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Wireless (Apple) Businesses Hardware Apple

O2 Offered iPhone Contract in UK 178

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the nice-work-if-you-can-get-it dept.
davidmcg writes "There has been speculation on who will provide the service for iPhone in the UK. Now, the answer has been provided. It seems that O2 has been offered the contract to provide telephony services in the UK for the iPhone. It seems that the iPhone should be available in the UK in time for Christmas. O2 have refused to confirm or deny these reports, so is it yet another unconfirmed iPhone rumor or is it fact? We can only wait to find out."
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O2 Offered iPhone Contract in UK

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    When I finally decided to filter news from the Apple section to avoid "iPhone" news. You come and put it in the "hardware" section? C'mon!
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @08:32PM (#19761605)
    I live in Eastern Europe and the presence of Apple here is basically nill.

    There isn't a single Apple store here. There are 3rd party distributors which sell Apple hardware/software and that's about it. With the kind of deals iPhone is after (tightly integrating the iPhone functionality with a specific provider), I see a big chunk of the world simply denied access to the iPhone (with the exception of illegally imported and hacked units I guess..)
    • by droopycom (470921) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @09:25PM (#19762141)
      A big chunk of the world is denied basic such as:

      - peace
      - clean water
      - clean air
      - housing
      - electricity

      Yes, I do also dream about the slick iPhone, but right now this dream is being tainted by mixed reviews anyway.
      And my $499 are better spent buying a new stove anyway...

      Being "denied" iPhone is kind of like being "denied" twinkies, oreos or root beer...

      Its just a freaking gadget. Your life wont change.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by suv4x4 (956391)
        A big chunk of the world is denied basic such as:

        - peace
        - clean water
        - clean air
        - housing
        - electricity


        What a cheap spin: if I want iPhone then it must be I don't sympathize with the dying african children! What a monster I am!

        Loser.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Traa (158207)

        A big chunk of the world is denied basic such as:

        - peace
        - clean water
        - clean air
        - housing
        - electricity


        Hey, you live in California too??

        - peace: The best reason for War the US has to offer.
        - clean water: I sure as hell don't drink it from the tab, and some people here can't even afford to buy drinking water (more expensive then gas)
        - clean air: Ever been to LA?
        - housing: renting 2 bedroom apt at $2000/month till I can get my $750K 4 bedroom house (no yard).
        - electricity: 2 more weeks of heat and no water and
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by BungaDunga (801391)
          -California is not a warzone.
          -You _have_ a tap. Care to walk miles for water every day?
          -Beijing "air pollution capital of the world" [guardian.co.uk]
          -A valid point
          -I heard a report on the BBC today talking about this informal study they're doing on quality of life in Baghdad. All three of the families they are tracking got about an hour a day of electricity this week, and constant electricity supply is in the dim future.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            ...so, what you're basically saying is, there are places that exist which are *worse* than california (like baghdad or beijing). Given that level of endorsement, I hope you don't blame me if I'm not packing my suitcase for a trip to LA anytime soon :)
          • by Traa (158207)
            Ugh, neither you nor the mod that modded me Troll recognized the sarcasm in my post :-(

            But really, you thought you actually had to point out to me that Beijing and Bagdad are worse places to live then California?

        • by malsdavis (542216)
          L.A. would be a great city if it didn't have so much air pollution. It's Probably the main reason I stopped living there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      I live in Canada and the Apple presence is kind of non-existent. Not counting the iPod, it's pretty hard to find any apple products here in Canada. You can order online, but in terms of physical presence, there is none. There used to be one shop I knew of that sold a lot of Apple stuff (notebooks, monitors, software) but they closed down recently.
      • by suv4x4 (956391)
        I live in Canada and the Apple presence is kind of non-existent. Not counting the iPod, it's pretty hard to find any apple products here in Canada. You can order online, but in terms of physical presence, there is none. There used to be one shop I knew of that sold a lot of Apple stuff (notebooks, monitors, software) but they closed down recently.

