Australian iPhone buying guide: iPhone 5s or 5c?

All the Australian details you need to know about both new iPhones

Apple's mysterious events are no longer mysterious at all. The company has unveiled two new iPhone devices, but there were no real surprises: the iPhone 5s replaces last year's iPhone 5, and the iPhone 5c is a colourful new option with an all-plastic case. We've got all the Australian details you need to know for both new models.

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For more information on the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, read our comprehensive previews

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, what's the difference?

The iPhone 5s is Apple's premium iPhone, and a direct replacement for last year's iPhone 5. It looks exactly the same as the iPhone 5 (hence the 's' name) but adds some new features.

The main addition is a biometric fingerprint sensor on the home button that Apple calls touch ID. This will allow you to unlock the phone without needing a passcode or password. It can also be used in place of an iTunes Store password when purchasing apps and content through the Apple App Store, though it can't be used for anything else just yet.

The iPhone 5s also has a faster A7 processor, includes an upgraded camera with a new two-tone flash, and is available in three colours: silver, gold and a new "space grey" model. The silver and gold models have a white front, while the space grey variant uses a black finish on the front.

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The iPhone 5c on the other hand is a different beast altogether. It's basically last year's iPhone 5 wrapped in a new, plastic case with bright colours. Unlike many people expected, it's definitely not a cheap smartphone. The 'c' clearly stands for colour.

Many thought the iPhone 5c would be Apple's replacement for the iPhone 4S. However, that phone is still selling in Australia for $529, so there is a case to be made for the 5c essentially replacing the iPhone 5. Instead of selling the iPhone 5 at a discount, as Apple usually does when new iPhones are released, it will discontinue the iPhone 5 completely. The 5c will be sold in its place, ever so slightly cheaper.

The iPhone 5c is available in white, red, blue, yellow and green colour variants, and Apple says it is "beautifully, unapologetically plastic". The company spent most of the launch event discussing the design, and claims you won't see any seams, part lines, or joins.

The iPhone 5c is likely to be a genuine option for users upgrading their two-year old iPhone 4S: they'll get a larger screen, faster internals, a better camera, and a range of bright, vibrant colours.

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How much will they cost in Australia?

Both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be sold outright through Apple's Retail Stores, and through the Apple online store from Friday, 20 September.

The iPhone 5s will once again be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models with Australian pricing starting at $869 for the 16GB model. The 32GB model will set you back $999 and the 64GB version will cost a hefty $1129.

The iPhone 5c is slightly cheaper than the iPhone 5s, but the outright price difference is marginal. It will come in 16GB and 32GB models, with Australian pricing starting at $739 for the 16GB model, and $869 for the 32GB model. There is no 64GB model of the iPhone 5c available.

Unlike the iPhone 5s, Apple will open online pre-orders for the iPhone 5c from Friday, 13 September. Those who want to buy an iPhone 5s will have to wait until launch day a week later.

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I'm not interested in buying outright, how much will they cost on plans?

Below are tables of all available Australian plans for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, broken up into individual carriers and iPhone models. The colours represent the plan cost for the listed model where appropriate, and are as follows:

Green = entry level (cheapest) plan
Blue = medium level plan
Orange = medium-high level plan
Black = large plan
Red = high level (most expensive) plan

Telstra iPhone 5s plans

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (24 months)
iPhone 5s 16GB $60 $18 $78 $600 1GB $1872
iPhone 5s 16GB $80 $8 $88 $800 1.5GB $2112
iPhone 5s 16GB $100 $4 $104 $900 2GB $2496
iPhone 5s 16GB $130 $4 $134 Unlimited 3GB $3216
iPhone 5s 32GB $60 $22 $82 $600 1GB $1968
iPhone 5s 32GB $80 $12 $92 $800 1.5GB $2208
iPhone 5s 32GB $100 $9 $109 $900 2GB $2616
iPhone 5s 32GB $130 $9 $139 Unlimited 3GB $3336
iPhone 5s 64GB $60 $30 $90 $600 1GB $2160
iPhone 5s 64GB $80 $21 $101 $800 1.5GB $2424
iPhone 5s 64GB $100 $15 $115 $900 2GB $2760
iPhone 5s 64GB $130 $15 $145 Unlimited 3GB $3480

