Update: We previously stated that buying a MacBook from Sky on a monthly contract could work out cheaper than paying the full cost of the device upfront. This was incorrect due to a mistake when interpreting the terms and length of each contract. The article below has been updated to reflect the correct pricing.
We're big fans of the MacBook here at TechRadar. In fact, three different versions of Apple's premium devices have spots on our best laptop guide. If there's one thing that might put you off from a purchase, though, it's the hefty price tag. Enter Sky Mobile, which has become the first UK mobile network to add MacBooks to its range of available devices on payment plans from as little as £22 per month with 0% interest.
That goes some way to taking the sting out of buying a new MacBook, which will set you back around £1,000 for the majority of models. Compare that to picking up the MacBook Air 13-inch (2020) from Sky Mobile, which is £1 upfront and £22 a month on a 48-month contract. Not bad for a laptop we scored 4.5 out of 5 in our MacBook Air 13-inch (2020) review for its stellar power, performance, battery life and display.
So, what's the catch? Well, one small caveat is that you do have to get a Sky Mobile SIM alongside your purchase. However, the cost of this can be completely negated if you don't care about mobile connectivity on your MacBook by choosing the smallest 100MB SIM. That one costs nothing extra each month so all you have to worry about is paying off the laptop.
You will also end up paying more for your MacBook than you would by paying everything upfront, but this is pretty much expected with these lengthy contracts. It's not an offensive amount given it's spread out by up to four years (it works out at around £100 more than the base retail price for the MacBook Air (2020), for example) but is worth knowing.
We've got a full breakdown of the different MacBook deals available through Sky Mobile below, along with the upfront costs and monthly fees for each one.
All MacBook prices at Sky Mobile
|Device||Price (over 36 months)||Upfront fee||Header Cell - Column 3|
|MacBook Air 13-inch (2020)||£22||£1||View deal|
|MacBook Air 13-inch (2022)||£25||£12||View deal|
|MacBook Air 15-inch (2023)||£30||£24||View deal|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch (2022)||£29||£12||View deal|
|MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023)||£46||£36||View deal|
|MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)||£58||£36||View deal|
Is buying a MacBook from Sky a good deal?
We think this is a great deal if you want a MacBook and want to avoid paying the hefty price for one of Apple's laptops all at once. Of course, you need to take into consideration that over the course of the 36-month or 48-month contract, you will end up paying more than the standard price for the device, but at least there's no interest piled up on top of it, too.
There's even the option to swap your device for a new one at no extra cost when you reach certain milestones (24 months in the 36-month option and 36 months with the 48-month contract). That means you should be able to pick up whichever fancy new MacBook has been released by that point in time by handing in your old one to pay off the remaining balance. And, you can be sure Apple will have launched at least a dozen new models by then.
Plus, the need to get a SIM alongside the laptop sounds like it would be inconvenient, but you can just get the free 100MB one and leave it in a drawer never to be used.
For others, it might actually work out as a nice bonus if you've got an unlocked mobile or are out of contract as you could hit two birds with one stone. Buy the MacBook, add a SIM, and then simply put the SIM card to use in your current handset. There's even the option to double your data to 20GB on the £10 per month tariff right now. Sure, it's not the best SIM-only deal out there, but it's not bad for the price.
Don't just take our word for it. It looks popular with punters as a few MacBook models have sold out already, although Sky promises that more stock is on the way soon. Best to keep an eye on the store so you don't miss the next restock.
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James Pickard is a Deals Editor at TechRadar. After many years of scouring the net for the cheapest games and tech for his own personal use, he decided to make it his job to share those bargains with you. James also has over five years of experience covering some of the biggest sales events of the year at Eurogamer and VG247, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day. When not deals hunting, James can be found on the PS5, watching a classic film noir or cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.