        Making fun of Microsoft and claiming how OSX will take over the world is kinda funny put in perspective (they're not even actively selling outside of few select co
      • by topham (32406)
        I can walk less than 2 blocks and buy a Mac, or, I can drive a couple of kilometers and buy a Mac.

        There are lots of companies which handle Apple products, you just have to open your eyes to find them.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Apple stores aren't anywhere near ubiquitous in the U.S. There isn't a single apple store in my entire state (and we have three decent-sized cities). There nearest one is 1 1/2 hours away in a neighboring state. Compared to Best Buy (which has almost a dozen stores in my state) or Walmart (there's almost one on every damn corner), Apple is a minor player.
  • by emjoi_gently (812227) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @08:33PM (#19761607)
    If O2 does have the contract, you know they will keep quiet about it until they are given permission to talk.
  • 3G for Europe? (Score:5, Informative)

    by aluminumcube (542280) <greg@@@elysion...com> on Thursday July 05, 2007 @08:35PM (#19761649)
    Just an uninformed theory, but I think Apple would need to go 3G with the iPhone if they want to really succeed in the Euro market. Most Americans have never had the exposure to get addicted to a fast net connection on a cell phone, so going with EDGE is grumble-worthy but not a deal breaker for the US mass market. Europeans, on the other hand, are 3G fanatics from what I understand.
    • Re:3G for Europe? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2007 @09:35PM (#19762231)
      I don't think 3G is a big deal in the consumer market - at least not here in the UK. It may be different for business users, but for personal cellphones only T-Mobile has a sensible mobile data plan; the others are living in a different world. Orange - to whom I am a bonded villein for another 8 months, 3 weeks and 4 1/2 days - recently wrote to ask me if I wanted to pay £8 a month (that's $240 for you Americans) for a data plan capped at 30Mb. Each month. Frankly, I don't even look now at a phone's data performance. It's just not a factor right now.

      And in case you now think I'm some sort of Luddite, I bought one of those credit card-sized LCD personal organiser databanks from the Innovations Catalogue when I was 14.
      • Re:3G for Europe? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bogjobber (880402) on Friday July 06, 2007 @12:24AM (#19763411)
        If someone is willing to fork out $500 on a phone, they are much more likely to also want top of the line features (ie 3G). Even Apple can't compete *solely* on their brand name. They actually do have to be competitive on the features they offer, especially in the higher end of the market.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Sircus (16869)

        £8 a month (that's $240 for you Americans)


        £8 is US$16.14 at current rates. Or $193.68/year.
      • I laughed out loud at the recent Vodafone adverts, with pieces of clocks falling from the sky. I think it claimed something like "The internet has been set free." Of course, all their offering is the exact same deal that T-mobile has been offering for a while now (£1 a day maximum, or £7.50 a month), except that the T-mobile limit is 1GB/month, and the Vodafone limit is 120MB/month.

        And maybe it's just me, with this particular Nokia handset and in this particular non-3G cell, but Vodafone's G

        • T-Mobile got the iPhone contract in Germany (iirc),and the UK/Germany T-Mobile are linked more closely than the US/UK T-Mobile. They've also got one of the better coverages (GSM & 3G).

          Possible, but I reckon O2 are still more likely because of their more 'business-class' professional image. Never mind the idiot-magnet that is Genie.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by arivanov (12034)
          Wrong product actually. You should navigate their website before talking rubbish. Look for the 3G broadband modem or the datacard.

          Vodafone currently has the most sensible dedicated data plans at:

          - 90 quid for unlimited + up to 250MB EU roaming (look at the T-Mob roaming tariff and you will choke on your breakfast).
          - under 50 for unlimited UK use + 8 pounds per up to 50MB day EU roaming in countries with Voda franchises
          - 29 for 250MB UK use + 8 pounds per up to 50MB day EU roaming (countries with franchises
          • Wrong product actually. You should navigate their website before talking rubbish.

            Uh, I did [vodafone.co.uk]. Just to check my figures.

            Look for the 3G broadband modem or the datacard.

