Feeds

3 offers best iPhone deal

But no one has any stock

Build a business case: developing custom apps

So now we know - there is to be no price war over the iPhone 4. But operator 3, which became the latest UK network to unveil its pricing, has opted for much more generous bundles than the competition – and a significantly lower upfront Apple tax.

The drawbacks? Well, 3 won't bundle public Wi-Fi hotspot access in its deals, reckoning its network is now good enough, and you'll need to go to an Apple Store to sign up for now, since supplies are constrained. But that's true for all operators today.

At 3, the iPhone 4 on contract starts at £30, which includes 500 minutes, 5000 3-to-3 minutes and 5,000 texts with the handset at £99 or £189; £35 gets you 900 minutes (or 2,000 if you sign up on line) and the handset for the same price, a slight reduction for the online-only deal; £40 gets you the same minutes as at £35 but a lower handset tax of £59 and £149; while at £45 the 16GB is free, the 32GB model is £89. All the tariffs include 1GB of data per month.

If you're not concerned about being on the bleeding edge, the 3GS model is available at much more attractive rates. For example, you can pick up a 3GS on contract on 3 for £25 a month, and get 500 minutes, and the 1GB of data, with the phone costing £129. At £30 a month, also with 500 minutes bundled, the phone drops to £29, and at £35 a month it's free.

Tesco is offering the iPhone on a £20 monthly tariff – but you'll need to find £429 or £329 for the iPhone 4 models, or £407 or £320 for the iPhone 3GS models (32GB and 16GB respectively), and the bundled minutes allowance (250) is nowhere near as generous.

Other than 3 and Tesco the deals are the same or worse than they were before. So what does £30 a month buy you on Orange, O2 or Voda?

Orange offers a measly 150 minutes and 250 texts for £30 and both “unlimited” 3G and Wi-Fi bundles are capped at 750MB. The new models cost £319 (32GB) or £229 (16GB). £35 buys you 600 minutes. Over at Voda, £30 buys you more minutes – 600 - data is capped at 1GB, and the handset is £269 or £169. O2 offers 100 minutes on an 18-month contract for £30, or 300 minutes on a 24-month contract; texts are unlimited but MMS is extra (20p a pop), and the handsets are £323 or £299 for the iPhone 4 32GB, depending on the length of the contract, and £279 or £209 for the 16GB model.

We're reluctant to say that 3 has started a “price war” - but the deal at the £30 contract spot is much more generous.

T-Mobile has yet to announce its prices.

As for availability, they're all out of stock. O2 is giving existing customers first crack at the new model, and 3 sources say supplies should arrive in its stores in late July or early August.

So you'll need to find an Apple Store, and make your choice there. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.