iPhone for Lease



Does anyone here lease their iPhone/s?

Optus have offered me a deal - $59/month for the iPhone 8, 64GB, with 10GB data on a 24 month lease. Option to upgrade to a new phone after 12 months for $99. Phone must be returned either at that point or end of lease in “good working condition” or pay up to $499 fee.

The last part is what worries me. I’ve never had a broken screen / major cosmetic damage etc, but will Optus’ people find fault with everything in order to secure that penalty?

The price is $11/month cheaper than their standard lease for that phone, and within the realms of what I’m happy to pay. (And about 7x the normal data I go through - may actually let the kids watch video when out-and-about on that much data!)

One review I saw mentioned it’s great for people who have old iPhones laying around gathering dust - which is me. But also warned of getting “trapped” with Optus due to the way it entices you to continue with another lease.

Experiences? Thoughts? Thanks! :slight_smile:



As this isn’t specifically about the iPhone, I’ve moved this to Technology and Internet.


I went through the same conundrum when I got my iPhone X.

In the end I decided it was better to pay the extra $10 a month for the life of the contract.

$240 extra and I get to keep the iPhone X handset, which by November 2019 will still be worth a lot more than that if I went to sell it.

If I choose not to sell it, I have the freedom to move to a prepaid plan which are nearly always better value for money. This is likely what I’ll personally do because I hold onto my phones for quite a while and trade them to EB Games when I’m ultimately done.

I also have the opportunity to upgrade for $99 after 12 months like the leasing option does. So that’s no really a perk of leasing.

Leasing just doesn’t seem like value for money to me.

But, as to what constitutes “damage”, my sister handed in her phone and it had light scratches and worn bezels and they didn’t care. They basically just checked that it turned on and was useable. Whether it’s down to the individual who assesses the phone who can say?


Telco’s are pushing people to lease, because it actually saves THEM money. Instead having to buy the phone from Apple they actually lease it themselves, and then pass that on to you. Yes you save money but as has been pointed out, any iphone is going to be worth more than the $240 you’ll save (as long as it’s not damaged) after 24 months. My personal opinion is that unless you are scraping to save every penny, pay a bit more and keep the phone. If you really want to save money, buy an android phone which probably does nearly everything the iphone does and costs more than 50% less, and go on a cheap plan in the process. If you want to pay $1800 to make Memojis and can afford it however, good luck to you.


Thanks for the replies everyone - greatly appreciated.

At the moment I’m on a $35/month SIM only plan with my 3yo 5S, which gives me unlimited calls and 1.5GB of data, which fits my current usage. Yes, I could get used to having more data… I actively do not watch any videos away from the house’s wifi… But all in all it does the job.

As such a $59/month iPhone 8 sounded “reasonable”, especially with 10GB of data. The lease option though, upon reflection with the above comments - not going to go ahead.


I’m with Vodafone sim only plan, $40 per month 200 minutes international calls, unlimited text and voice calls in Australia and 18GB data
I think the data normally is 10GB but they gave me double due to bring with them for almost ten years.
Maybe you could check with them or with Optus if they can do something similar?


I got the 2gb plan with Optus knowing full well there’ll be times I go over. But it’s only $10 extra and they give you an extra 1gb. For my use case it’s better to pay the odd extra $10 here and there than be tied to a plan with a data cap I’ll never use.

Also, did you know with Optus that Netflix, Stan, ABC, Spotify, Google Music and iHeartRadio are all data free?


Here’s what I do:

  • Have the phone on a 24 month plan.
  • 12 months into the contract when the new phone is released I recontract for another 24 months.
  • Telstra waive the remaining contract fees and I only have to pay the remaining handset repayments which are always less than what the phone is worth. I sell my phone for around $100-$150 more than the handset repayments.
  • Get shiny new phone every 12 months without penalty.


Thats the scenario where leasing makes sense. If you were planning on trading it in after 12 months, you might as well pay $120 / year less while doing that. If you plan on keeping it for 24 months or beyond, buying is the better option.