            Wrong product actually. Such contracts don't offer voice calls or text messaging, only data. Coming back to the iPhone, considering it's locked down to the extent that you can't use VoIP or IM unless Apple says so, these cards would be inappropriate.

            - 90 quid for unlimited...

            Is that unlimited as in unlimited, or unlimited as in

            • by arivanov (12034)
              Uh, I did. Just to check my figures.. Yep. Data Packs. They figure prominently in the mail threads I exchanged with the Dear Cretins in their customer care department. And both what I mention and what you mention are wrong as far as the iPhone is concerned. It will require a whole new data tariff, something similar to web-n-walk, but with acceptable roaming. Buying it otherwise in Europe does not make any sense whatsoever. No point in buying a "universal access" gadget that surprise, surprise cannot access
              • First of all, I fail to see why roaming is any more important to the iPhone than to any other phone. Especially as it's not being targeted at business users [att.com].

                The iPhone most likely will require a new tariff, yes. But guessing what that tariff might be is pure speculation. The best we can do for an informed guess is to compare the packages offered by the networks at the moment, and basing that speculation on the data-only tariffs offered is ludicrous. You've also got to take into account the price diffe

                • by arivanov (12034)
                  Not just any roaming. Data roaming.

                  While voice roaming in Europe has recently become relatively sane (thanks Nelly), data roaming pricing is obscene and is all over the place. From 10£ per MB for the worst case to nothing or fixed per-day pricing on some voda tariffs.

                  Apple while pushing the iPhone has so far put great emphasis on the Internet useability. For Europe this means that data roaming from an obscure subject of interest solely to business users, becomes a subject of interest for consumers.
                  • The attractive data roaming deals you're talking about only apply to Vodafone's data-only tariffs. Have a look at their roaming website [vodafone.co.uk]. As an example, I selected Germany and an Anytime 1000-1200 tariff, and the data roaming charges were £10/MB. Compare with T-mobile [t-mobile.co.uk], which charges £7.50/MB. They're on a relatively even footing.

                    The iPhone will not come with a data-only tariff. Apple may negotiate for lower data roaming charges instead of the Apple Tax which is included in the AT&T con

      • by tcr (39109)
        Hope those 8 months go quickly!
         
        I know what you mean... I was with Orange for about 10 years, and eventually I couldn't wait to get away from them.
         
        They spend their inflated charges on stupid adverts telling you "we treat our existing customers as well as we treat our new ones" . Pfft. No, looks like being a new customer is the only game in town.
         
        I'm now happy with T-Mobile and their unlimited data plan. Monthly bill halved.
        • "we treat our existing customers as well as we treat our new ones"

          That actually made me laugh out loud. I was an orange pre-pay customer for six years, then a contract customer for a year. I got a letter from the shop I'd purchased the phone from saying I was entitled to an upgrade, since my contract was now up. I went in, and they pointed me to some very small print saying that this offer only applied to people on other plans. I wanted to add more data to my package anyway, so I strolled over to the Orange store, and talked to them. They had a number of offers for

