Latest UK news on the Apple iPhone, iPod, iTouch and iMac.
The up and coming and highly desirable 3G iPhone could be available for free through O2, UK’s premier service provider. The company, upon noticing the massive sales after the £100 price cut on the 8GB model, has decided that if they offer a free iPhone they may see even more people coming aboard. The deal will only be offered through AT&T outlets and not directly through the Apple store. Although many iPhone users are still locked into their 18 to 24 month contracts, O2 may find it a bit difficult to encourage new users to sign up. The two companies may offer an upgrade to appease those who fill still feel cheated after supporting the iPhone from the beginning.
Vodafone UK has announced a number of plans tailored to unlimited data usage for £5. The actual cap is 500 MB per month so unlimited may be a bit of an overstatement. Typically UK iPhone customers pay from $30 to $70 for 3 GB of data with a two year contract or $40 to $80 for those who do not want that two year contract. Customers are also offered insurance for $10 each month, just in case they go over their monthly allowance.
T-Mobile Germany announced recently that it would cut prices on the purchase of an iPhone for a new deal. This deal gives German iPhone users a chance to pick up the most talked about phone for just €99 (US$155). Until now the 8GB model of the iPhone has been selling for €399 in Germany.
Apple’s UK partner, O2 however, has made no indication that they plan to follow Germany’s lead. The plan by T-Mobile in Germany to cut iPhone prices has been regarded as a way to either stimulate German flagging sales of the iPhone or simply to clear stock from the network’s channel in preparation for the release of the new 3G model due out very soon.
An O2 spokesperson recently stated that “We regularly examine all of our offerings to ensure they remain competitive and meet customer demands. We currently have no updates regarding iPhone pricing.”
This statement while not giving any indication that UK prices will be cut in the near future, does leave the company open to discounts if and when they choose to emulate T-Mobile’s plan.
O2 have made some changes to their pay monthly contracts for iPhone users. The changes will result in customers on the £35 per month contract now getting three times as many minutes and just over double the number of texts they currently are entitled to each month.
There’s also a new £45 per month tariff that allows customers to enjoy the same amount of minutes and texts as the £55 plan it replaces. There is also a new £75 tariff for those who need around 3000 minutes and 500 texts per month.
So, the cheapest contract you can take out with an iPhone is still £35 per month, although you now get more minutes and texts for your money. For ‘super users,’ there is a new £75 per month contract.
It’s also worth pointing out that O2 is still giving all iPhone customers unlimited data browsing which is worth quite a bit in itself although before buying we’d advise that you look at the small print – often services which compete with services the mobile network offer (i.e. SMS, MMS, VoIP such as Skype etc.) are not included in the unlimited data bundles. So you may well be charged for use of services such as Skype or MSN/Windows Messenger. This varies from contract to contract. All iPhone customers still receive unlimited data browsing and access to The Cloud’s Wi-Fi hotspots through free ‘bolt ons’ (O2’s term for bundles) onto their contract which is valued at £15 per month. For those who are unaware, The Cloud provides wi-fi access in numerous places, including many McDonalds restaurants in the U.K.
In a press release, O2 has reassured existing customers that they won’t miss out – they will be transferred to the new iPhone tariffs sometime during this month (February) and according to the same press release, all customers should be benefiting by mid March.
On February 5th, Apple added new iPhone and iPod touch models to their line-up. These new models give users twice the amount of memory as older versions, which double their music, photos and videos respectively. The new iPhone now comes with 16 GB of memory. UK iPhone lovers will have the chance to purchase these newer versions immediately after their release this month. These new versions are expected to sell for £329 (inc VAT). This joins the original iPhone model which sells now for £269 (inc VAT). The iPod touch now comes in a 32GB model for £329 (inc VAT), which is slightly higher than the original 16GB model for £269 (inc VAT) and the 8GB model for £199 (inc VAT).
The newer 16 GB iPhone is currently available through the Apple Store, many Apple retail stores and the O2 and Carphone Warehouse retail stores, as well as their online stores. The new 32 GC iPod touch is available worldwide immediately for the suggested retail price and will be sold through all Apple authorized dealers. While iTunes movie rentals are still available in the United States only, iPhone and iPod users in the UK will still have access to music, photos and other videos.
These newly released versions of Apple’s products will require a Mac with a USB 2.0 port and an operating system of X 10.4.10 or later. Users can also use a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista or XP to load their music and videos. Both new versions will feature the multi-touch user interface and the latest software enhancements that are available. The ability to automatically find your location with the new Maps application, create web clips for websites and customize the home screen are also features of the newest versions of the Apple line-up.