back to article The iPhone arrives, but is O2 being taken for a ride?

Yesterday Apple announced that O2 would have the exclusive rights to their iPhone in the UK, with punters paying £279 for the phone and signing up to an 18-month contract. But how much is O2 paying for its five-year exclusive, and can it really make any money out of it? Estimates of how much O2 is going to share with Apple …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting article.... but

    Although I enjoyed reading this article (thought the angle was interesting), I was a bit disappointed that readers were quoted, rather than industry sources.

    However, it was one of the more interesting iPhone articles (and I don't mean on El Reg) I've read recently, and asked some solid questions.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opportunity to Shaft users - again...

    "Don't expect EDGE to spread much beyond London - it's only there because O2 would be a laughing stock if it hadn't been seen to be making the attempt, and it will be quietly killed off as soon as the opportunity presents itself."

    That 'opportunity' will presumably be the release of a 3G version of the iPhone - therefore it's really an 'opportunity' for Apple and O2 to shaft their users for yet more money!


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple don't want to sell iPhones

    It seems to me that Apple know that most people can calculate that an iTouch and a high-end 3.5G (yes Super 3G not just 3G) mobile phone will be cheaper than an iPhone. So Apple as using the high cost of the iPhone to sell the iTouch!

  4. thomas newton


    for only £280, I can have an iphone. and £35 a month for 18 months. so thats £910. for which I get 200 texts and 200 minutes.

    now, I'm already with o2, and I've just gotten an N95 off them for free, at £30/month which gets me 600 minutes and 1000 texts, plus what they call 'long weekends' which gives me free calls midnight friday through to midnight monday. I signed up for 24 months, granted, but with at the very bare minimum three times (and realistically a lot more) the call and text allowances. thats before we even get to the phone spec. so for £200 less, I'm getting arguably a better phone with a far better tariff.

    and before all the fanboys start explaining what I'm missing out on by refusing to line Jobs' pocket any further, ( something which Maddox has already done far better than I - (possibly NSFW btw - ) can I just raise a question about this particular blurb about the iphone - 'iPhone is a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows you to make a call by simply tapping a name or number in your address book, a favourites list or a call log.'

    so that would be just like every other mobile phone I've had for the past ten years then, wether made by Motorola, Ericsson, Nokia or SE then?

    I'm truly intrigued as to who will end up buying this, I really am.

  5. Thomas Duffin

    Worst phone ever!

    No 3G

    No MMS

    2 MP Camera

    How much?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've got an N95 and I'm baffled by the rapturous comments it seems to attract from (if it were an Apple product would be called) fanbois.

    The N95's build quality is pretty indifferent for a phone that was released at the £600 mark (how many people have commented on the shock news a fairly elderly handset costs less than a new one?)

    The N95 was released unfit for market; its software stability was only fixed in the latest (PC only) software update. The call quality is only so-so, WiFi reception is frankly shocking, but is immeasurably better than the 20 minute lock-on, if you're lucky, GPS.

    But most of all, the reason the N95 isn't a terribly good phone is that it has an appalling, illogical user interface. Options are buried who knows how many levels deep behind a sluggish interface that is accessed through a key layout designed for a phone ten years ago.

    I've spent time with the iPhone and it is a better smart(ish) phone than the N95. Not because of its technology, but because the thing actually works in a timely intuitive manner.

    And, yes, I will get one.

  7. tom


    Just got an iPhone from eBay for exactly the same price as O2 will be selling them for. And it's unlocked and ready for me to use on my existing network, paying much less than £45 for my 600 minutes and 600 texts...

    I think they're shooting themselves in the foot with this move - in the UK market it's nothing less than naive...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just not true

    "So that's 279, then [£]35*18 [months], for a total of over 900 quid. For that you could get yourself a Nokia N95 on a 12 month Flext35 contract, with double the included minutes, and unlimited 1.4mbit 3.5G. What's more, you'd still have enough left to buy an 8GB iPod Nano. And an entire PC."