    • by ironfrost (674081)
      If they really are signing an exclusive deal with O2, 3G will be even more important. O2 never rolled out EDGE services; they jumped straight to 3G instead. If Apple don't upgrade their hardware then users will be stuck accessing the internet over GPRS, which is basically unusable for "normal" websites.
      • by aaron.rowe (40518)
        Exactly my thoughts, as far as I know, in the UK the only network that provides EDGE is Orange, therefore Orange is the most likely network to provide the iPhone in it's current state. Upgrading the iPhone to 3G (UMTS/W-CDMA) will make it a better phone and make it compatible with all networks in the UK I believe.
    • That's not really true. Some of us have been using EVDO for a good while now--and AFAIK, EVDO RevA competes with anything Europe has to offer. This is exactly the reason I would never consider moving to ATT--their gsm network currently can't compete!
  • by jaaron (551839) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @08:36PM (#19761651) Homepage
    Why can't Apple just sell an unlocked phone and really help change the market? Is it the visual voicemail app that needs operator support? Is Apple going to negotiate contracts in every country? What a mess.
    • by pablo_max (626328) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @09:32PM (#19762195)
      Why would they? They want to share in the revenue from month to month..not just a one time hardware purchase. Think of it more like a pay-for-play model. Apple gets to make 50% off each iphone, then get a certain % of the monthly service fee that the iphones will bring the operators. Normally these phones are heavily subsidized by the operators in america, this is not true at all in EU which is why you can get an unlocked phone. This phone is not subsidized by US carriers, which is why they can afford to give apple a piece of the monthly on top of the cost of the phone. Win Win for apple.
      • by tsa (15680)
        Good point. But doesn't Apple make 100% on each iPhone? I thought 50 % of what you pay is manufacturing costs.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fdobbie (226067)
        You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Phones are historically heavily subsidized in the UK, with a contract (and handset) churn rate of 12 months. The MNOs have been pushing hard to kick that out to 18 months, but it's nowhere near the state of affairs in the US where 24 months is standard.
    • by tsa (15680) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @09:38PM (#19762287) Homepage
      I agree. Apple tries to bring the retardedness of the American mobile phone market to Europe. I don't think people here are so keen on switching provider for the iPhone as they are in America, simple because they are not used to switching providers for a new phone. But, I could be wrong. In any case not being able to buy it without the subscription is the ultimate show-stopper for me. In the long run buying without a subscription is usually cheaper.
    • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @09:43PM (#19762317) Homepage
      I would have to imagine there are two reasons.

      Like you said, the visual email thing requires a good deal of vendor support. And I imagine a vendor is only going to put forth the effort required if they see a substantial return on that investment.

      Likewise, there's a very good possibility that AT&T has paid Apple for exclusive rights to the launch (a two year term). That contract, which could be worth a lot of money, is probably worth more to Apple than any kind of "good will" that might change the market or the sales they missed because of it.

      All that being said, in two years they will likely make it "open" and you'll be able to get your iPhone from any vendor. We'll see though.
      • by profplump (309017)
        "Visual voicemail" really doesn't require that much vendor support, at least not from a technical perspective. Any modern voicemail server has an option to attach voicemail to an email message and send it off. If your phone supports the native recording format of the voicemail system that's all you need -- an email. But even if you need to do some translation it's pretty easy; email->procmail->lame->MMS gateway == visual voicemail. I use exactly that system to get "visual voicemail" on my phone.

        Now
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      When I first heard of the iPhone there was a lot of rumours going around that this is actually what Apple was going to do. Sadly it never materialized. It would be nice for someone to make an unlocked phone that was actually worth getting, and that would actually get people started on the path to no contracts. Sadly though, this isn't how it works. If you don't sign a contract, and buy your own phone, you pay $300 (or more) for the phone, and $50 for the monthly service. If you sing a contract, you pay
      • by Imsdal (930595)
        In Sweden at least (and in most of Europe, I would guess) there are pre paid plans where you literally pay nothing except for when you actually use the phone to make calls and send texts. Receiving calls and text messages are free.

        That means that paying $300 for a phone that is unlocked won't force you to pay $50 monthly as well. Besides, a cheap phone is more like $50, and the monthly charges are typically far less than $50 for the cheap plans anyway.

        It seems to me like cell phones are incredibly much

    • It's the networks that require the phone locking; the phone manufacturers would certainly not like to have to implement locking.

      That said, Europe and Australia require it to be possible to remove the locks.
  • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @08:38PM (#19761681) Journal
    From the summary:

    It seems that the iPhone should be available in the UK in time for Christmas. O2 have refused to confirm or deny these reports, so is it yet another unconfirmed iPhone rumor or is it fact?

    Well, how about you RTFA that you yourself linked to, buddy?

    1. "Press reports said that O2 is set to sign an exclusive contract shortly and should have the new phones on sale in time for Christmas."

    2. "However a spokesman for O2's owner, Spain's Telefonica, said that a deal had not been signed."