Telstra iPhone 5c plans

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (24 months)
iPhone 5c 16GB $60 $11 $71 $600 1GB $1704
iPhone 5c 16GB $80 $2 $82 $800 1.5GB $1968
iPhone 5c 16GB $100 $0 $100 $900 2GB $2400
iPhone 5c 16GB $130 $0 $130 Unlimited 3GB $3120
iPhone 5c 32GB $60 $18 $78 $600 1GB $1872
iPhone 5c 32GB $80 $8 $88 $800 1.5GB $2112
iPhone 5c 32GB $100 $4 $104 $900 2GB $2496
iPhone 5c 32GB $130 $4 $134 Unlimited 3GB $3216

Optus iPhone 5s plans

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (24 months)
iPhone 5s 16GB $35 $27 $62 200min 200MB $1488
iPhone 5s 16GB $50 $19 $69 450min 500MB $1656
iPhone 5s 16GB $60 $14 $74 600min 1GB $1776
iPhone 5s 16GB $80 $5 $85 800min 2GB $2040
iPhone 5s 16GB $100 $0 $100 Unlimited 3GB $2400
iPhone 5s 32GB $35 $32 $67 200min 200MB $1608
iPhone 5s 32GB $50 $24 $74 450min 500MB $1776
iPhone 5s 32GB $60 $19 $79 600min 1GB $1896
iPhone 5s 32GB $80 $9 $89 800min 2GB $2136
iPhone 5s 32GB $100 $6 $106 Unlimited 3GB $2554
iPhone 5s 64GB $35 $37 $72 200min 200MB $1728
iPhone 5s 64GB $50 $30 $80 450min 500MB $1920
iPhone 5s 64GB $60 $26 $86 600min 1GB $2064
iPhone 5s 64GB $80 $18 $98 800min 2GB $2352
iPhone 5s 64GB $100 $12 $112 Unlimited 3GB $2688

Optus iPhone 5c plans

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (24 months)
iPhone 5c 16GB $35 $22 $57 200min 200MB $1368
iPhone 5c 16GB $50 $13 $63 450min 500MB $1512
iPhone 5c 16GB $60 $9 $69 600min 1GB $1656
iPhone 5s 16GB $80 $0 $80 800min 2GB $1920
iPhone 5c 16GB $100 $0 $100 Unlimited 3GB $2400
iPhone 5c 32GB $35 $27 $62 200min 200MB $1488
iPhone 5c 32GB $50 $19 $69 450min 500MB $1656
iPhone 5c 32GB $60 $14 $74 600min 1GB $1776
iPhone 5c 32GB $80 $5 $85 800min 2GB $2040
iPhone 5c 32GB $100 $0 $100 Unlimited 3GB $2400

Vodafone iPhone 5s plans (24 months)

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (24 months)
iPhone 5s 16GB $65 $7 $72 Unlimited 1.5GB $1728
iPhone 5s 16GB $80 $0 $80 Unlimited 2.5GB $1920
iPhone 5s 16GB $100 $0 $100 Unlimited 5GB $2400
iPhone 5s 32GB $65 $12 $77 Unlimited 1.5GB $1848
iPhone 5s 32GB $80 $6 $86 Unlimited 2.5GB $2064
iPhone 5s 32GB $100 $0 $100 Unlimited 5GB $2400
iPhone 5s 64GB $65 $18 $83 Unlimited 1.5GB $1992
iPhone 5s 64GB $80 $12 $92 Unlimited 2.5GB $2208
iPhone 5s 64GB $100 $4 $104 Unlimited 5GB $2496

Vodafone iPhone 5c plans (24 months)

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (24 months)
iPhone 5c 16GB $65 $2 $67 Unlimited 1.5GB $1608
iPhone 5c 16GB $80 $0 $80 Unlimited 2.5GB $1920
iPhone 5c 16GB $100 $0 $100 Unlimited 5GB $2400
iPhone 5c 32GB $65 $7 $72 Unlimited 1.5GB $1728
iPhone 5c 32GB $80 $0 $80 Unlimited 2.5GB $1920
iPhone 5c 32GB $100 $0 $100 Unlimited 5GB $2400

