The best deals and plans for the Apple iPhone SE

Apple has introduced its latest ‘budget’ iPhone, offering a more affordable alternative to its flagship iPhone 13 series. The 2022 iPhone SE boasts a fast processor, better battery life and upgraded cameras, all packaged in a pocket-friendly size and with 5G connectivity.

If you’re looking to buy the iPhone SE either outright or on a plan, pre-orders for the new device begin at 12.00am AEDT on Saturday, March 12, and the phones themselves will ship from Friday, March 18. Aside from buying straight from Apple, you can also buy the SE on a telco plan from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone, with each provider offering plenty of incentives to jump on board.

To help you decide where to buy, we’ve rounded up the iPhone SE plans and deals on offer from each of the big telcos.

iPhone SE: Features and specs

Apple’s 2022 iPhone SE features an economical but bright 4.7-inch Retina HD display, and apes the overall design of the 2020 edition budget iPhone. You’ll get a physical Home button with Touch ID, but Apple has promised a more durable body with ultra-strong glass and IP67 water and dust resistance.

The iPhone SE includes Apple’s industry-leading A15 Bionic chip — the same one you’ll find on the iPhone 13 series — which makes the device up to 1.8 times faster than the iPhone 8. This chip includes a 6-core CPU and Apple’s 16-core Neural Engine, for ultra-fast performance in everything from gaming to photography. The A15 Bionic also works with the SE’s battery to offer long-lasting power, with up to 15 hours of video playback and 50 hours of audio playback from a single charge.

Despite the lower price, the SE also features a new camera system, with a 12-megapixel wide camera in back and a 7-megapixel portrait camera in the front. The rear camera offers up to 5x digital zoom, plus advanced features such as Deep Fusion for next-level image processing even in lower light. Other features include Smart HDR 4, Photographic Styles for easy adjustments without a filter, and Portrait Mode with a range of lighting effects.

Rounding up the iPhone SE’s key features, you’ll find the latest iOS 15 operating system, alongside Apple’s Siri voice assistant, Apple Pay, and dual SIM compatibility, including eSIM. The iPhone SE is also 5G-capable, making it the first of Apple’s lower-priced SE devices to offer fast 5G connectivity.

iPhone SE: quick specs

  • Priced from $719 (64GB), $799 (128GB), $969 (256GB)
  • 4.7-inch Retina HD display
  • 7MP front camera
  • 12MP rear wide camera
  • A15 Bionic chip
  • iOS 15 operating system
  • Qi wireless charging, up to 15 hours video playback
  • IP67 water and dust resistance
  • 5G connectivity
  • Available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB
  • Available in Starlight, Midnight and (PRODUCT) RED

White iPhone SE

Telstra iPhone SE plans

Telstra is stocking the iPhone SE in all three storage sizes, and across all colours. You’ll be able to pick up the iPhone SE outright, or on a Telstra device payment plan of 12, 24, or 36 months. You’ll pay the same in total for your phone no matter which option you choose, but opting for a payment plan means you won’t be paying a huge sum upfront.

You’ll need to pair your iPhone with one of Telstra’s four Upfront SIM-only postpaid mobile plans. All four plans include unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia, plus unlimited speed-capped data restricted to 1.5Mbps, so there’s no excess data charges in Australia. Plans are priced based on the included full-speed data: Telstra’s Small plan is $55 for 40GB, the Medium plans is $65 for 80GB, Large is $85 for 120GB, and Extra Large is $115 for 180GB.

All four plans feature unlimited international SMS, plus 30 minutes of standard calls to overseas numbers each month. Medium, Large and Extra Large plans also include access to Telstra’s 5G network, however the Small plan is limited to 4G-only.

Currently, Telstra is throwing in a bonus 12-month Disney+ subscription with all new Upfront plans, which includes access to content such as Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. This offer is valued at $11.99 per month and ends March 28, 2022, but you’ll need to redeem your subscription by May 31.

Telstra is also discounting its premium Extra Large plan by a massive $50 per month for your first 12 months, saving you $600 in your first year. After 12 months, prices will revert back to $115 per month, but you’re free to switch to a cheaper plan if needed.

Telstra prices for the iPhone SE are below. Note that these prices are only for your phone, and don’t include mobile plan costs.

iPhone SE 64GB:

  • 12 months: $60 per month over 12 months ($720 in total)
  • 24 months: $30 per month over 24 months ($720 in total)
  • 36 months: $20 per month over 36 months ($720 in total)

iPhone SE 128GB:

  • 12 months: $66.58 per month over 12 months ($798.96 in total)
  • 24 months: $33.29 per month over 24 months ($798.96 in total)
  • 36 months: $22.19 per month over 36 months ($798.84 in total)

iPhone SE 256GB:

  • 12 months: $79.08 per month over 12 months ($949.96 in total)
  • 24 months: $39.54 per month over 24 months ($948.96 in total)
  • 36 months: $26.36 per month over 36 months ($948.96 in total)

Compare Telstra’s plans for the 64GB iPhone SE below. Click through to see options for 128GB and 256GB sizes.

12-month Telstra iPhone SE plans

The following table shows a selection of published 12-month Telstra plans for the 64GB iPhone SE on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

24-month Telstra iPhone SE plans

The following table shows a selection of published 24-month Telstra plans for the 64GB iPhone SE on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

36-month Telstra iPhone SE plans

The following table shows a selection of published 36-month Telstra plans for the 64GB iPhone SE on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.


