back to article iPhone 3G S in the UK: what you need to know

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 …


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  1. Tom

    too expensive

    I've been on an original iphone for about two years at 35 quid a month. I have recently been waiting to see what the third gen one would offer and cost, but it's £185.

    Sod that.

  2. Piloti
    Thumb Down

    You must be joking....

    ...£630 is the minimum to pay for an mp3 player with a dodgy mobile wrapped up.

    Any one who is even thinking of getting one of these needs a lobotomy......


  3. Mark

    Sorry for the lengthy post...

    Here's my workings. The 44.05 deal for 16gb seems best for me........

    mins/texts - (monthly price x contract period = total) + phone cost = total cost

    18 months:

    3GS 16GB

    75/125 - (29.38 X 18 = 528.84) + 184.98 = 713.82

    600/500 - (34.26 X 18 = 616.68) + 184.98 = 801.66

    1200/500 - (44.05 X 18 = 729.90) + 87.11 = 817.01 <--------------- My best deal. £15 extra for double the mins every month. thats £15 extra on the total value, not per month

    3000/500 - (73.41 X 18 = 1321.38) + 0 = 1321.38

    3GS 32GB

    75/125 - (29.38 X 18 = 528.84) + 274.23 = 803.07

    600/500 - (34.26 X 18 = 616.68) + 274.23 = 890.91

    1200/500 - (44.05 X 18 = 729.90) + 175.19 = 905.09

    3000/500 - (73.41 X 18 = 1321.38) + 96.89 = 1418.27

    24 Months:

    3GS 16GB

    600/500 - (34.26 X 24 = 822.24) + 87.11 = 909.35

    1200/500 - (44.05 X 24 = 1057.20) + 0 = 1057.20

    3000/500 - (73.41 X 24 = 1761.84) + 0 = 1761.84

    3GS 32GB

    600/500 - (34.26 X 24 = 822.24) + 175.19 = 997.43

    1200/500 - (44.05 X 24 = 1057.20) + 96.89 = 1154.09

    3000/500 - (73.41 X 24 = 1761.84) + 0 = 1761.84

    There seems to be no real reason to go for 24 months which seems odd?

    The unlimited text bundle is 132.12 for the 18 months, so add that to whatever figure your interested in if you need it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I'm currently on a Vodafone contract with a Blackberry Storm. I got the Storm as there were too many shortcomings on the iPhone. Most of these appear to have been addressed now and I would seriously consider one, but judging by the price I don't think I'll bother now.

    I blame the exclusive deal O2 have. They know the phone will sell by the bucket load and they can charge what they want. It's well over priced.

  5. Ian Ferguson
    Paris Hilton


    I have the original (ie. not 3G) iPhone on a £35/month contract from O2. I'm out of the initial 18 month contract period, so O2 offered me an upgrade to the 3G iPhone. I did not do so, as I wanted to wait and upgrade to the newer iPhone once it was out.

    Now it's out, I'm wondering if O2 will let me upgrade to the 3GS for free, or whether I'll have to shell out the £184.98 charge? (Obviously, I'm going to ask them, I'm not just being lazy - but if anyone has any negotiation tips I'd be glad to hear them!)

  6. Anonymous Coward


    ...WILL be available on the existing 3G handsets - it's a feature of the 3.0 OS, not the new hardware.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Using an i-phone as a modem (can already do that with my HTC touch pro), will cost an extra £14 a month (costs me bugger all with orange - but its still a waste of time generally).

    You are already on an "unlimited" data tariff.

    How will they know the difference between i-phone browsing, and using a tethered laptop?, spyware in the phone ?

  8. censored

    Complete rip-off

    Apple announced prices of $199 and $299 max for 16Gb and 32Gb. The same two price points at the two 3G models.

    O2 has DOUBLED the cost of it's two price points. This is a complete rip-off compared to comparable products:

    HTC Magic on Vodaphone - FREE at £30 per month

    HTC Touch FREE on Orange

    Acer Aspire netbook FREE with £17.50 data package on 3 (24 months)

    iPod Touch 32Gb - £263 (cheaper than iPhone with no contract - so where's the subsidy on the very similar iPhone?)

  9. Cthonus
    Thumb Down

    wot, no video capture for the 8Gb model?

    Funny how Cycorder works perfectly well on the existing 3G hardware yet Apple's home-grown equivalent is unable to.

