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Sim-only vs contract phone deals: What’s best for your business?

Mobile phones are integral to modern businesses. Make sure you’re getting the best deal you can.

Mobile phones are integral to the way modern businesses function, so it’s important you’re giving yourself the best deal you can.

With iPhone 8 contracts winding down, many business owners face a choice: sign up for a new handset-included contract or go SIM-only.

Going SIM-only means you’ll have to use the same handset as before, or buy a new one separately. Getting a handset contract means your SIM and handset will be bundled into a single monthly price.

The main reason for getting a handset contract is that you can get the phone itself cheaper than if you buy it separately – but a look at the numbers shows that this isn’t always the case.

SIM vs contract

Analysis of the flagship iPhone X deals shows that you can get exactly the same product – same minutes, same texts, same data, same phone – cheaper when you buy SIM and handset separately.

An iPhone X will set you back £1,344 over two years if you go with a contract. But you can get an unlocked iPhone X off Amazon for £899. That means as long as you’re contract is less than £18.50 a month, you’ll save.

That means that if your SIM is free – as it is for all XLN Broadband customers who opt in to our giveaway – you could save over £400 over the course of a contract.

Are you sure you need the latest phone on the market?

The downside to SIM-only deals is that you have to pay the full cost of your new phone up front. But if you’re willing to keep using your old phone you’ll find you can forgo that cost completely. Or you can get an older version for a fraction of the price of the latest models.

For business purposes, the difference between an iPhone 8 and an iPhone X is pretty minimal. So in most cases, we recommend going SIM-only if you’re on an upgrade plan that’s soon to expire.

SIM-only: the benefits:

  • Bills normally work our cheaper overall, so SIM-only makes sense for long-term budgeting
  • Monthly bills are lower, so you’ll have smaller expenses each month
  • Contracts are more flexible: you’ll rarely be locked into your plan for a full two years. Many SIM plans are ultra-flexible, rolling 30-day contracts.
  • You have more freedom in shopping around for the best deal, on any network.

Our verdict

Phone providers love putting people on contract deals – but the only real benefit is that there’s less upfront cost to the purchase.

If you can resist the need for next-gen phones, or budget to buy one separately, you’ll find that SIM-only deals will save your business money and allow you greater choice in choosing the deal that’s right for you.

For more information on XLN’s Mobile packages, go to

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