    I don't think so. I've just popped on to the T-mobile website to price this up, and I find:

    Flext 20 + web'n'walk (18 months) - most similar tariff is £22.50 p/m

    £219.99 for the Nokia N95

    £6.99 p/m The Cloud

    £199 iPod Touch 8Gb

    I make that lot: £949.81

    I'd rather have the iPhone thanks.

    (although if it was MY press release, I'd have invited you!)

  9. David Haworth

    ipod touch vs iphone

    in response to the person who says that apple don't want to sell iphones, they want to sell ipods. I don't think this is the case. if the ipod touch had all the functionality of the iphone but without the phone then I would be highly tempted to buy one. but it doesn't. it's missing mail, some of the widgets and generally, the browser almost looks like it's only there to let you log into hotspots to use the wifi itunes store (it probably is). I know I can check my mail via webmail but I prefer not to. I prefer to have a real mail client where I can compose and read mail offline, and I'm in an itnerface designed to be on a small screen with touch input.

    that's my problem. I want all the non-phone functionality of the iphone, I may want it as a phone as well, depending on what it costs me. I like the idea of visual voicemail (I've always resisted voicemail partly due to the antiquated interface)

    I currently pay £25pm on o2 for 100mins/texts and a shiny new phone each year (se k810i atm). probably not the best tariff I admit but there you go. I don't really want to pay £35pm, especially over 18months. I've always kept to 12 months for flexibility.Even though this includes wifi access (which is a bit tempting), I bet you can't use that wifi account on a laptop too.

    I wonder if you can buy an iphone, put an o2 sim inside it that has all internet access explicitly turned off so that you can use a tariff of your choice but not rack up massive data charges. or can you have an internet enabled sim but turn on and off data access over the mobile networkas you need it but allow it free access over the wifi network. I'm not bothered if it only picks up my mail when in a wifi hotspot.

    I don't mind paying for the device itself, it's the monthly charges that I find very offputting. O2 aren't subsidising the handset at all, so why force an 18month contract?

  10. Dan

    who will end up buying this?

    a bunch of cock-ends, thats who.

  11. Joey

    Flash Harry

    @ thomas, There are people who like to flash Rolex watches and be seen to step out of Porsches. There are better and cheaper watches and cars! You seem to miss the point completely. It is cool to be seen with such things. It works wonders for your ego and street cred. It helps pull chicks. Maybe you are not interested in such things but surely you can't have missed the fact that it happens. Call them idiots if you like but I'm sure they won't change places with you.

  12. Greg

    Re: so...

    "I'm truly intrigued as to who will end up buying this, I really am."

    Answer's easy - idiots!

    And let's face it, there's enough of them around. Been near a Northern Rock branch this week?

  13. jai

    re: so...

    that's all very well, if you want a chunky brick of an n95 that's gonna weigh down your pockets

    i'll be getting an iPhone cos my current phone, SE M600i, is rubbish and keeps on freezing whenever i try and do anything more than send a txt message and totally fails to function if the battery level gets below 20%

    that said, i'm probably not very indicative of the average iPhone customer because i'll be getting a iPod Touch at the end of the month anyway and probably end up carrying both around with me.

  14. Gulfie

    A lot of money for a sealed box

    ... why not wait a little longer and get a NEO 1973 - - open source phone, completely unlocked, fully documented... uncrippled... and cheaper.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad maths

    Amidst all the usual FUD, can we look at the maths?

    Mr Newton, who said he gets a 'free' phone and 600 minutes for £35 a month, is forgetting that to get unlimited (1Gb) data he needs to add a data plan at £45 per month extra. Over 18 months, that adds another £810 on top of calls/texts.

    An 8Gb iPod Touch is £100 less than an iPhone, but has no email, an inferior screen, no calendar entry and (duh) no phone. Yes, you can add a 3.5G phone for 'free', but frankly I would rather browse the web on the iPhone on EDGE than on the clunky N95 on 3.5G - once you've used the multi-touch screen for surfing you will find it hard to go back to moving a tiny cursor with the nav keys and peering at the screen.

    Will EDGE be spread further? I dunno, but they'd be crazy not to, as long as it's mostly just a SW upgrade. There's more than just the iPhone can take advantage of it (BlackBerries in particular), and Steve Jobs' comments about 3G ripping the guts out of battery life are broadly true.