    Translation: a deal is close, almost on the verge of being done but not yet completed. So, yes, for now, it's an unconfirmed rumour. When all parties have signed on the dotted line, then it will be fact.

    Really, how can a story that questions itself make it as a frontpage article?

    • Is this the same Telefonica that's currently about to be fined ~100M Euro by the European Commission (biggest telco fine yet) for anticompetitive behavior in the broadband market? Them getting the deal would make me wonder what criteria is Apple using when picking partners. First AT&T ...
      • by NDPTAL85 (260093)
        My guess is their criteria is whats best for making money, not what soothes the civil rights sensibilities of the average paranoid slashdotter.
  • 3G? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0tat03 (985078) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @08:41PM (#19761709)
    Given the limited nature of American 3G networks, the whole iPhone and EDGE thing can be (to some extent) explained away. But considering how widespread 3G is in Europe, I'd hope Apple has a 3G-ified version of iPhone ready for them. The lack of 3G in the phone, IMHO, is one of the more critical mistakes that Apple has made, especially in introducing such an obviously media-heavy device.
    • by hypermanng (155858) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @08:55PM (#19761847) Homepage
      Jobs said he's not going to do 3G until they can get 3G chips that use less power. Who wants to bet Apple is arranging to have exactly that available by the fall?
      • by p0tat03 (985078)
        If that's true, then I would say delay the European iPhone launch until they can do it right. But seriously though, how many handsets out there do 3G? How many of those have good battery lives? Heck, I'm about as die-hard Mac-head as they come, and I don't really buy the power consumption thing.
      • by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 05, 2007 @09:24PM (#19762115) Homepage

        Jobs said he's not going to do 3G until they can get 3G chips that use less power. Who wants to bet Apple is arranging to have exactly that available by the fall?
        I'll take that bet. If chip companies could make lower power 3G chips, they would. It's not like Apple's the only company that wants 3G chips that consume less power, in fact, they're one of the smaller companies (in terms of the production volume of their phones) that wants chips like that.

        3G chips need more power than EDGE chips, it's just a fact and although there may be advances so that they require less power than they do now, no amount of "arrangement" by Apple is going to speed that up.
        • Don't bet on it. Chip makers will make lower power 3G chips when they think they can get a return on the development investment. If the current status quo is considered acceptable then they will not push for it. Now we have Apple saying that you can not put your 3G chipset into the iPhone unless it is low power so I would believe that someone will or has put the time and effort into delivering such a solution to them.

          Specific customer demand drives a lot in the electronic component industry. A lot of th
          • by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp AT gmail DOT com> on Friday July 06, 2007 @12:32AM (#19763457) Homepage
            My point is that the demand is already there for lower power 3G chips and the fact that Apple wants them now too doesn't change anything. Every phone manufacturer would kill for lower power 3G chips and every 3G chip manufacturer is already trying to deliver them. The incentive is already there -- if some company came out with a 3G chip that used significantly less power they know they would kill all their current competitors as well as increase the market for 3G phones because at present there are a lot of phones that don't include 3G chips specifically because of their power costs (once again, the iPhone is hardly unique in this regard).
      • by burndive (855848)
        Who wants to bet that's just Jobs dissing a feature that he didn't include so that everyone will "understand" why they're stuck with EDGE?
      • http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/en/product/3g/708sc/inde x .html [softbank.jp]

        This phone is REALLY small, has 3G+GSM+Bluetooth, and the battery life is not bad at all. Granted it doesn't have a large screen or fast CPU, but the fact that they can put all that (and TWO cameras, the front one being for video calls) into this tiny form factor and still have good battery life prety much disproves the power excuse...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by prockcore (543967)

        Jobs said he's not going to do 3G until they can get 3G chips that use less power. Who wants to bet Apple is arranging to have exactly that available by the fall?

        Well then Jobs should've looked at a non-GSM provider.. since EVDO uses less power than 1xRTT.

