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iPhone 3G to lure pre-payers to contracts - survey

20 per cent of Brits want a Jesus Phone

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One in five Brits would like to buy a 3G iPhone, but more would put down their hard-earned if O2's tariffs were less pricey.

So claims market watcher GfK NOP on the back of an online survey carried out over the past weekend. It talked to 750 people, and the results were "weighted to give a nationally representative sample of UK mobile phone owners".

The research revealed that 68 per cent of the UK's mobile phone owners haven't even heard of the 3G iPhone, suggesting Apple's marketing is not perhaps as pervasive as some observers have assumed.

That figure falls to three per cent if you focus on the 16-24 age range, and, perhaps surprisingly, only 44 per cent of folk over 60 haven't hear of the iPhone 3G.

That leaves 20 per cent of phone owners keen to have a second-gen Jesus Phone. A further seven per cent said they'd like one too, but not at what O2 wants off them each month for airtime.

Now we know that O2's unlikely to get pay-as-you-go iPhones out in the near future - closer to Christmas, in fact - pre-pay customers make have changed their mind about the Apple handset. But when NOP conducted its survey 16 per cent of PAYG customers said they'd consider switch to a monthly subscription to get an iPhone.

Of that 16 per cent, two-thirds said they'd rather have an 18-month contract than a pre-pay handset.

It's clear then that the subsidy O2 is applying to the handset is going to win over mainstream punters put off by the original iPhone's high price and the unsubsidised price of the PAYG 3G iPhone.

"O2 and Apple have addressed most of the barriers which held back mass-market take-up of the original iPhone, so we expect the iPhone 3G to sell well," said GfK director Anders Nielsen.

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