  16. Andy

    title goes here

    Anyone who makes comments about how the iPhone is "just another phone", or lacking in features, or does just the same things as their current model - is an idiot. Sorry, but you don't get it. It's not about what it can do, it's about the way it does it, and how using it is actually pleasurable. Feel free to stick with your current phone, I don't care if you punish yourself.

    Having said that, yet again it appears that UK customers are getting screwed on price. Why is it that in America, electronics, music etc are affordable, whereas over here all retailers feel the need to add about a 50% price premium? It's certainly not just the VAT difference, despite what they'd have us believe.

    And, surprise surprise, the worst mobile network in the country is over-charging and under-delivering with their price plans. It's a good £5 more per month than AT&T managed in the US, and there are more restrictions. Not to mention the fact you have to deal with O2's abysmal customer service, haphazard and frankly dishonest billing, and shoddy network that spends several hours a day having issues.

    You won't be surprised to hear that I'm buying an iPhone from eBay, and using it on Vodafone.

  17. Rolf Howarth


    So... you claim an iPhone costs £910 while a N95 is free? Aren't you being rather selective in your arithmetic? The N95 is "free" on a £30/month 18-month contract, which sounds to me like it costs £540 by your reckoning. And having played with one in a shop, I doubt I'd use one if it really was free, never mind at that price! And where does the figure of £280 come from? The iPhone costs £269 (inc VAT) doesn't it?

  18. Steve Todd

    Re: So...

    what Mr Newton cunningly ignores is that his £30 per month includes no data access. O2 will sting him £3 per MB and he'll need to sort out his own WiFi access on top of that (£6.99 a month from the cloud). Apple is pushing mobile email with this too (like the crackberry) where the lower speed of EDGE isn't a problem, so I'm betting that the average user will go through more than a few MB of data per month with that.

    I'm not lining up to buy one, but the deal isn't that bad as far as O2 consumer packages go.

  19. John A Blackley


    For everything I need to say about phones - 'i' or otherwise - please see this:

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like some gadgets on a phone..however

    The salesman that can convince me that I must have an iPhone would have to be the very best ever, all time. Right now I'm firmly unconvinced of it's worth. It appears on the surface to not support things that gadget freaks and phone lovers alike would want-like 3G.

    Pointless sounding gadget. My next phone which will be free from 02 probably will be a N95 or the equivalent. What more do I need? Music, camera/video, all the naff games in the world...

    Ok, ok..I'm doing the grumpy old man impression :-). You get my point though. Tell me why I must have one? Go on :-).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia has lost the plot

    I have a Nokia N80 for which I had great expectations. I agree with Mike above about his N95 experiences. The phone has been a disgrace. Orange is unable to remove the answerphone icon, and believe me this is incredibly annoying as you never know if there is a voice mail waiting or not. The phone cannot be used for VoIP services as the sotware cannot be loaded. WiFi has been useless, and the phone gets into a mode whereby it drains the battery in 8 hours without making a call or accessing a site! Web browsing on the small screen and with the keyboard is a waste of time, so 3G is of zero use. Nokia's previous great UI has gone under a mountain of extra clicks. Sending a text to a contact or calling a contact can take 16 or more keystrokes before you even get to enter the text itself!

    I've had Nokia + Orange for 11 years, and I will be at the front of the line to get an iPhone.

  22. Adam Lindsay

    I think £252 makes a better headline.

    I thought that el Reg would have dug much deeper than this. It's really quite simple: the iPhone tariffs are each priced at £20 over the corresponding simplicity/SIM-free tariff. Since the iPhone is "unsubsidised", it stands to reason that premium is used 1) as payment to Apple, 2) to offset unlimited data charges, and/or 3) extra margin to O2. The rumoured "up to 40% to Apple" figure converts to £14/month, which fits rather tidily within the £20 premium, with an appropriate payment to The Cloud to spare.

    1500 words on that here:

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Part messages

    "O2 users only send an average of half a message a month"

    I thought it was only 3 that sent messages that stop half way through!

