The most expensive smartphone contracts in South Africa

South Africa’s four largest mobile operators all offer varying contracts to meet consumer’s needs – including a premium service that often bundles in unlimited SMS, call minutes and data.

These contracts when coupled with premium subsidised smartphone devices, which can now stretch beyond R20,000, can become quite costly.

Apple smartphones feature as the most expensive devices currently available through the operators, with the the group’s premium Apple iPhone X 256GB being the most expensive overall.

In terms of contract prices, MTN’s contracts are the most expensive overall, followed by Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom.

FNB Connect, which is one of the few MVNOs in South Africa to offer flexible premium smartphone contracts in the country, has also been included.


MTN

MTN logo yellow

MTN’s most expensive contract package is the MTN Sky Supreme, which offers uncapped data (with a fair use of 25GB before throttling) and unlimited SMSes and call minutes.

Smartphone Contract Cost per month Total cost (24mo)
iPhone X 64GB MTN Sky Supreme R2 899 R69 576
PorscheDesign Huawei Mate RS MTN Sky Supreme R2 899 R69 576
Samsung Galaxy S9+ MTN Sky Supreme R2 699 R64 776
Huawei P20 Pro MTN Sky Supreme R2 599 R62 376
Samsung Galaxy S9 MTN Sky Supreme R2 599 R62 376

Vodacom

Vodacom’s premium contract package is the Red VIP Plus, which offers 20GB of data every month, on top of ‘limitless’ SMSes and call minutes.

Smartphone Contract Cost per month Total cost (24mo)
iPhone X 256GB Red VIP Plus R2 699 R64 776
iPhone X 64GB Red VIP Plus R2 549 R61 176
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Red VIP Plus R2 349 R56 376
Huawei P20 Pro Red VIP Plus R2 349 56 376
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Red VIP Plus R2 349 R56 376

Cell C

Cell C’s costliest contract package is the Premium 25, which offers 25GB of data per month, on top of 3000 SMSes and 5000 call minutes.

Smartphone Contract Cost per month Total cost (24mo)
iPhone X 256GB Premium 25 R2 599 R62 376
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Premium 25 R2 399 R57 576
Huawei Mate 10 Pro Premium 25 R2 399 R57 576
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB Premium 25 R2 399 R57 576
Huawei P20 Pro Premium 25 R2 299 R55 176

Telkom

Telkom’s most expensive contract package is the FreeMe Unlimited, which offers uncapped data (with a fair use of 25GB before throttling) and free SMSes and call minutes. The SMSes are capped at 50 free per month, with 3,000 free minutes per month before being charged.

Smartphone Contract Cost per month Total cost (24mo)
iPhone X 256GB FreeMe Unlimited R1 999 R47 976
iPhone X 64GB FreeMe Unlimited R1 799 R43 176
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB FreeMe Unlimited R1 799 R43 176
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB FreeMe Unlimited R1 699 R40 776
Samsung Galaxy S9+ FreeMe Unlimited R1 699 R40 776

FNB Connect

FNB Mobile

While FNB Connect is an MVNO is South Africa, it is one of the few that offers long-term smartphone contracts on top of its month-to-month data contracts.

The smartphone products are limited, and come already tied to set top-up packages, but can also be coupled with the MVNO’s other data products. In the list below, we’ve selected the group’s smartphone packages, along with the Ultimate Connect voice package (R399 per month).

The key difference with the FNB Connect contracts is that the data and SMS packages are limited (100MB to 1.1GB and 50 to 350 SMSes, respectively) compared to the other operators.

Smartphone Contract Cost per month Total cost (24mo)
iPhone X 256GB Top Up XS R1 548 R37 152
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB Top Up S R1 298 R31 152
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Top Up M R1 258 R30 192
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Top Up L R1 232 R29 568
iPhone 8 256GB Top Up S R1 218 R29 232

Read: SA mobile share in 2018: Vodacom vs MTN vs Cell C vs Telkom

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The most expensive smartphone contracts in South Africa