Don’t Telstra make you pay $99 to upgrade after 12 months? Doesn’t make sense if that’s the case.


That’s pretty poor value these days. You can get 5GB with unlimited calls and SMS for $25 on the Telstra Network through Belong, or if you can survive on 1GB, for only $10 (and it gets slowed/shaped at 1GB, not stopped altogether). I’d recommend you definitely shop around for the plan at the very least. And remember these days prepaid is just as good value as post.


I’m on a post paid $39 a month SIM only plan with Telstra that includes:
unlimited eligible calls, standard national texts and MMS; 10GB of data to use in Australia and share with other services on the same account, and unlimited Telstra Air Wi-Fi data to use in Australia
Includes Bonus Mobile Data Share Allowance of 5GB + 5GB Multi-Product Bonus Data Share

I also have Telstra NBN and $5 a month Apple watch eSIM.

Found if you have lots of services with Telstra going off-contract at the same time, its easier to negotiate,


Indeed. I’m currently on Woolworthmobile (Telstra wholesale) and $20 for 2GB and unlimited calls and texts, plus $100 “other” which is used for anything not covered by the “unlimited” thing, so international calls for example. Call costs arent cheap so you wouldnt get a lot of time out of the $100, but still, its something I didnt have before. Data rolls over to a max of 15GB

Aldi Mobile (also Telstra Wholesale) has $15 for unlimited plus 1.5GB and theres data rollover every month, but each previous months data expires at the end of the next.

Belong has a postpaid $10/m for similar to my Woolworths deal. Boost has a deal similar to mine and its not wholesale (Belong is wholesale)

I cant use anything but Telstra at home but if you can get Optus, things get even cheaper.

I havent been on a post paid plan since 1998.


Originally (2009?) I only went on a plan in order to get an iPhone 3GS - my first iPhone. Before that I only ever went for prepaid.

My wife’s been at me to move to Telstra as now she’s a Scout Leader, and she’s out bush camping every other month, her Optus iPhone often has no reception, whereas the other leader’s Telstra phones are fine. Looks like I’ll have to look at some of these non-Telstra Telstra offers.

These lower priced options are a game changer though. It will be much easier to view spending $400 on a 2nd hand iPhone 6S 64GB, when the “plan” (pre or post) could be as little as $480/24 months. And it appears keeping your number is no where near as hard as it was when we first got mobile phones either. :slight_smile:

Though I’ve just been told by the wife that she’s been on camp and seen people with Aldi/Telstra phones that couldn’t get reception, however Telstra/Telstra phones could… Not sure if that would be a phone issue or network issue?


I was just checking Optus as it’s $99 to upgrade on a lease plan but $149 on a own plan. Which makes leasing much cheaper ($170) if you plan on upgrading every year.

From what I understand you do have the option to buy out and keep the handset in either case, but I do wonder what the buy out figure is at the end of 12 months for a lease plan vs a buy plan? I also wonder how that compares to the cost of purchasing one outright?


Some of the Telstra resellers used to only have access to the Telstra ‘Wholesale network’ which doesn’t include the entire Telstra network and some had access to the entire network.

It is my understanding that they all have access to the 4G network now however it has been suggested by some people that certain frequencies on some towers are restricted to Telstra only (long range 700Mhz). This would be in line with the observations that your wife has seen.

FWIW I do a lot of traveling in rural areas (I live in the country) and I am yet to see ANY coverage difference between my Belong SIM and the SOs Telstra SIM (both in iPhones).

NB In about 200 outback areas Optus have a micro cells at road houses and stations (which only work for a short distance) and Telstra have no coverage although Telstra are starting to ramp up micro cell installations.


Its the network. Wholesale vs Non wholesale. the wholesale resellers only get “part of” the Telstra network. As a Newcastle Suburban user its no different for me, than being on Telstra. If you need the whole network, Boost is the only Telstra alternative because it does access the whole of the network. Belong is also not in the running.