  24. Rolf Howarth


    Why would anyone be stupid enough to buy an iPhone? D'uh, cos it's a phone that works maybe?

    Put it like this, I have owned countless mobile phones in my time. They've ALL had calendar, address book, email and web browser features (at least for the last 3 or 4 years) but you know what? Other than a bit of tinkering when I first get it I've never bothered to learn how to use these features on any of them. Life's too short to faff about with crap menu systems, synching software that doesn't work, and the like. But when I get my iPhone there's a reasonably chance I might actually use it.

    So the iPhone doesn't do MMS or 3G? Well, my last phone did. Supposedly. But after the 3rd attempt where my service provider couldn't send me the correct settings for my phone to activate them I really couldn't be bothered any more.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ thomas newton

    "and before all the fanboys start explaining what I'm missing out on by refusing to line Jobs' pocket any further"

    What fanboys would these be exactly?

    It's a cunning wheeze to use lines like the one I quoted, you're already pre-empting criticism with 'well, you would say that because you're a fanboy', but the Apple fanboys won't be disagreeing with you.

    If you look on any Mac forum, you'll see that the majority of posters are critical about this and the iPhone generally., for instance, when it ran its story about the UK pricing, users could click whether they thought it was a positive or negative announcement - 151 said positive, 591 said negative.

    If you look back further, the average Apple fanboy predicted that the iPod would be a complete and utter diaster. Look at the forums whenever Apple releases a new product, and a noticeable percentage of posters will be unhappy due to the lack of free gold-plated jetpack.

    On El Reg, the positive comments about the iPhone tend to be:

    a) I've used one, really liked it so I'm going to get it.

    b) It's not my thing, but there's no accounting for taste/sheep believing the hype.

    As for the Maddox piece about the iPhone, yeah, it was pretty funny, but his one about Apple users who don't shut up was a LOT better.

    "so for £200 less, I'm getting arguably a better phone with a far better tariff."

    I would say you most definitely are - but the average consumer doesn't think along these lines. I know quite a few people at Carphone Warehouse in a variety of jobs - one salesperson tells me that he's lost count of the amount of people who come in wanting a phone with the highest megapixels possible, but then say the ONLY thing they'll be doing with the pictures they take is to send them via MMS. He's given up trying to explain why they're wasting money.

    I wonder whether this is one reason why people are posting so vehemently against the iPhone - that so many people are attracted to the Emperor's New Phone, and the posters are furious that some many people are being taken in.

  26. Jocke Selin

    iPhone is NOT 2.5G

    Aaargh... Once again, the lousy EDGE has been touted as 2.5G technology, it's not... poor consumers who are thinking they're getting 2.5G after reading about this.

    A brief list of 'G:s'

    1G - Analogue mobile phones such as NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephony??)

    2G - GSM - Digital mobile phone technology with 9600kbps data (not packet based)

    2.5 - GPRS - Packet based rather than time based; you pay per data you've downloaded, not per time you've spent online. (Note that 2.5G isn't officially defined, but Wikipedia actually includes EDGE - wrongly IMO - in this, but that's a pub-discussion

    3G - UMTS - Enables video calling (whoever does that)

    3.5G - HSDPA - The real goodies in the foreseeable future.

    4G - etc...

    EDGE is "nothing more" (not wishing to belittle mobile engineers!) than "a few 9600 GSM modems put in parallell). I had EDGE on my 9210 Communicator back in 2002... When GPRS wasn't available. I remember ditching my 9210 for a T68i which had both Bluetooth and GPRS (shock horror!) so I could connect it to my laptop via Bluetooth.

    ... And there's no f**king way Jobsie is going to get me take a step 5 years backwards in technology. Not a chance.

    For anoraks (bigger ones than me!) Look at Wikipedia:

  27. TimBiller

    @Nokia has lost the plot

    Wow, where to start.

    The answerphone icon bug is trivial to resolve, as a visit to any forum or Google would prove.

    I'm on Orange too and I resolved (again, somewhat trivially) the VOIP issue by de-branding the phone (again, forums and Google) and I use Truphone extensively.

    WiFi works faultlessly at home on WPA2, and everywhere else I have tried it.

