13/09/2012 15:34 BST | Updated 14/09/2012 09:59 BST

iPhone 5: How To Buy One In The UK (PHOTOS)

So you've read the live blogs, seen the pictures, considered the new dock connector and lusted after the new screen...

But how do you actually buy an iPhone 5?

Luckily for us, we won't have to wait too long here in the UK. The phone goes up for pre-order from Apple on Friday 14 September and officially goes on sale a week later on 21 September.

Simple? Er... No. Here's the lowdown.


If you just want to own an iPhone 5, and don't care about getting a new contract or money off the phone from your network, then you're in luck. Come Friday you'll be able to log on to and buy a new phone for £529 (16GB), £599 (32GB) and £699 (64GB), and have it delivered a week later (stock depending).

However... when you buy the phone, you should have the choice to add a pay-as-you-go Sim Card to it - which even if you want to run it on your existing network deal, you might want to do.

Why? Because of the SIM...

UPDATE: We're now informed that pay-as-you-go nano sims are not yet available when you pre-order an iPhone.


Apple's new iPhone uses a smaller SIM card, called a Nano Sim. And to get it to work, you're going to need one to pop in the phone.

Unfortunately, even if you have an existing iPhone you won't have a Nano Sim - so to use the iPhone 5 you're going to have to replace it.

If you pop into your network's retail store you should be able to swap your SIM for a Nano Sim, but availability and processes vary. Plus if your Network doesn't have its own stores, you might have to ring up or order one online. Just be aware of doing so before next Friday - else you won't have a SIM card for your lovely new phone.

The iPhone 5 Launch


Most of the major networks will be offering the iPhone 5 at launch, but as of right now few have announced prices.

Here's a good round-up of the various price deals and contract structures.

4: 4G?

The new iPhone 5 comes with 4G LTE built in - which provides up to five times faster browsing speeds that the current iPhone 4S. But unfortunately, 4G is currently only offered by one UK network - the recently announced EE - and they haven't launched yet.

As such, if you want to buy an iPhone 5 with 4G, you'll have to first sign up to Orange or T-Mobile and then switch to EE once they launch in a few weeks' time. Complicated? Yes. Yes it is.

And if you're hoping that O2, Vodafone and other neworks will switch on 4G soon - you might be out of luck there too. The auction for new spectrum on which to run 4G hasn't happened yet, and even when it does it looks like the iPhone 5 will have to be updated to work on the new spectrum.

According to the tech blogs, Three's LTE network should be up sooner than that - but without any announcement we can't guarantee it.