iPhone 5C release date: where can I get it?

Cheap? Not that cheap

After months of guesswork, the iPhone 5C is official and it's basically an iPhone 5 in plastic coating.

But that won't stop you (or perhaps your kids) wanting one when you see the colourful array of finishes the handset comes in - green! yellow! white! pink! etc.

The good news is that there isn't long to wait: the iPhone 5C release date is September 20 while pre-orders open on September 13. We've had a quiet word with all the networks to find out who's stocking what, but we'll update this page when we get more info on plans and pricing. Let's do this:

  • But wait! First decide if the new handset is worth your money with our hands on iPhone 5C review

Optus

Just a couple of days before release, Optus announced customers will be able to buy the iPhone 5C online from 2am on September 20, and that the handset will be running on its new dual-mode 4G Plus network.

While all Optus plans include unlimited SMS and MMS, the 24-month plan tiers include a $35 option that has 200 voice call minutes and 200MB of data, the $50 option has 450 minutes and 500MB of data, and the $60 plan gives you 600 minutes and 1GB of data.

The $80 plan gives you 800 minutes and 2GB of data, while the $100 options gives you unlimited minutes and 3GB of data.

For the 16GB model, the 5C will not cost extra on the higher $80 and $100 plans, but with monthly repayments starting from $22 on the $35 plan, it will push total prices for the other plans up to $57, $63 and $69 per month.

Similarly, the 32GB model won't have any extra charges on the $100 plan tier, but will have a monthly repayment $5 on the $80 plan.

Including monthly repayments for the handset, the lower tiered plans will be pushed up to $62, $69 and $74 per month.

Telstra

Telstra has pre-orders set up for the 5C, available on all four of its Every Day Connect and Business Performance plans.

The 16GB iPhone 5C on Telstra's $60 and $80 plans will have extra and $11 and $2 monthly repayment, respectively. This brings the plans to $71 per month over 24 months for $600 worth of calls and MMS, unlimited SMS and 1GB of data, and $82 per month over 24 months for $800 worth of calls and MMS, unlimited SMS and 1.5GB.

The 16GB 5C on Telstra's $100 plan will come with $0 monthly repayments over 24 months, $900 of calls and MMS, unlimited SMS and 2GB of data. On the $130 plan, the smartphone will again have $0 handset repayments over 24 months with 3GB of data and unlimited calls, SMS and MMS.

The 32GB iPhone 5C will see monthly handset repayments between $18 and $4 with the same inclusions as above, pushing the plan prices to $78, $88, $104 and $134 per month over 24 months.

Vodafone

The big red has also started taking pre-orders, and will have the smartphone come 8am, September 20. Vodafone will be offering the iPhone 5C on all of its plans, starting from $16 monthly repayments on its $30 plan, $12 on the $40 plans, $8 on the $50 plans and $2 on its $60 plan.

You can grab the 5C on either a 12-month or 24-month contract on Vodfone's new Red plans, which comes with unlimited calls, SMS and MMS, and either 1.5GB, 2.5GB or 5GB of data depending on plan level, as well as priority customer care and Roam Like Home.

For a 16GB iPhone 5C, you'll have a $2 monthly repayment on a 24-month $65 Red plan, or $0 per month on a 24-month $80 and $100 Red plan. On a 12-month contract, the 16GB 5C will cost a monthly repayment of $30, $24 and $16, respectively.

A 32GB iPhone 5C will have a $7 monthly repayment on a 12-month $65 Red plan, and $0 per month on a 24-month $80 and $100 Red plan. On a 12-month contract, the 32GB 5C will cost an extra $10 monthly repayment of $40, $34 and $26, respectively.

Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile left it until release day to release its plans for the iPhone 5C, which will be available on each all six.

Virgin's $90 and $140 plans have unlimited calls and SMS, they have 3GB and 6GB apiece. They also include free a return flight to New Zealand, Fiji or Vanuatu. Each of its other plans have unlimited calls from Virgin to Virgin numbers.

Its lowest $30 plan comes with $200 worth of credit for calls and SMS, and 200MB of data, while its $40 plan comes with $450 credit and 1GB of data.

$50 will also get you 1GB of data, but you get pushed to $500 worth of credit, while $60 will get you 1.5GB and $700 credit.

Both 5C models won't cost extra on the two top tier plan. For the 32GB model on the other four lower-tiered plans will have its total monthly pricing pushed to $51, $57, $63 and $69, respectively, including handset repayment.

The 16GB 5C model will have monthly repayments starting from $16 to $4 on the lower-tier plans, pushing total monthly plan prices to $46, $52, $58 and $64, respectively.

Apple

If you're ready to shell out $739 for the 16GB iPhone 5C or $869 for the 32GB model off-contract, you can buy directly from Apple.

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News Editor (UK)

It's a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she's constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. And having been immersed in the world of tech and tech rumours for more than six years, she can spot a photoshopped iPhone 8 image from 20 paces.