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iPhone price hikes from the big guys

Telecom has followed Vodafone in sharply increasing its iPhone prices.

Telecom has followed Vodafone in sharply increasing its iPhone prices.

iPhoneCustomers must now pay at least $210 more to get an iPhone on its cheapest smartphone plan.

Last month Telecom was adamant it was not putting up its prices, after Vodafone increased iPhone prices on its two cheapest plans due to high demand.

But Telecom customers signing up for its $40 and $60 a month smartphone plans for 24-month terms will now pay between $210 and $280 more for their handset, depending on the plan and model.

The cost of the iPhone 4S 16 GB phone on the $40 a month plan has risen from $649 to $899.

Spokesman Richard Irvine said the company had experienced strong demand for the iPhone. "We often offer launch pricing and revise it when the launch period ends, which is the case here."

Commenters on the Stuff website advised readers to move to 2degrees or buy a cheaper Android smartphone.

Or as one said, “Why not just buy it [an iPhone] outright from the Apple Store? [It’s] 16GB for $1049.” Vodafone’s deal is $999 for the phone and $65 per month; on a Telecom plan you would pay $799 and $60 per month.

Vodafone copped an online backlash when it changed iPhone pricing for its $45 and $65 a month plans.

Telecom said it still offered the lowest iPhone pricing for the two lowest 24-month plans available.

As a sweetener, it has offered the iPhone 4S 64GB model for free on a 24-month, $140 a month plan. It previously cost $199.