iPhone 3G S in the UK: what you need to know
We unpick O2's small print
Updated Apple’s latest iPhone, the 3G S, is currently the talk of the town. But if you’re a prospective O2 customer itching to buy the latest model, or an existing iPhone users hoping to upgrade, then you’d be wise to read the small print.
O2 has already confirmed that the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3G S models will cost pay-as-you-go customers a whopping £440.40 ($711.12/€510.37) and £538.30 ($853.05/€612.24), respectively.
However, internet tethering – a killer 3G S feature allowing the phone to be used like am HSDPA modem – won’t be available to PAYG customers. The bolt-on will only be offered to contract customers, priced at either £14.68 per month for a 3GB maximum data transfer allowance, or £29.36 per month for 10GB.
O2's HSDPA network provides 3.6Mb/s downloads across the carrier's 3G network. The faster, 7.2Mb/s speed is being rolled out, initially in major cities.
Call merging and visual voicemail are also not available to PAYG customers, O2 confirmed.
O2’s monthly contact costs vary wildly, so we’ve included the operator’s breakdown below. But if you’re looking to save a few pennies and grab the 16GB 3G S for free then you’ll have to sign up for a £73.41 per month contract for 18 months. The 32GB model’s free for the same monthly cost, but based on a lengthier, two-year agreement.
It’s also worth noting that although O2’s now canned the 16GB iPhone 3G, you can still buy the 8GB model for the operator’s original PAYG price of £342.50 ($553.04/€396.91). The table above shows the contract prices, again unchanged.
Contracts for business customers vary widely too. For example, you can get the 32GB 3G S for £175.19 ($282.88/€203.02) on O2’s Small Business Frequent User tariff.
Apple’s iPhone 3G S small print also contains some finer points you should be aware of because, despite version 3.0 of the OS set to launch on 17 June, many of the coolest features required hardware only included in the 3G S.
For example, even if you upgrade your existing 8GB 3G to the new operating system, you still won’t get the compass, the voice control app, the video capture capable camera or the “improved performance” afforded by the 3G S' faster chippery.
Internet tethering will not be available to owners of the 8GB iPhone.
But many other iPhone 3.0 features - MMS, copy and paste, voice memos and the landscape keyboard in the messaging apps - will work on the old handset, and on new ones, whether they're PAYG or contract handsets.
So, the moral of the story is that if you’re looking to get the 3G S, you must be flush with cash, think carefully about contract or PAYG options and – most importantly – drop Register Hardware about your thoughts on the new device.
The iPhone 3G S will be available from O2 on 19 June. Apple's other UK iPhone partner, Carphone Warehouse, will start taking advance orders tomorrow. ®
O2 has since told Register Hardware that existing customers on monthly contracts will be able to upgrade to the iPhone 3G S by “buying out” of their contracts. The cost of this is calculated on a case-by-case basis, but you’ll then have to pick from the standard list of monthly 3G S contract options (shown above) before the operator will ship you the device.
just give me a 12 month contract the £35 18 month over 12 months should be £50 and then you wont need to worry about next years upgrade
and yes i know theres no real difference between either, but its a lot less emotional spending the price of a round a month vs £210
O2 are crazy....and gonna lose a lot of customers
I don't see why people are upset about not getting a free/cheap upgrade from the 3G. You signed a contract and got the 3G subsidised.
But the tethering tarrifs, no unlimited txt bundles, rapidly going downhill CS, no improvement in tarrif contents and worst of all - all this is exclusive to the iPhone. Most other phone tarrifs on O2 offer much more for less. O2 are scamming their iPhone customers.
Roll on Orange/Vodafone.
iPhone 3G S coming to Orange!
You may be interested to know that the iPhone is going to be sold on contract by Orange. It should be on sale around August to October this year. (It has been confirmed by someone who works for Orange.) This is not a joke.
That might cheer some of you up!
Why should iPhone users get free early upgrades?
Does a Nokia customer get a free early upgrade to the latest and greatest nokia offer? No, they have to wait to upgrade like EVERYONE else. just because your iPhone has an apple logo, it doesn't mean you should be allowed a new one free every time they release one.
And yes, things are expensive in the country, always, not just iPhones.
You were allowed to upgrade to the 3G iphone when it was released, because the original iPhones were not subsidised in price. The new ones are subsidised.
Give these a read
I used to like Apple...
I've been using their products since my old Apple IIsi ... but now their popularity has gone to their heads and they've started to take the piss. They deserve to go down in the minds of the people with M$ for this.