Vodafone iPhone 5s plans (12 months)

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (12 months)
iPhone 5s 16GB $65 $40 $105 Unlimited 1.5GB $1260
iPhone 5s 16GB $80 $34 $114 Unlimited 2.5GB $1368
iPhone 5s 16GB $100 $26 $126 Unlimited 5GB $1512
iPhone 5s 32GB $65 $51 $116 Unlimited 1.5GB $1392
iPhone 5s 32GB $80 $45 $125 Unlimited 2.5GB $1500
iPhone 5s 32GB $100 $37 $137 Unlimited 5GB $1644
iPhone 5s 64GB $65 $62 $127 Unlimited 1.5GB $1524
iPhone 5s 64GB $80 $56 $136 Unlimited 2.5GB $1632
iPhone 5s 64GB $100 $48 $148 Unlimited 5GB $17766

Vodafone iPhone 5c plans (12 months)

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (12 months)
iPhone 5c 16GB $65 $30 $95 Unlimited 1.5GB $1140
iPhone 5c 16GB $80 $24 $104 Unlimited 2.5GB $1248
iPhone 5c 16GB $100 $16 $116 Unlimited 5GB $1392
iPhone 5c 32GB $65 $40 $105 Unlimited 1.5GB $1260
iPhone 5c 32GB $80 $34 $114 Unlimited 2.5GB $1368
iPhone 5c 32GB $100 $26 $126 Unlimited 5GB $1512

Virgin Mobile plans

Virgin Mobile iPhone 5s plans

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (24 months)
iPhone 5s 16GB $30 $21 $51 $200 200MB $1224
iPhone 5s 16GB $40 $17 $57 $450 500MB $1368
iPhone 5s 16GB $50 $13 $63 $500 1GB $1512
iPhone 5s 16GB $60 $9 $69 $700 1.5GB $1656
iPhone 5s 16GB $90 $0 $90 Unlimited 3GB $2160
iPhone 5s 16GB $140 $0 $140 Unlimited 6GB $3360
iPhone 5s 32GB $30 $26 $56 $200 200MB $1344
iPhone 5s 32GB $40 $22 $62 $450 500MB $1488
iPhone 5s 32GB $50 $18 $68 $500 1GB $1632
iPhone 5s 32GB $60 $14 $74 $700 1.5GB $1776
iPhone 5s 32GB $90 $8 $98 Unlimited 3GB $2352
iPhone 5s 32GB $140 $0 $140 Unlimited 6GB $3360
iPhone 5s 64GB $30 $32 $62 $200 200MB $1488
iPhone 5s 64GB $40 $28 $68 $450 500MB $1632
iPhone 5s 64GB $50 $24 $74 $500 1GB $1776
iPhone 5s 64GB $60 $20 $80 $700 1.5GB $1920
iPhone 5s 64GB $90 $10 $100 Unlimited 3GB $2400
iPhone 5s 64GB $140 $0 $140 Unlimited 6GB $3360

Virgin Mobile iPhone 5c plans

Model Monthly plan cost Monthly handset cost Total monthly cost Voice inclusion Data inclusion Total plan cost (24 months)
iPhone 5c 16GB $30 $16 $46 $200 200MB $1104
iPhone 5c 16GB $40 $12 $52 $450 500MB $1248
iPhone 5c 16GB $50 $8 $58 $500 1GB $1392
iPhone 5c 16GB $60 $4 $64 $700 1.5GB $1536
iPhone 5c 16GB $90 $0 $90 Unlimited 3GB $2160
iPhone 5c 16GB $140 $0 $140 Unlimited 6GB $3360
iPhone 5c 32GB $30 $21 $51 $200 200MB $1224
iPhone 5c 32GB $40 $17 $57 $450 500MB $1368
iPhone 5c 32GB $50 $13 $63 $500 1GB $1512
iPhone 5c 32GB $60 $9 $69 $700 1.5GB $1656
iPhone 5c 32GB $90 $0 $90 Unlimited 3GB $2160
iPhone 5c 32GB $140 $0 $140 Unlimited 6GB $3360

Why is the iPhone so much cheaper in the US?