    I'll grant battery life can be an issue, but the mains charger is very small and portable and I can also charge the phone via USB with an adaptor, so it's no real hardship.

    The screen might be small, but a little extra effort is all that is needed for effective use of the browser.

    I just sent a text to a contact, and it took 5 clicks to get to the text-entry point, so where the other 11 come from is a mystery?

    Thanks for listening. I now return you to the previous whining.

  28. Geoff Hirst

    does the 'i' mean 'incomplete'?

    So, no multi-sms send. No MMS capabilty. Doesn't do data that well either, but it has a flashy interface.

    So, if they do a nano version with only the number 0-5 on the keypad, will it be half price?

  29. Andy

    To the fellow having N80 troubles:

    I feel your pain. Worst phone I've ever owned. My first model had a recurring problem with the speaker - which came back every time it was repaired - so I couldn't make calls, whoops. The second model was entirely misaligned internally, which meant that half the buttons didn't work. I finally picked up yet another N80 this last week, and the screen has loose connections so that it continually loses power or the video feed from the handset. Shockingly poor design.

  30. Steven Hewittt

    RE: Rolf Howarth and N95


    The original comparision is riight. Yep, the N95 isn't free you pay for it as part of the montly charge. The iPhone isn't free either. You need to stump up £270 for it, AND you pay for it as part of the monthly fee. (and it's locked!)

    Anon: regarding 'Nokia has lost the plot':

    The answerphone icon is set via a SMS from the network operator. That's Orange's problem, not the handset. (I've had the same problem with Orange on 3 seperate handsets. Nokia and others!) Same applies for the VoIP issue. N95 supports it, but Orange lock it down. Although remember that the iPhone won't either.

    Haven't heard of anyone else with Wi-Fi issues, and mine's OK when I use it. Battery is poor, but 8 hours is well below average. I can last about 2 days without a call. I'd get that looked into.

    I use mine a lot for web browsing when i'm on the train or just too lazy to get up from the sofa - not too sure where the problem is there.

    I suggest looking at the manual - it takes me one key press to get to a new message, or my inbox, or the browser, or my contacts,. The Nokia menu doesn't even go down to 16 levels, maximum is 6 or 7.

    Nearly everything you list is to do with the network operator, or can't be done on the iPhone either. To be honest, i'd suggest RTFM. (How to charge a battery properly, to use the menu, how to turn the screen landscape for great web-browsing...!)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As The Cloud access is approx. £7 / month and The Cloud don't see fit to have a single access point in the part of the UK I live in (Northern Ireland), does that mean O2 will reduce their tariff accordingly?

    No... didn't think so...

    And as I'm currently on Vodafones £7.50 / 120MB data plan and find it more than adequate for my surfing can I drop the unnecessary 1GB data and replace it with something more suitable to my needs?

    No... didn't think so either...

    And I'm in total agreement with Mike + Mr. "Nokia has lost the plot". As a fellow N80 sufferer, expecting great things based on the initial specs, I don't think the N95 has a chance as being my next phone. The N80 is dreadful, appallingly slow, crashes regularly, hangs up calls instead of answering them on a regular basis, can drain batteries in just a few hours and will be put out of its misery on eBay as soon as my contract is up. (Apologies in advance to its future owner!)

    I guess I may buy anyway from the U.S. on a visit, but only to unlock and use on my existing contract, any other way just doesn't make sense.

  32. Andrew Fenton


    Sums were based on flext35 web'n'walk, which the N95 is £60 on a £37.50 12 month contract. That gives you 600 minutes, or 400 mins + 400 txts. You don't need to buy wifi on top of that, because you've got flatrate HSDPA included.

    The iPhone may be better in user interface, but tbat doesn't make up for the fact web surfing on edge is simply useless, especially with the graphics heavy stuff that Apple intend. Google maps/youtube etc are great on HSDPA (I was using that a year ago), but come on, 100kbit speeds? Seriously? At that price? No video recording? You have to send it back to Apple when the battery dies?