    Seems like another good reason to jailbreak what you have and sod being ripped off by O2's update-before-your-contract-expires-and-lose-an-arm pricing structure.

  10. Greg

    Seriously... are people this stupid? I'm not going to comment on the device. It is very nice to use, even if this latest iteration still lags behind other phones in terms of capability. That said, this is an extortionate amount of money.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    International ?

    So Apple experts, what's the best option for a regular international traveller who wants a 32GB model and who's currently contracted to Vodafone UK ?

  12. Stu

    Rip off Britain?

    So this is what O2 are saying to Britain now -

    "Rip off Britain? No such thing. Here, a premium desirable mobile phone designed by a fashionable US IT firm, have it for a grand plus what with being stuck with it for 18months minimum, and be glad about it. What do you mean you want to use your already paid for 3G connection tethered with your PC? Screw you, 15quid more please. Oh and screw you if you want to buy it on PAYG as you'll miss out on the key new features, you cheapskates!"

    Thanks, rip off merchants.

    I looked in on the CNET live blog coverage yesterday, they didn't half leave the new iPhone hardware to the last minute, and now we know why. Wheres the OLED screen? For that price I'd expect it. Cowon S9 or Sony Walkman X series anyone? What about all the other bits and pieces it should have had? What about that range of different hardware designs?

    Highly HIGHLY disappointed.

    Oh but its okay, it can tell me which way I'm facing. Brilliant.

  13. Peter Gunn
    Thumb Down

    Nice but..........

    I have a iPhone 3G, its jailbroken and I can already do video recording, send MMS, copy and paste. With the added bonus of fully customising the look of the handset and add my own ringtones with out paying apple an extra £1 per song to do so.

    The only thing the new handset has which looks good is to voice control the music when I am in the car but it can do that now anyway via a connection..... and why a compass?

    Anyways, nice try apple. like the phone but there are cheaper and better alternatives.

  14. fifi
    Thumb Up

    porting over?

    Are they planning on "buying out" contracts for those wanting to move over, like they did when the iPhone was first launched?

    My old 2G iphone is due for "upgrade" anyway, but I'm wondering about getting a 3Gs for my fiancee, who's got 4 months left on her t-mobile contract.

  15. Dean Duckett

    They changed their tariffs

    Unless this web page on their site is totally outdated, they're charging more up front for the 16Gb version than previously. Am I the only one that cares? It's "only" a £30 increase, but enough to put me off getting one.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    what about exist iPhone 3G upgrade price

    I still can't find any info on upgrade for existing iPhone 3G user who like myself queued up on the 1st day of the launch of the iPhone 3G and now left with about 7 months of the original 18months contract to go. We want an upgrade path for a reasonable price.


  17. Ross Fleming


    "Internet tethering will not be available to owners of the 8GB iPhone."

    Unless the tethering application (there's an app for that..) is 8.1GB in size, I can see no logic to this one.

    Mind you, availability doesn't equal take-up. At these crazy prices I'd be surprised if anyone signed up - especially as it makes a mockery of "unlimited data" supposedly already included in an iPhone tarriff.

    Methinks we'll see an uprising in jailbreaking to tether for free!

  18. D@v3

    more than a little way off...

    Iv got till January to think this one over, i've known for a long time that this was coming, and now i have a long time to save up for the new one, or do i just wait till next June for the next incarnation, hmmmmmmm

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again...

    So we came back to square one, same as one year ago. New toy is ridiculously expensive...

    Sad part is that iPhone is such a status symbol that many people will buy it anyway, filling coffers of O2/Apple.

    Still same question remains: how much does it actually cost to make one of those phones?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    A bit of a micky-take.

    To put it mildly.

    O2 created (rightly or wrongly) an expectation - thanks to their generous offer when the 3G arrived - that being able to upgrade would be possible.

    Instead, they've shot themselves in the foot. Who in their right mind, after contracting firstly for the iPhone, then the iPhone 3G, will buy themselves out of their contract, get the new handset, only to be shafted again when the next handset is announced.

    TechRadar made the point eloquently:

    "The second reason the lack of upgrades is a bad idea is that by January, it'll only be five months before the next iPhone is due. Savvy iPhone fans aren't going to commit to an 18-month or 24-month lock-in if they think the 3GS is about to be replaced - and unless they're demented, they're not going to upgrade now if they need to pay a big whack for the phone, pay several hundred quid to escape their current contract and commit to a contract that promises the same expense next summer."