        Actually, Jobs should've just taken the battery life hit on GSM anyway.. the fact that all incoming calls go straight to voicemail while Safari is running is ridiculous. This is also probably why iChat is unavailable.. you couldn't be on AIM and use the p

        • by rcs1000 (462363) *
          "Well then Jobs should've looked at a non-GSM provider.. since EVDO uses less power than 1xRTT."

          Wow, that's amazing, given both EV-DO and 1xRTT *are* CDMA standards rather than GSM. So it's like saying "You shouldn't buy a petrol car, given diesel has better fuel economy than hydrogen."

          "the fact that all incoming calls go straight to voicemail while Safari is running is ridiculous. This is also probably why iChat is unavailable.. you couldn't be on AIM and use the phone at the same time."

          Welcome to 2G mobil
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by squiggleslash (241428)

        Jobs has also said that the iPhone isn't programmable (except Web2.0) because a programmable phone would, upon crashing, take down Cingular/AT&T's network.

        Jobs isn't above lying occasionally. The power consumption of CDMA (including the W-CDMA needed for UMTS support) chipsets, while higher than the relatively power-efficient GSM, isn't so high that 3G phones aren't being made by every other manufacturer that have perfectly adequate battery lives. Indeed, proportionally, the additional overhead of in

    • What North American networks will an unlocked European iPhone work on? And what are the speeds of those networks?
    • by CompMD (522020)
      What limited nature? There is EVDO coverage to millions of people in the US, and Sprint, Verizon, and Alltel sell EVDO capable phones like hotcakes. In about a month, there will be EVDO rev. A coverage as well. Heck, I can stand in the middle of a field in central Kansas or Oklahoma and still have bandwidth that beats the pants off of EDGE.
  • How will apple get around EU laws force the phone to be unlocked?
    • They'll charge a "reasonable fee" for the unlocking when you're out of contract. This will be a non-trivial amount of money, and your contract may well lock you in for upto 2 years anyway so they don't *have* to SIM-unlock it during that period to protect their revenue. When unlocked, your iPhone will function on a competitors GSM network, but will probably lack operator-specific iPhone enhancements such as Visual Voicemail.
      Bottom-line - it'll make little difference to them. They're almost certainly get
  • by billsf (34378)
    The iPhone covers all GSM bands and should work adequately on any system. Not every feature works on my phone and that's the norm. How much do GSM providers pay for these things? IPhones work fine over here and if they do cost $1000 each as a friend in the industry told me, that should be an option: Free to choose the provider you want.
  • European FCC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lastninja (237588) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @09:25PM (#19762131)
    Since this is bound to raise questions about will it have 3G type. I thought I should ask a related question. I guess the EU have some sort of FCC equivalent that asserts that devices with radio comply to standards. When would apple have to provide them with an iPhone with a 3G chip, for it to make the before end of 2007 deadline. Are those tests public, i.e. would they have to tell us that they are conducting tests on the iPhone?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If they use an already approved 3G modem module rather than a discrete chip, they may be able to skip that and go straight to operator approvals.
  • Speculation vs Fact (Score:3, Informative)

    by Durzel (137902) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @10:12PM (#19762541) Homepage
    The Times Online [timesonline.co.uk] is reporting that O2 have already won the contract ("O2 has beaten its rivals to win the exclusive UK rights to offer Apple's iPhone"), BBC News is saying that it is "reported to have won the sought-after deal". So the BBC is speculating whereas The Times is claiming it to be fact. I don't know who to believe.

    If you believe all the articles you read then apparently O2 have denying winning the contract [tech.co.uk], being quoted as saying "they're just stories without any truth to them". That sounds like a pretty negative statement for a company who is apprently just being hush-hush about being in such a privileged position.

    O2 do not have very good 3G coverage in the UK, it seems almost a no-brainer that Vodafone would've won the contract since their infrastructure is superior. There's no EDGE in the UK, so the UK iPhone either has to be 3G, or work over GPRS... the latter doesn't bear thinking about (think Youtube vids downloaded at 3-4KBps).

