Are You Getting Ripped Off With Unlimited Smartphone Deals?

Vodacom customers pay far higher prices for unlimited and high-end smartphone contracts than their Vodafone counterparts in the UK, raising the question of whether South Africans are getting ripped off.

Consumers in the United Kingdom can purchase an iPhone 5 with unlimited calls and SMS for under R600 per month.

Vodacom charges R1,999 for a very similar product in South Africa on their Vodacom Red smartphone package.

The pricing difference between Vodacom (basically Vodafone SA) and Vodafone UK shrinks when it comes to lower-end smartphone contracts, as illustrated in the following table.

iPhone 5 plans



Voice minutes



Monthly price

Vodafone Red SIM only Unlimited Unlimited 1GB R289
Vodacom Red Comes with device Unlimited Unlimited 1.5GB R1,999
Vodafone UK iPhone 5 16GB Unlimited Unlimited 1GB R592
Vodacom iPhone 5 16GB Unlimited Unlimited 1.5GB R1,999
Vodafone UK iPhone 5 32GB 600 Unlimited 500MB R536 (+R2,522 pay-in)
Vodacom iPhone 5 32GB 400 0 400MB R899
Vodafone UK iPhone 5 16GB 100 Unlimited 100MB R423 (+R2,522 pay-in)
Vodacom iPhone 5 16GB 120 0 120MB R549
(1 GBP = 14 ZAR)

Vodacom explained that the commercial model varies based on market factors such as the consumer demand and the competitive environments in each market.

“Other factors such cost structures, fluctuating exchange rates, taxes and duties also influence the pricing model,” Vodacom said.

“This is why in some instances we’re able to offer comparatively lower pricing in South Africa and in others the pricing is higher.”

Please note: Vodacom was used in this comparison because they are part of the Vodafone group, which should mean similar wholesale prices on high-end smartphones. Similar price differences exist for most SA cellular deals.

More Vodacom smartphone articles

>Vodacom’s new Smart, Red contracts compared

>Vodacom unlimited voice contract confirmed

>New Vodacom smartphone plans

>Telkom Mobile nails Vodacom in “Unlimited” ad

Source :

Are you getting ripped off with unlimited smartphone deals?
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