It's really not. While we pay a premium on outright iPhones compared to the US, the difference isn't as much as you're lead to believe.

The 16GB iPhone 5s is NOT $199 outright in the US. The US$199 pricing is the subsidised handset price for US residents if they take up a two year contract with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon Wireless. The outright price of the iPhone 5s in America is US$649, compared to $869 here in Australia.

Similarly, it's the same story for the iPhone 5c. The 16GB model does NOT sell for $99 outright, but US$549. Again, that's cheaper than the $739 we pay here in Australia, but it's not a sizable difference.

Remember that you need to take into account the US to AU dollar exchange rate on any price conversion. Australian outright prices for the iPhone 5s and 5c also include GST, while the US prices don't include state taxes. While we do pay more Down Under comparatively, the difference isn't huge once you've made all the calculations.

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What's the deal with 4G?

Both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c will work on the 4G networks operated in Australia by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. All of these networks use the 1800MHz LTE band. Virgin Mobile, being an Optus MVNO, will also sell the iPhone on its 4G network.

One difference compared to existing iPhone models is that both the 5s and the 5c will also support Optus' "4G Plus" network in Australia. That's because both models support the 1800MHz FDD-LTE network (band 3), and the 2300MHz TD-LTE network (band 40). The latter is a new network in Australia and is marketed as 4G Plus by Optus.

Optus is currently the only telco in Australia to offer both TDD-LTE (time-division duplex) and FDD-LTE (frequency-division duplex) 4G networks, though the new TDD-LTE network on the 2300MHz band is currently only available in selected parts of Canberra.

Apple's Australian specifications page for both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c confirms the iPhone 5c variant for Australia will be the A1529 model, while the iPhone 5s is the A1530 device.

Interestingly, both new iPhones come in five seperate models each in order to support various mobile networks in different markets across the globe.

Will Apple sell any accessories for the new iPhones?

Yes. Apple will sell its own custom case for both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.

The iPhone 5c case is made from soft-feeling silicone and is priced at $39 in Australia. The case comes in blue, green, pink, yellow, black and white colours. Interestingly, Apple has opted to have circular cut-out patterns on the back so you can see the colours of the phone underneath. The inside of the case is lined with microfibre.

The Apple iPhone 5c case. ($39)
The Apple iPhone 5c case. ($39)

The iPhone 5s case is made from leather. Apple says the leather is deliberately shaped to cover the volume buttons, the on/off switch and the chamfered edge of the iPhone 5s. The case comes in six colours (brown, beige, black, yellow, blue and red) and is priced at $48 in Australia.

The Apple iPhone 5s case. ($48)
The Apple iPhone 5s case. ($48)

What do you think about the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c? Are you impressed? Has Apple given you enough reasons to update from an iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S? Let us know in the comments below!

Related content

Apple iPhone 5s preview
Apple iPhone 5c preview
Apple's new iPhones will support dual-mode 4G in Australia
Apple prices iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s for Australia
Apple iPhone 5 review

Tags Appleapple iphonevirgin mobileVodafonesmartphonesApple iphone 5soptusTelstraApple iphone 5c

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide

16 Comments

Jennifer tanner

1

Not happy.....I was thinking of buying the samsung galaxy, I prefer the easy usage of the iPhone but I'm disappointed with these to new phones.
The screen size hasn't changed, the camera still hasn't nough pixels, very boring. It looks identical to the 5 and isn't worth the cost so I feel it will have to be a samsung as they have a wonderfull design and feel....just hope it's not too difficult to use. Sad.....if only apple had put more effort into the design, samsung even has a cool thin cover.

DUCKWORLD

2

Apple, you are not going to be able to keep up with samsung. The iPhone 5 C has a 9 megapixel camera for example and the samsung galaxy s4 has a 14 megapixel one. samsungs are designed a lot better then IPhones.

Manal

3

How can I preorder iPhone 5S?

Regardie

4

The outright price of the iPhone 5s in America is US$649, compared to $869 here in Australia.
Remember that you need to take into account the US to AU dollar exchange rate on any price conversion.
US$649 coverted to AUD= $700.34+GST = $770.03 how does that convert to $869 thats still around $99 more expensive, how does apple justify ripping off Australian consumers like this???