    The smart money is still on Vodafone to win the contract in my opinion, despite these reports, and the UK (maybe Euro) iPhone having 3G support.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by clonmult (586283)
      Catch is that only T-Mobile has any decent data plans in the UK though.

      Vodafone pricing is generally just to be laughed at, call charges, data, whatever, they're just way overpriced. O2 aren't that different.

      And as for "no edge in the UK", check your facts first. Orange have definitely rolled out an EDGE network, my N73 drops back to that when I'm on ropy 3G coverage.
    • by nicklott (533496)
      The UK does have EDGE, (I know because my orange phone is constantly telling me) however O2 doesn't have an Edge network, which makes it a very strange choice of network. Unless they're planning a 3G version for europe, not that the coverage of that is great either.
    • by jcupitt65 (68879)
      The Guardian is saying [guardian.co.uk] that O2 are installing EDGE for xmas:

      The iPhone does not use 3G technology, but a variant of the existing wireless technology called Edge. So far in the UK, only Orange has installed this technology into its network - but O2 is expected to roll out Edge technology in time for Christmas, and also, it is thought, in time for the iPhone. Last night O2 said officially that it had not signed a contract with Apple.

      The other operators, however, say that upgrading to the new high-speed data

  • O2 & the XDA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stevecrox (962208) on Friday July 06, 2007 @04:44AM (#19764915) Journal
    O2 were the first operator to release PPC/PDA phones in the UK (to my knowledge), in the two local stores, I have the employees know about the XDA's back to front. When I went looking for one they went through my wants and needs before narrowing down which XDA they would recommend. Places like Orange and TMobile don't make a deal about their PDA phones their usually mixed in with the more expensive phones, but O2 do. I'm curious why O2 would take on the iPhone, unlike orange their not losing customers in droves, 3 could do with it as they need market share. Unless the iPhone drops its price substantially I can see the people in the O2 shops recommending an XDA Orbit (thin, light) with a 2GB memory card over the iPhone.
  • Oh no, not O2!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by DrogMan (708650) on Friday July 06, 2007 @05:01AM (#19764981) Homepage

    I'm with O2, fortunately out of my mandatory lock-in period. I'm not interested in an iPhone, but as soon as I can get my grubby paws on a Nokia E90, I'm jumping ship - probably to T-Mobile. Why? O2's GPRS data charges are extortionate.

    You get 100KB for free a month. Last month I had to use my phone for data and I managed to suck down 14441KB. They charged me £27.97 for the privilege. That sucks. ~30 quid for 15MB. I pay less than that for my broadband connection a month and that's capped at 40GB a month.

    Mobile data in the UK is rubbish.

    /DM

  • UK part of Europe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2NO@SPAMearthshod.co.uk> on Friday July 06, 2007 @06:14AM (#19765305)
    The UK is still (only just .....) part of the EU, where regulations mandate handset portability across networks. Even if you buy an iPhone connected to O2, you will have to be able to transfer it to any other telco with whose networks it is physically compatible. That means at least Vodafone (who are also using the 900MHz band) and possibly Orange and T-Mobile, if the RF section also does 1800MHz.
    • by TobascoKid (82629)
      I'm surprised that Apple would only be going with one provider. You don't get many exclusive to only one network phones in the UK - most providers sell the same phones as their competitors. My understanding is that the US market is different, so I can see them going with a single provider, but in Europe and/including the UK it might be different.

      Looking at the specs http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html [apple.com], the iPhone is quad band. It should work on any network in the UK, except 3 (assuming the euro-iPhone is
      • by ajs318 (655362)

        You don't get many exclusive to only one network phones in the UK
        That's because it would be illegal in the UK to make a phone exclusive to one network.
  • Somehow, I don't think I'll be camping outside my local Apple store [flickr.com] anytime soon...
    • by CrazyTalk (662055)
      I live in Pittsburgh - one of only two Apple stores in the USA that has NOT sold out of the iPhone, according to a NY Times article today. Blame it on the fact that the city has lost over half its population and continues to shrink at an alarming rate.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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