Frequent questions about the iphone on pay as you go

Here are some frequently asked questions and other things you should know about owning an iPhone.

Why choose a pay as you go iPhone?

There a number of reasons why you would pick a pay as you go iPhone (or prepay) over a contract mobile.

1. A pay as you go iPhone offers you freedom from long (and sometimes expensive) phone contracts. You know how much you are spending each month so you can control (or learn) about money and credit.

2. You own the iPhone already. Once you have paid for the iPhone (whether new or refurbished), you can switch mobile networks whenever you want. If a new cheaper tariff appears on another mobile phone network, you can get their sim card straight-away and change provider (If you want to keep you iPhone mobile number – dont forget to port your number. This will take a few weeks to sort).

3. You can upgrade your iPhone whenever you want. If you want the next iPhone you can go out and buy it, swap your sim card over and then flog your old iPhone on eBay (they keep their value well still get good money when sold second hand).

4. You only pay for the calls you make. On a contract you can get to the end of a month and know that you havent used all your inclusive minutes and text yet you have still paid for the options. With pay as you go you just pay for what your use.

5. Pay as you go is great for low usage. If you want the iPhone to surf the internet when you are home (and dont make many phone calls) then you can connect via your home wireless broadband connection (its faster than 3G as well). There is no point in paying for a mobile contract unless you make hundreds of minutes of calls and thousands of texts per month.

What does Pay as you go mean?

Pay as you go (and O2s pay and go) are just another way of saying pre-pay. You need to purchase mobile credits for your phone before you get any airtime. The great thing with this situation is you will not over-use your phone and end up be chased by the phone operator for excessive bills and you can get a phone without the mobile phone company needing to run a credit check report on you. When you run our prepay credit you will need to purchase some more.

Word of warning. Check with you mobile operator if you need to buy iPhone pay as you go credit each month or whether the credit carries over from one month to the next until you use it up. Some mobile operators make you use the credit up within a month or it becomes invalid. Do check first.

What are pay as you go iPhones?

Pay as you go iPhones allow you to make mobile calls without the need for a contract with a mobile phone operator. You buy credit for your phone which will provide you with airtime to make phone calls, a number of text messages and limited data access to the internet. The amount of phone credit you receive for your money varies from one mobile operator to the next but many provide free incentives (such as free access to the internet for the month) when you credit your pay as you go iPhone.

You can buy airtime via vouchers in high street stores and off-licences, calling your mobile provider on a special crediting telephone number or by creating an account with your mobile operator online.

Pay as you go iPhone versus contract iPhone

OK, so with contract iPhones you are paying a lower upfront hit for the iPhone handset, but, you will be tied into a hefty monthly contract for up to 24 months. You could justify this by thinking you will be paying for the iPhone over a longer period of time. In truth, the total cost of ownership of the iPhone will likely be the same as paying for an iPhone upfront and using pay as you go phone credits. It could be more if you dont actually use the monthly amount of call time and texts afforded by the contract.

The range of iPhones available to you on pay as you go can be limited by the mobile operators. Do check which phones they will sell you on a prepaid basis. This is especially true when a new generation of iPhone comes out and the mobile operators are low on iPhone stock. For instance, when the iPhone 4 came out you could only get it if you signed up to a long contract. It took at least 4 months before the mobile operators would sell you an iPhone 4 on pay as you go.

Should I opt for a Pay as you go iPhone?

If you are a light user of mobile phones but still want the great functionality of an iPhone then purchasing one on a no contract, pay as you go basis is the way to go. O2 and Orange now offer the iPhone on both contract and pay as you go options.

What do you get with a pay as you go contract?

You will get the iPhone and a mobile SIM to allow you to connect to one of the three iPhone mobile providers networks

(o2 and orange provide pay as you go SIMs and Vodafone offer a contract SIM).

What do I do when I run out of credit?

You can control the amount you need to budget for your iPhone simply by topping up with credit when you need to.

Calls are more expensive on pay as you go mobile phone contracts but at least you only pay for what you use.

Which iPhone can I get on pay as you go?

You can get the 8 GB iPhone in black and the 16 GB and 32 GB in iPhone black or white. When you first register the phone you will receive 1 years unlimited web browsing and Wi-Fi. After this time, as long as you keep topping the phone credit up you will continue to get free internet access.

What are the requirements to getting an iPhone on pay as you go?

You must be over 18 years of age, have a valid credit or debit card, pass a credit check and have a valid email address that can be used for online billing

Will I get coverage for my iPhone?

It is always worth checking which mobile provider offers the best mobile/3G coverage before you sign a contract or fork out for a pay as you go handset. Check the coverage in your area by clicking on the links below and follow the mobile operators on-screen prompts for your postcode. Remember that you will be using your mobile on the go so do check the postcodes of your office or college too.

What is 3G?

3G stands for third generation mobiles (or system). 3G is the current generation of mobile phone technology and the iPhone 3G shares its name for this reason. 3G supports much fast data transfer than the older 2G (see 2G) mobile networks and is fast enough to allow mobile user to surf the internet and stream video.

What is 2G?

2G (or GPRS) is an older technology for mobile connecting to the mobile phone networks. New iPhones use 3G connections for faster access to data (see 3G). GPRS means the phone is always connected and able to transfer data quickly.

Here are some frequently asked questions and other things you should know about owning an iPhone.

Will my iPhone be restricted to a network?

Normally an iPhone on a contract is restricted to use on the network on which it was purchased (i.e. either O2 or Orange). Attempting to use it on any other network, for example by replacing the SIM card, may mean it becomes permanently unusable. If you purchase an iPhone on pay as you go you can easily switch mobile network.

How do I activate my iPhone?

Activation of the device requires the latest version of iTunes, a broadband connection and a minimum level of PC or Mac software.

What computer specifications do I need to run my iPhone through iTunes?

Mac system requirements

  • Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later
  • iTunes 8.2 or later (free download from
  • Tunes Store account
  • Internet access

Windows system requirements

  • PC with USB 2.0 port
  • Windows Vista; or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later
  • iTunes 8.2 or later (free download from
  • iTunes Store account
  • Internet access

How do I activate my new pay as you go iPhone?

  • Insert your SIM card into the SIM tray at the top of your iPhone.
  • You can open the SIM tray by pushing the SIM ejector tool into the hole on the SIM tray Download the latest version of
  • iTunes to your PC.
  • To do this click the iTunes link and select Download > Save > Save.
  • Wait for iTunes to finish downloading and click Run
  • Follow the on screen instructions to install iTunes (you must accept the iTunes terms and conditions agreement before you can install it
  • Connect your iPhone to a USB port 2.0 port on your computer using the cable included in your iPhone box (make sure you connect your iPhone to a USB port on your computer and not on your keyboard)

How do I transfer my contact and calendars?

There are two ways of moving all the stored numbers and calendars from your old phone on to your iPhone without needing to enter them manually.

1. Via your computer’s address book:

  • Transfer the contacts and calendars from your old phone to the address you use on your computer
  • Link your iPhone to your computer and wait for iTunes to open
  • Click on the Info tab at the top of the screen and select the address book you want to copy your contacts and calendars from
  • Click Apply > Sync and iTunes will automatically update your iPhone

2.Via your old SIM card

  • If your contacts were saved on to your old phones SIM card you can copy them to your iPhone using your old SIM card
  • Insert your old phones SIM card into your iPhone and turn it on
  • Tap Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Import SIM Contacts