The best contract and SIM-only plans for Apple iPhone SE

More importantly, a contract-free iPhone SE costs less than you think

These days, getting a new smartphone isn't as straightforward as signing for a two-year plan with your preferred telco.

Over the past few months, Singtel, StarHub and M1 have started pushing SIM-only plans that do not bind you to their service for two years. Essentially, if a smartphone isn't in the range of S$1000 and above, these no-contract plans are very attractive. Mainly because you get to switch to another telco without penalty and even sell off the phone to get some money back.

In the case of Apple's iPhone SE, even the 64GB version is spared the S$1000 price tag. Thus, it's potentially cheaper to get it at full price and peg it to a SIM-only plan.

The proof? Here are the numbers to convince you.

First, let's compare the cost of an iPhone SE tied to a two-year plan to a SIM-only plan that's quite similar. We break this down using a 3GB plan as an example.

Clearly, both the 16GB and 64GB versions will cost less over two years, even if you were to get the iPhone SE at its unsubsidised pricing of S$658 or S$828 for the 16GB or 64GB versions respectively.

This is especially prominent for Singtel, since you'll need to sign up for a Combo 3 plan to get 3GB of data for the month. While the iPhone SE's price is nearly S$160 to S$200 off compared to a StarHub 4G 3 and M1 i-Lite+ plan that offers the same 3GB of data, the additional S$20 per month you're paying will cost more in the long run.

So which SIM-only plan should you aim for? On the assumption that you stick closely to your data limit, M1's mySIM has you covered, especially if you're looking at a no-contract cost over two years compared to a two-year contract.

Verdict: M1's mySIM offers the best no-contract plan for the Apple iPhone SE.