    When they fix these obvious failuresI'll be interested, and would probably buy the V2. The current version simply can't be considered a serious product - what's more, they must know this, and chose to realise an utterly substandard product to milk a captive, slightly daft market.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Nokia has lost the plot

    Strange... While I have to agree that the N95 is not as stable as I'd like, it has yet to reboot on me while on a call, the browser deals MUCH better with normal pages than I would have expected (and experienced on the 9500 Communicator), and the 3G experience is fabulous.

    That said, Orange has gone DOWNHILL a lot in the last 18 months. I was a very happy Orange customer until they ditched WildFire, then cancelled the wrong items on my account and then continued to add cockup after cockup to their list of dubious achievements. So the fact that the answerphone icon disappears is hardly Nokia's fault. Orange has pinched pennies on so many things (amongst others, time zone information, which used to mean me having to adjust my time manually - T-Mobile and others tell the phone automatically).

    I'm happy with the Nokia, although I'll be amenable to an iPhone when the 3G version becomes available (and is unlockable). I don't fancy switching to O2 purely for the phone. I'm not that insane.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Mike Richards

    I agree. You do not even have to use the N95, merely touching it should provoke instant aversion. It is a total disgrace. Cheap and ugly. If you try to use it, that impression quickly solidifies. Somehow it lately manages to weasel into each and every iPhone-related article, as if it was some kind of alternative. Hats off to Nokia PR.

    Let me explain it in plain words:

    The N95 is the antithesis of an iPhone, and it is not at the good end. The only thing that speaks for it is that it is being heavily subsidized at the moment, although that finalizes the image of being the trailer-park whore of phones. Cheap, ugly, but does everything for everyone.

    Sadly, I won't be purchasing the first gen iPhone either. I could not care less about the lack of 3G as I live in a populated area. We have hotspots. What is bothersome is the plethora of little nags that spoil the whole thing. No multiple receivers for SMS, no copy&paste, no proper sync even with Apples own iCal (!), no video recording, no bluetooth file sharing, no idea whether the Euro-version comes with a keyboard that understands say German (or local language of choice) AND English at the SAME TIME... it adds up. Sadly. And I have not even touched the idea of being shafted by T-Mobile and their ridiculous prices.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Nokia's lost the plot

    As someone who worked in the mobile 'phone retailing sector for a number of years before testing software on them , I can confirm that *Orange* and to a lesser extent 3, VodaFone and O2 are the architects of their own demise re the suitability of their handsets!

    The issue is that they cripple the manufacturer's (MOST notably NOKIA's , though SonyEricsson and Moto have suffered too) basic OS and applications to conform to their own "user experience" and portals; witness the fact that ALL Orange-branded phones work the same way regardless of the innate differences of the underlying OS'! Similarly, Orange de-ranged Sonyericsson handsets for a couple of years because the latter wouldn't allow certain crippling of it's handsets to occur..Again, note that VodaFone , along with others are SOLELY responsible for the fact that VOIP is crippled, along with other applications that could eat into their VAS.

    While arguments can be raised re need to recoup subsidies paid out to offer the handsets "free" to customers, these often have a deleterious effect on the stability of the handset and it's subsequent performance.

    I suspect that if the relevant network was T-Mobile, the Web 'n'Walk' tariff at GBP 7.50 per month or 3 GBP5 per month for 1 Gb of HSDPA data was factored in, together with the much more generous tariffs, the iPhone would be even less justifiable. I personally use a sim-free Nokia e90 Communicator and can refute most of your comments with the arguable exception of lengthy lock-on times for GPS BUT ONLY for those without the latest PC-upgradeable firmware version that is A(ssisted)-GPS!

    The handset is very fast, stable and incredibly convenient with oodles of RAM. If you take a look at or or even RTFM, you will find numerous shortcuts for most commonly-used functions <Tip: try a press of the 'menu key' without closing the app unless it's a memory (RAM) -intensive app you're switching to/>

    Symbian 9.1 with the Nokia S60 3rd Edition UI is *extremely* flexible and intuitive; you can move any app to any folder of your choosing/making and link directly to it via either changing the default 'softkey' labels or indeed, the 'active standby' apps across the main screen. You can even get numerous apps like Tracker which will allow you to move everything onto the same menu-level and dump them all on the main screen!