    I'm especially disappointed: I wanted to replace my cracked, bruised and battered 3G with the new handset - and would have gladly paid for the new unit.

    Buying out the contract, however? Pfft.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Will make a lovely shiney Welsh Bookend in my cottage

    Totally Overpriced here in the UK, a piece of technology reliant on 3G that disappoints in the implementation. In Wales there is one 3G transmitter in Carmathen the next is two hours north in Aberystwyth. This 'no mans land' is probably the reason you have a backup compass app built in.

    I just hope people ignore it when its released to show them how wrong they have got the pricing.

    Anyone yet invented a Wind Farm / 3G transmitter combination, because we have plenty of the former and none of the latter.

  22. Jamie Hylton
    Thumb Up

    Solution for existing iPhone 3G users...

    OK, so I'm not rushing out to by it on contract next week while my current contract doesn't end till Jan 2010.

    But what if I just paid £538 for the PAYG 32Gb 3GS, sold my current 3G on eBay, they are currently going for around £300-£350, carried on using my contract until Jan 2010, then switch to the 30 day contract tarriff of £20 per month with 600 mins and 1200 texts?

    I would even be free in Jan 2010 to unlock it and use it on Orange instead, plus by then, the tethering would be cracked.

    I work it out to cost approx £1100 over the 18 months if bought the 32Gb 3GS next week and paid off the remaining 6 months of the contract.

    And £688, if I sell my 3G for conservative £300, continue for 6 months on £35 and then change to £20 month contract for another 12 months.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Come on Nokia...

    Where's that damn N97!

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Almost there...

    ...with the hardware spec. A better camera would me nice though.

    But at £800+ over 18 months on the cheapest tariff, it's fecking expensive.

    Plus my family is on Vodafone so we can take advantage of the free calls package so I'd want it on Vodafone too.

  25. Macka

    Upgrading early

    According to O2's web site they're only offering upgrades to existing iPhone 3G customers if you're within the last month of your contract. No mention at all of upgrading before hand with a premium added on top. Guess that means I'll have to wait till December.

  26. Steve Medway

    Rage, Anger, Disapointment, O2 are really taking the piss.

    What a bunch of bar stewards.

    Monthly tariff iphone = supposedly 'unlimited' data access which is really only 250mb when you take into account the 'unfair usage' policy.

    Now they want people to pony up another £15 quid to bolt on 3Gb of data onto an 'unlimited' data tariff..... FFS It's the same damn data over the same damn infrastructure using the same damn technology.

    It's about bloody time someone took ALL mobile networks and ISP's to court over the term 'unlimited' I'm bloody sick of it - any judge worth his salt would come to the conclusion that 'unlimited' marketing spiel of pure bollox regardless of any 'unfair usage policy' .

  27. Jerome

    Beautiful, and stupidly expensive

    If the camera takes decent snaps and video (cos lets face it, the fact it isn't an 8MP device like top-end smartphones is a shame, but it's irrelevant to the actual quality) then the whole Apple lock-in thing is the only real downer remaining. If only they'd half the price, I'd snap one up in an instant.

  28. Paul Naylor
    Thumb Up

    Nice, but not enough to upgrade

    I bought my 16Gb iPhone in January this year with the £35 tariff and I have no complaints with it whatsoever. I don't make a huge amount of phone calls and so the free minutes and texts is ideal for me. I do access the web and check email on the move a lot though (despite there being no decent 3G 'oop North) so the unlimited data is a massive bonus.

    Although I would like a better camera, with video recording, and 32Gb of storage, I don't think I'll be upgrading to a 3GS until my contract renewal is up. I'm an amateur photographer and I use a Canon EOS for photography; I've never been a huge fan of phone cameras. Everything else I need my mobile device to be is accommodated by the App Store.

    I am very excited though at the prospect of having TomTom working on my iPhone with the v3.0 update. I've been considering buying a SatNav for some time but have been holding out for it being available for my iPhone. This now looks like a reality and I see no reason to get rid of something that is fast becoming a perfect all-in-one mobile device.

    And yes, I'm an Apple 'fanboi'; so what.

  29. Neil Drinkall


    I was looking forward to this, thinking we'd get the same deal as the US - i.e. a 32GB phone for the same price as the old 16GB one.

    But do we get that? Do we f**k. We even have to pay MORE for the new 16GB than the old one whereas the lucky Yanks get it for far less.

