The iPhone 5’s out, but if you’re buying one can you save cash by going SIM-free? The answer’s yes, but the difference isn’t as big as you might expect.

Take Orange: the 32GB iPhone 5 is Â£219, then Â£36 per month over two years. That’s Â£864, so the total cost of ownership over two years is Â£1,083.

SIM-free from Apple, the same phone is Â£599. The pick of Three’s SIM-only deals is Â£12.90 a month, so that’s Â£309.60. Total cost, Â£908.60. There’s a difference, but over two years it’s not a huge amount: it’s just over Â£7 per month.

Remember too that you can get some cash back by trading in your existing phone (shop around though – trade-in prices vary widely) and you might be able to wangle a discount if you upgrade with your current provider.