    The iPhone is simply a good effort but in my humble opinion, not yet 'there' as a somewhat disinterested review on will demonstrate.

    For myself, the fact that it doesn't utilise a hardware keyboard was enough to seriously hamstring it's chances; couple this with it's 'closed' nature, lack of 3G/HSDPA, etc plus the poor value for those who don't simply purchase unlocked versions and it's an obvious non-starter.

  36. jai

    re: n95

    the point is, all the problems with n95 may be solvable by running patches or unbranding the phone or whatever. they all require some research on the web and mucking about with the phone.

    the iPhone, like all things Apple, just works

    no need for any mucking about to make it do what it is supposed to do

    you might think that means its only suitable for non-techy types who don't know how to tinker with their phones

    personally, i'd rather spend that time tinkering with the phone to make it do more interesting things, functions that it wasn't meant to do, not wasting the time fixing the bugs that the manufacturor couldn't be bother to fix

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    that's a good deal of the problem with the iPhone, i.e. it's NON-upgradeable in the 'field' as well as not having any non-Apple software available!

    Further, it makes a TON more sense to use 3G/HSDPA for browsing (at properly sensible price points) than WiFi simply because of the immeasureably greater coverage (flexibility and convenience) to say nothing of the much smaller battery life 'hit'. Apart from a couple of apps e.g. VOIP, there really isn't any advantage of using WiFi for data use over 3.5G as long as you're on either 3 or T-Mobile!

    It is, of course, easier to make a limited-function device work "intuitively" than one which is easily and indeed readily extensible by 3rd parties : the caveat is that you can do much less with it!!

    Following your logic, we shouldn't have bothered campaigning for the removal of the network's "walled gardens" as their apps 'worked' and were (somewhat) obviously navigated/interacted with - strange therefore that world + dog petitioned vociferously for the walls to come down and are MUCH happier with the current situation. Even 3 have performed such a volte-face that they offer a far better mobile data deal than VodaFone which previously could mock them for their "portal-only" stance!

    While the UI may be flashier, and thus appeal to a certain demographic, most users of forums like these are arguably more discerning and therefore examine the *complete* offer/ solution proffered and decide accordingly. as has been pointed out, there are 'fashion junkies/poseurs7victims/fanbois/designers' etc who will take the offer regardless but until Apple fixes the VERY numerous issues and poor value, trashing the established handset makers in order to drum up sales will not achieve any sort of longlasting traction.

    Lastly, it's funny that the best way of solving *some* of the most heinous aspects of iPhone ownership actually involve "some research on the web and mucking about with the phone" in the form of simply purchasing UNLOCKED versions !

  38. Ed

    Re: just not true

    Umm... the article said 8gb iPod Nano, not 8gb iPod Touch. The article is correct.

  39. Anton Ivanov


    "Don't expect EDGE to spread much beyond London - it's only there because O2 would be a laughing stock if it hadn't been seen to be making the attempt, and it will be quietly killed off as soon as the opportunity presents itself."

    Sorry Bill, but once capacity has been put in place it is never ripped out. This is the way cellular (and other networks) work.

    You should not expect this upgrade to be rolled back until GSM meets its makers and the frequencies are reassigned 10 years from now. This is all besides the fact that there is a number of common scenarios where EDGE has better scalability and coverage model than 3G. This is a fact. Do the proponents of 3G like it or not, EDGE will remain there once put in place. In fact, once the benefits of having more capacity for the cursed crackberry which is virtually 3G free, but does EDGE on the majority of models, start filtering down into the planner's brains I would expect that deployment to grow considerably.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EDGE is NOT a step back from GPRS...

    I love when professor bullshit breaks some wind on a topic far outside the reach of his comprehension. (No offense ;))

    EDGE is actually quite cool and has been so for a long while (I remember seeing a great EDGE demo with peaks at 384kbit/s in the Ericsson booth at CEBIT back in the days when nobody had heard about NTT Docomo). EDGE beats the pants off GPRS and the reason we don't see it in more GSM networks is because there was a lot of money in building 3G networks. If anything, 3G has been a bit of a rip off, but that is another story...