    Now I'm reconsidering whether I should get one or not... well done, Apple. You could've made this the most popular thing in the country if you'd bought the US pricing over here... instead you're turning away countless people.

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. Darren


    $10 will buy you 99% of these upgrades. What's the point of shelling out nearly £538, in the current economic climate, for such a pitiful upgrade??

  32. Frank Bough

    My Calculations...

    ...indicate that the best deal is the 32GB model on a 24 month contract at £34.26/pcm. Total monthly cost would be £41.55/pcm. Expensive, certainly, but this is a premium product.

  33. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    After hearing about the tethering...

    I was tempted to replace my LG Viewty that I currently tether my NC10 to with a shiny new iPhone GS.

    After seeing the obscene bolt on pricing to the already crap contracts I'm wondering what's stopping me buying a PAYG version and putting my current Sim in it to tether for free?

    How will they know what phone I'm tethering from?

    Paris, cause only she can afford one.

  34. Steve Kelly

    I'll tell you what I think ...

    They are absolutely taking the piss. Simple as that.

  35. jeffrey

    @Peter Gunn

    The compass isn't really about having a nice compass app which most people won't use. Working out the orientation of the iphone in 3D space accurately is impossible without it. The compass can tell about rotation about the axis coming straight out of the screen when the phone is heald flat, which is necassary for gps navigation if you are stationary and great for doing augmented reality apps using the video camera.

  36. james newcombe
    Thumb Down


    I was quite looking forward to this announcement, but i'm not sure about it now. I love my iPhone, its a pleasure to use (just like my iMac!) but i don't think i can justify spending all this money on a bloody phone anymore... Sorry Apple

  37. Oliver Humpage

    Dyslexic maths

    @mark - £44.05 * 18 months is £792.90, not £729.90. Which might make it a less good deal.


  38. MGJ


    can't see anywhere if it supports bluetooth keyboards properly, stereo headphones, standard 3.5mm jack etc. Need to upgrade from a 2 year old N95 with GPS; does the iPhone have that? All the comments are about tethering; how would they tell?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    16GB 3G S

    The pricing for the 16GB 3G S is about the 16GB 3G was. Cheapest way to upgrade from a 16GB 3G, if you have suitable insurance, is probably to wait until there is definately no remaining stock for of the 16GB 3G and then have an 'accident'.

  40. Joey

    @ Paul Naylor

    The TomTom app on the iPhone won't be a satnav. It only uses triangulation of phone transmitters which is slower and less accurate and you could be in big trouble in 'the sticks' if you are out of range of a transmitter. My car came with a TomTom built-in. It will pair but it will not communicate with my G3 iPhone over BlueTooth to do anything useful at all.

  41. lucky13


    Excellent, thank you O2/Apple, you've helped me make what was becoming a difficult decision.

    I was stuck between an iPhone, Palm Pre and a HTC Diamond.

    With those steep pricing packages on the iPhone (not to mention the BS way you are treating current customers with a complete lack of support for current loyal users), I’d say it’s a safe bet O2 will try to implement the same level of extortion on the Palm Pre. I’m now free to haggle a good deal on the HTC Diamond (or suitable other) on my Orange contract in Sept.

    Wow that was close… I was about to buy into my first apple product… Thanks for making me think straight again,

    /me wipes sweat from brow

  42. Andy
    Thumb Down

    It's a bargain, but not for the user

    Wow, what a great deal - for O2.

    A phone which crys for data bits, has a dreadful inclusive voice and data tariff.

    Only a complete chump would go PAYG with these rates.

  43. John
    Jobs Horns

    I'll tell you what else I think ....

    @ Steve Kelly

    ... And the shops will be sold out in the first half a day.

    Apple ARE taking the piss, absolutely, but what do they care when fanbois will be rocking up anyway.


    Mmmwaahhh, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

  44. Mark

    hmmm (2)

    Quite interesting really the reaction. On a personal level, I have had a iphone 3g for about 8 months (review device they forgot about), and was absolutely 100% definitely going to get one as soon as it was announced.

    Now I'm not so sure. The pricing is nothing short of scandalous.

  45. Charles Calthrop

    old one £57 quid on £34pcm

    I've got an old PAYG phone and am looking at the old iphones - is it still worth getting one? The 8gb is free (according to 02) and, I'm not sure I'm bothered about voice dialing and all that gubbins. I just want a phone I can check the net on, and possibly getting an app or 2 (logmein etc). Would it be worth getting an older iPhone? Do you think the developers will only develop apps for the new hardware?

