 64GB version of the device for as little as £47 a month for £99.99 upfront, although this entitles customers to only 1GB of data a month.

Alternatively, O2 customers could choose 20GB or 50GB of data for £63 or £88 a month and £29.99 upfront.

If this doesn't appeal, shoppers could instead go with Vodafone, who are offering the 64GB iPhone 8 for £44 a month and £150 upfront, providing the customer with only 500Mb of data.

A healthier 40GB of data (plus an extra 10GB thrown in for "free") can be had with them for £66 a month and £20 upfront.

We're really pleased to add the incredible iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus to our line-up and give customers complete flexibility to change their mix each month, with data plans ranging from 500MB to 10GB
Liz Wynn, Sky Mobile

Next up is Three, whose cheapest option comes in at £42 a month and £99 upfront for 500MB of data. Conversely, customers could get their hands on 100GB of data for £79 a month and no upfront cost.

£42 might sound like the cheapest iPhone 8 deal available, yet Sky Mobile - who recently began letting customers use their monthly data in 10 non-EU foreign destinations for a flat fee of £5 a day - are offering the phone for only £27 a month.

Of course, this covers only the price of the handset, and not the allowance you'd need to actually use it. However, 1GB, 5GB, and 10GB a month can be added for an extra £10, £15, and £20, respectively.

iPhone X

However, while the above provides an outline of just what operators are now selling, customers can be sure of what's best for them only by investigating each deal for themselves.

And as for those who are more interested in the iPhone X than the 8, it will itself be available for pre-order from October 27th.

But given that it will retail for £999 compared to the 8's £699, customers should expect to pay a considerably more expensive monthly bill for the privilege of unlocking a smartphone with their face.

Want the best deal on a new handset?

independent comparison

We are independent of all of the products and services we compare.

fair comparison

We order our comparison tables by price or feature and never by referral revenue.

charity donations

We donate at least 5% of our profits to charity, and we aim to be climate positive.

Get insider tips and the latest offers in our newsletter