    And if you don't believe me... just read a whitepaper by Ericsson (sometimes choosing a source close to the source has it's benefits...)

    p.s. I have a W880i and I had to turn off 3G after the first day because of the battery drain. Oh, and intermittent problems (blackout) with a battery contact glitch is a royal pain...

  41. Nigel

    Pile o' sh1te

    The iphone is an over-hyped pile of sh1te, thats low on features and technology. It does look nice though so plenty of numpty fashion over function people will buy it, and apple will do well.

    Anyone willing to shell out min £900 over 18months to own an iphone is a ruddy nutter tho!


  42. jamie

    @Jocke Selin

    I wonder if maybe you're confusing EDGE with HSCSD (High Speed Circuit Switched Data). HSCSD was just a few 9600 data calls bonded together, I used it on my 6210 back in 2001, and it featured on the 9210 too.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Check the facts...

    1. Nokia sold 1.5m N95s in 3 months without the hype. Not dis-similar to the sales of the iPhone

    2. So the iTouch has a crippled browser and no email client. Well ask yourself why this is and ask yourself about the ethics of Apple. So the iTouch has WiFi and no apps to use this hardware! Also the iTouch does have screen quality problems mentioned above, but that is in a few early samples I hear. The iTouch is so so much cheaper than the iPhone that it makes no sense. The web browser will be hacked soon and you'll have a lot of the features of the iPhone (UI) for 1/3 of its price, yes 1/3 of the price!

  44. gavin kemp

    iphone guarentee

    So 18month contract but what I can't get out of O2 is how long the actual phone is guarenteed for. So you sign up for the contract and what happens if the phone dies 13months in? Take out an additional insurance? Could this be where o2 hopes to make some additional revenue from......

  45. Alan Edwards

    Data standards

    >EDGE is "nothing more" (not wishing to belittle mobile engineers!) than "a

    >few 9600 GSM modems put in parallell

    No it isn't, EDGE is a number of GPRS channels bonded together. Up to 4, either 3-up+1-down, 2-up+2-down or 1-up+3-down. What they don't tell you is that on a busy cell (voice or data) you won't get the extra channels and will end up with bog-standard 1-up 1-down GPRS.

    If it's busy enough you won't even get that, as I found out at Goodwood a few weeks back - GPRS on T-mobile died altogether for me.

    You missed out HSCSD (high-speed circuit-switched data), which dropped some of the error correction to get 14,400 on a standard GSM data connection. Only Orange rolled this out in the UK, IIRC.


  46. Smallbrainfield

    I have a mobile phone.

    It cost me 35 quid and is on pay as you go. I can ring people up on it and people can ring me. I can text and recieve texts and when I get bored there's a game called Nature Park that's a bit like Tetris. Actually it's a bit more like Columns that Tetris.

    My only problem with it is that the little rubber bit on the back has peeled off, so it slides off the dashboard in the car when I set off and forget it's there. It's so irritating when that happens.

    Am I losing perspective?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Learn how to use your n95

    If you cant/wont read the manual for N95 learn some basic tips and maybe some advanced tips at the site above.

    All free :)

    For the iPhone multitouch skin on the N95

    A dollar comparison of costs:

    (may be out of date)

    A cNet comparison video article

    All in all I think its a case of horses for courses, although I'm quite happy with the upgrade and middle of the road monthly tarrif offered by Vodaphone. Apple are shooting themselves in the foot by only using one phone provider imho, really bloody stupid.

  48. Daniel Snowden


    "It cost me 35 quid and is on pay as you go. I can ring people up on it and people can ring me. I can text and recieve texts and when I get bored there's a game called Nature Park that's a bit like Tetris. Actually it's a bit more like Columns that Tetris.

    My only problem with it is that the little rubber bit on the back has peeled off, so it slides off the dashboard in the car when I set off and forget it's there. It's so irritating when that happens.

    Am I losing perspective?"

    No, if anything you probably have more perspective than most gadget fans.

    (What can I say, I have an obsolescent Sendo that does the bare necessities and nothing more - Strange that one so young as I forsakes advanced technology)

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