It began with O2 exclusivity but now most of the major UK carriers sell the iPhone, Three has just been added to that list of carriers which is an intresting move. Three usually offer very good deals and make the devices very cheap so we could possibly see a cheaper iPhone 4 from Three.
All the carries have confirmed that they will be selling the iPhone 4 from June 24th so it’s going to be an interesting launch and a strong amount of competition.
An email was sent out today to all Vodafone customers about the release of the iPhone on their network today. Vodafone has joined the other 3 carriers of the iPhone in the UK (O2, Orange and Tesco Mobile.)
According to Vodafone, they estimate they will be able to sell 50,000 iPhones by the end of the day. If they achieve this they will beat Orange’s launch record of 30,000 and outsell the Google Nexus One, which only sold 20,000 in it’s first week.
Vodafone UK To Offer iPhone January 14th
Orange & Tesco Mobile are soon to be joined by Vodafone as one the iPhone carriers in the UK. They have announced that the iPhone will be on their networking starting January 14th.
The plans start at £30 a month for 24 months, with additional handset charges ranging from £59 (iPhone 3G 8GB) to £239 (3GS 32GB). However, if you sign onto a £35 a month contract for 24 months the 8GB iPhone 3G is free.
Unlike Orange, O2 and Tesco Mobile; Vodafone don’t appear to be offering a Pay As You Go option for its customers.
There has been some concerns whether or not the network would be able to handle the major increase in traffic, but Guy Laurence, chief executive of Vodafone UK, says the company has been preparing for the launch for over a year, strengthening their infrastructure for the release.
As I spoke about before, Tesco said how they were hoping to release the iPhone 3GS before Christmas. Now the date has been set for December 14th, just in time for Christmas. Tesco gave some further details on their offerings of the iPhone. It has free unlimited 3G (fair use policy applies) and BT Openzone WiFi access, which is free for a year to Pay As You Go customers and for the life of your contract if your on Pay Monthly, the same as O2 offers.
The cheapest contract is £20 per month for their one-year contract, but that gets you only £60 calls and texts allowance and you have to pay £320 for the 16GB device itself. They also offer an unlimited calls and texts plan for £60 per month, cheaper than what Orange offer. Last of all they offer half-price calling to your favourite five numbers. The Pay As You Go costs will be the same as what O2 and Orange offer.
If you re-call my article from months ago, I suggested how the BBC need to make a native BBC iPlayer app and their latest press pack hints that this has finally begun.
The image shows the native app running on Wi-Fi, much like the website, which restricts you to only WiFi. It will be up to O2, Orange and Vodafone whether or not they will allow it to run on their 3G network. Little is known about the app, except what we can see from the images.
It appears to show a downloads section, meaning the possibility of downloading radio and TV to listen to when your not in WiFi, much like on the computer. This will probably have the same DRM which will delete it after so many days. The DRM on the media could have been the reason it’s took the BBC so long to develop the app as last time it was put on a portable device it wasn’t long until someone worked around it.
There still no confirmation of the native iPhone application but from these images we know that something is in the works.
iPhone Idea: BBC iPlayer App
O2 will now unlock your iPhone if your contract has expired or you’ve been had a Pay As You Go iPhone for 12 months.
Sine O2 lost exclusively of the iPhone to Orange and Vodafone early next year. O2 have said they will unlock the device.
However it comes with a price, customers will have to pay £15 to get the code to unlock the device.
This makes me believe there must be a similar method, as used on other phones to unlock the device via a code which will be calculated by O2.
Tesco To Sell iPhone’s Before Christmas
O2 Will Allow Unlock For UK iPhone’s
Orange Release UK iPhone Details
Reports Suggest iPhone 3G Could Be Coming To T-Mobile UK
UK supermarket giant, Tesco, has unveiled that they will start to sell iPhone’s this year. Offering ‘competivie contract prices’. A spokesman for the firm said that it hoped to offer the phone “in time for Christmas”. They have not yet revealed tariffs but are offering “competitive prices”.
Tesco has now joined the iPhone party: O2, Orange, Vodafone and now Tesco will sell both the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Orange said that they had sold more than 30,000 handsets on its first day of release.
The phone will still be running on O2 as Tesco Mobile and O2 are in a joint venture. You will be able to get the phones both on contract and pay as you go.
After today’s announcement from Telefonica Europe that O2 will unlock their iPhones to every network once the iPhone is released on other networks means that perhaps other countries will have to follow suit and therefore perhaps the end of hacking to unlock the iPhone. Blacksn0w is the latest unlocking tool from GeoHot which unlocks the latest baseband, however I’m wondering as if to how they will roll out the unlock, either by a carrier update or software update I assume. But if so it won’t take a hacker too long to work out how it’s being unlocked and simply apply it to other phones making it harder for Apple to play the cat and mouse game.
The CEO stated that iPhones will be unlocked once the contract is up, but on Pay As You Go there is no contract so surly they should be sold unlocked, however the way it was started it seems that you have to go to get it unlocked and it won’t just be rolled out. And although I’m going to keep using O2 if they roll this out I’m going to unlock my 8GB iPhone 3G before I sell it to upgrade to a 3GS. Hopefully the rest of the world follows suit and the iPhone becomes a network free device.
O2 the current exclusive retailer of the iPhone and iPhone 3GS, although not for long; will be allowed to unlock their iPhones to other carriers as long as it’s the end of their contract period according to the CEO of O2’s parent company, Telefonica Europe. “Once the iPhone becomes available on other UK networks,” says Matthew Key, “we will allow O2 customers to unlock their iPhones, although of course they will still need to honour any outstanding contract period they have. At the end of their contract period, they are entirely free to move to another operator — though naturally we hope they won’t want to!”
Orange is starting to sell the iPhone from November 10th and Vodafone will be joining in on the iPhone in early 2010. O2 have had exclusivity on the iPhone since 2007 but once released on Orange and Vodafone an unlock will be allowed.
With the release of the iPhone on UK network Orange about a week away, Orange have released the pricing details for the Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go plans. One thing to remember that Orange wasn’t planning on challenging O2 on prices but this gives people who don’t like O2 or who are already on Orange a chance to get an iPhone.
The only big difference between what O2 offers and what Orange offers is that for £122.34 per month you can get unlimited minutes and texts. For Pay As You Go, an 8GB iPhone 3G will cost £343, the 16GB iPhone 3GS is £440 and the 32GB iPhone 3GS is £539. The prices are slightly cheaper than O2 but what I still wonder about is does that now mean iPhone’s sold in the UK should work on both O2 and Orange?
If so, in the first quarter of next year UK iPhone’s will work on O2, Orange (Soon to be merged with T-Mobile) and Vodafone.
Update: So it’s been pointed out that now Orange’s ‘unlimited’ plan there is only 750MB.