Meghan

5

@Regardie, you haven't taken into account shipping and packaging costs. Everything costs more in Australia because it's harder to get stuff here.

@DUCKWORLD, The iPhone 5c is the cheaper version... it would have to be more expensive if you had a better camera. Hence why they released the iPhone 5s which would be compared to the Samsung Galaxy s4- the 5c is cheaper and therefore, not as good.

@Jennifer tanner, the screen size was never going to change, they can't make it bigger because then it would be like a tablet phone and they can't make it smaller because then if would be like iPhone4... The camera has more pixels than a lot of digital cameras, and of course it looks identical to the 5, it's the next generation of 5, the real changes were all made to the inside like the use of an A7 processing chip which makes it twice as fast as any other available phone.

Alex

6

@Jennifer tanner and @DUCKWORLD, to add to what @Meghan said, the number of megapixels isn't everything when it comes to cameras. I have seen and read plenty a review that says the iPhone 5 camera is the best on the market, and i have tried and seen the results for myself. The sensor (what actually capture the picture) is 1.5x bigger on the 5s than on the 5, meaning that more light will be able to enter the camera. This in turn ends up with a better picture. The only time you would need more than 8MP is when you need to print a large version of your photo (over A4 size). For everyday life, 8MP is more than enough - other companies try and cram more in so people skim over the spec sheet and are fooled into thinking that the camera is better.

John

7

@Regardie, like the article says regarding the price, the US prices does not yet include the taxes where as the Australian prices already include GST. Taxes in the USA vary by state and also there are the additional county taxes. Buyers in the USA will have those taxes added on to the price of the phone as they check-out. While they will still be cheaper in the USA, the difference is not as much as you think.

SC

8

I just tried to pre-order a 5s on Optus and was told Apple has restricted Optus to only allowing clients to be able to pre-order a 5C. Well, I don't want a kiddy-lolly coloured work phone and I certainly wont be queuing come Sept 20th.

I had not intended too, but I will now look closely at a Samsung. You can't treat your customers like that, you need to make it easy, seamless and "feel good" in order to get a sale, any sale: not instead making dumb rules or imposing dumb restrictions and in turn sending customers elsewhere.

OK, what's the Samsung phone site.......? Apple- d***heads.......

AC

9

Regarding megapixels -- many people fall hook, line and sinker for the ridiculous marketing hype of "more megapixels = better picture" when this is very inaccurate. I recently changed the camera setting of my $3500 22-megapixel Canon DSLR so it would only take 2 megapixel photos. I then took a photo with this setting, and took a photo of an identical scene with my 8-megapixel iPhone 4S and compared the two. The 2-megapixel DSLR photo won hands down in terms of quality. Why? Because its sensor is so much BIGGER than that of the iPhone and each pixel is much larger than each pixel in the iPhone. As such, more light gets to each pixel and less noise is created. Learn a little about photography before posting absolute nonsense.

Bearing that in mind, the camera on the new iPhone 5S will be BETTER than ANY other smartphone camera on the market today, because its sensor is larger. All this is despite the fact that it will still only use 8 megapixels. And yes it will still take better photos than that ridiculous 41-megapixel smartphone which has been created!

tsering

10

Hi is there any store in Australia that purchase old phones and in exchange gives new phone. For eggs. I have Motorola droid RAZR HD and wanna exchange with iPhone 5s. Any official site would be appreciated

JamesJ

11

Hey i was wondering if you guys knew what i could do if i was on a plan for iPhone 4s and wanted to upgrade and get an iphone 5s … How would i go about that ? Do i have to cancel the iphone 4s plan and jump on iPhone 5s ?

Caitlyn

12

I wanted to buy an iPhone 4s but now I'm wondering should I buy an iPhone 5s instead?

Lilyhannah-Mei

13

I just purchased my 5s and it is amazing. Sleek and sassy!

Amberleigh

14

5c is better. Durable and colourful and cheaper.

Eisabella

15

I am so confusd. Do we buy the phones from the apule stor or iPhone store. Pleas reply!

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