Related: iPhone 13 review: another stellar Apple smartphone


Optus iPhone SE plans

Optus is also offering the full range of iPhone SE sizes and colours, and like Telstra, gives customers the choice of paying off their phone over 12, 24, or 36 months. Once you’ve picked your payment term, you’ll need to add your phone to one of Optus’ Choice Plus SIM-only mobile plans, which begin at $45 per month for 20GB of full-speed data.

Other options include $55 per month for 80GB, $65 per month for 200GB, and $85 per month for 240GB of fast data. All plans include unlimited standard national talk and text, unlimited data capped at speeds of 1.5Mbps (so no excess data fees for use in Australia), and options such as data sharing and a daily unlimited data add-on.

Plans of $55 and up also include unlimited standard international talk and text to 35 selected countries, and all plans include Optus Sport + OS Fitness, plus the option to add on other services via SubHub. Optus also includes access to its 5G mobile network on all Choice Plus plans, so you’ll be able to connect your iPhone to 5G where available.

The telco is currently offering a limited-time promo plan to new and upgrading customers, which can be paired with the iPhone SE. Priced at $65 per month for your first 12 months, this plan includes a massive 500GB of full-speed data each month, plus unlimited 1.5Mbps data. After 12 months, prices will revert to $115 per month, but you’re free to switch to another Optus plan at any time.

Optus prices for the iPhone SE are below. Note that these prices are only for your phone, and don’t include mobile plan costs.

iPhone SE 64GB:

  • 12 months: $59.88 per month over 12 months ($718.56 in total)
  • 24 months: $29.94 per month over 24 months ($718.56 in total)
  • 36 months: $19.96 per month over 36 months ($718.56 in total)

iPhone SE 128GB:

  • 12 months: $66.54 per month over 12 months ($798.48 in total)
  • 24 months: $33.27 per month over 24 months ($798.48 in total)
  • 36 months: $22.18 per month over 36 months ($798.48 in total)

iPhone SE 256GB:

  • 12 months: $80.70 per month over 12 months ($968.40 in total)
  • 24 months: $40.35 per month over 24 months ($968.40 in total)
  • 36 months: $26.90 per month over 36 months ($968.40 in total)

Compare Optus’ plans for the 64GB iPhone SE below.

12-month Optus iPhone SE plans

The following table shows a selection of published 12-month Optus plans for the 64GB iPhone SE on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

24-month Optus iPhone SE plans

The following table shows a selection of published 24-month Optus plans for the 64GB iPhone SE on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

36-month Optus iPhone SE plans

The following table shows a selection of published 36-month Optus plans for the 64GB iPhone SE on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Vodafone iPhone SE plans

Red iPhone SERounding out the ‘big three’, Vodafone is also selling all three colours of the new iPhone SE, plus all three storage sizes. Vodafone gives customers the option of paying off their phone over 12, 24, or 36 months, with all three periods costing you the same in total.

You can pair your iPhone with any of Vodafone’s five SIM-only Infinite plans. These include the $40 Lite plan with 10GB of maximum speed data and unlimited speed-capped 2Mbps data; the $45 Lite+ plan with 30GB of fast data, plus unlimited 2Mbps data; the $50 Super plan with 60GB fast data and unlimited 10Mbps data; the $65 Super+ plan with 100GB of full-speed data and unlimited 10Mbps data; and the $85 Ultra+ plan, which includes unlimited full-speed data.

All plans include unlimited standard national calls and texts to Australian numbers, plus unlimited standard international SMS. Selected plans also include overseas call minutes, and all five plans offer access to Vodafone’s 5G network where available.

Currently, Vodafone is offering bonus data and plan fee discounts on various plans, so it’s a good time to sign up. Customers who buy their iPhone SE on a Vodafone plan before April 22, 2022 will also receive a free three months of Amazon Music Unlimited, valued at $11.99 per month.

Vodafone prices for the iPhone SE are below. Note that these prices are only for your phone, and don’t include mobile plan costs.

iPhone SE 64GB:

  • 12 months: $59.91 per month over 12 months ($719 in total)
  • 24 months: $29.95 per month over 24 months ($719 in total)
  • 36 months: $19.97 per month over 36 months ($719 in total)

iPhone SE 128GB:

  • 12 months: $66.58 per month over 12 months ($799 in total)
  • 24 months: $33.29 per month over 24 months ($799 in total)
  • 36 months: $22.19 per month over 36 months ($799 in total)

iPhone SE 256GB:

  • 12 months: $80.75 per month over 12 months ($969 in total)
  • 24 months: $40.37 per month over 24 months ($969 in total)
  • 36 months: $26.91 per month over 36 months ($969 in total)

Compare Vodafone’s plans for the 64GB iPhone SE below. Click through to see options for 128GB and 256GB sizes.

12-month Vodafone iPhone SE plans

The following table shows a selection of published 12-month Vodafone plans for the 64GB iPhone SE on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

24-month Vodafone iPhone SE plans

The following table shows a selection of published 24-month Vodafone plans for the 64GB iPhone SE on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

36-month Vodafone iPhone SE plans

The following table shows a selection of published 36-month Vodafone plans for the 64GB iPhone SE on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

SIM-only iPhone SE plans

If you’d prefer not to buy the iPhone SE on a telco plan, you can take home the device at full price upfront from Apple and selected retailers. However, you will need a SIM-only phone plan for your unlocked handset.

We’ve compiled a selection of popular postpaid and prepaid SIM-only plans below. However, keep in mind that if you want to use the iPhone SE with 5G, you’ll need to make sure your plan choice is 5G-capable.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Images: Apple

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