  46. Anonymous Coward


    "The TomTom app on the iPhone won't be a satnav. It only uses triangulation of phone transmitters which is slower and less accurate"

    The iPhone has had GPS since the 3G came out last July - where've you been? :)

  47. RichyS
    Thumb Up

    Let's have a look at the pricing...

    Well, for me, an 18 month contract is plenty long enough, as is 600 mins.

    A 32GB 3GS would cost me £274.23 plus 18x 34.26. TCO: £890.91.

    Now, what if I wanted to say 'sod you O2', but still wanted an iPod Touch. Well, a 32GB Touch costs £283 from the Apple Store.

    Obviously you'll still need a mobe... Having a look at Vodafone to see what you can get in terms of a basic but functional phone, I found a Nokia 6210 for free. It has a 3.2MPx camera, and takes video, has MMS and GPS. So, bases covered, I think. 18 month contract with 600 mins is £32.50. TCO: £868

    So, over 18 months, I save a grand total of £22.91. I think I can afford that for the benefits of full integration of phone and iPod. In fact, it seems like a pretty good deal to me.

    Now, if you're happy to buy a cheap phone and a few micro SD cards for your music, then good luck to you. This isn't for you. But I want an iPod. And If I'm having an iPod, it might as well be a Touch. And 32GB at that.

    In which case, as the above shows, I pretty much get the phone thrown in for free by O2. At least compared to Voda's plan.

    There are some other minor differences, but nothing that affects me (unlimited SMS vs 1200 SMS on O2 -- both are effectively unlimited for me -- only send a 100 or so each month!).

    Still seems a rip off compared to the states though. Has anyone looked at the price of AT&T plans to compare the TCO yet? Does it even things up a bit, or are we being royally shafted compared to our louder speaking brethren again?

  48. Patrick


    It will only cost me £771.89 to get the same plan but with 24 months to run and thats if O2 charge me full amount for the buy out. for the 32gb model

    The question is If I was stupid enough to buy out my contract and pay the full amount. do i then take 02 to court for not allowing me to still use the min text i have paid for? as that would be around 180000 mins left lol for the 15 months i have left.

    Anyways only want tomtom on it, so would not really miss the other stuff.

    As I use a Canon camera that is small and decent pictures to

    Plus I have pay as you go 02 dongle i use my iphone o2 sim in and so far they not charged me extra lol.....

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sorry, you what?

    I can accept that the (insane) sticker price is O2 trying to squeeze out some tasty profit margin... but the tethering charge should be criminal, it's completely ludicrous.

  50. Carl Partridge
    Thumb Down

    O2 should be ashamed of this

    This has all made me pretty furious, I can't believe the cheek of these pricing schemes, it's a clear abuse of a monopoly. O2 should be referred to the monopolies & mergers committee.

    And to try and charge me for Internet tethering as an EXTRA?! I've ALREADY PAID for that 'unlimited' data! I already tether for free with an iPhone app (jailbroken) - and as I only really need to use this feature half a dozen times per year, there is absolutely no way on God's EARTH I'm going to pay £270 (£15x18months) for this 'privilege'! I mean, why would I?! The most frustrating thing is that, on the very rare occasions I need to tether my phone (e.g. on the train) it's incredibly useful to be able to do so, making this extra annoying if I upgrade to 3.0 and lose the tethering ability.

    O2, you should be ASHAMED of yourselves.

  51. Anonymous Coward


    "The TomTom app on the iPhone won't be a satnav. It only uses triangulation of phone transmitters which is slower and less accurate and you could be in big trouble in 'the sticks' "

    LOL And why would they do that? The iPhone has a built in GPS so for tomtom to not use it and rely on gsm trainagulation so as to create a massively inferior product for no reason whatsoever would be a highly entertaining business decision. Alternatively your arse has misteriously learned to talk to the rest of the world via a keyboard.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    O2 are taking the piss...

    ...cannot be denied. Scandalous, with $1 being worth approx 62p. When the iPhone 3G was initially released, the rates were more favourable (approx 50p to the dollar, don't forget that you have to allow for sales tax in the US). So £60 for a 'new' 8Gb 3G would have been fairer. As for the tethering, the phone isn't a fucking 3G dongle O2. STOP TAKING THE PISS. I understand the fair use idea. I get that you don't want people to abuse the facility, £15 is taking the piss. The data allowance on the contract is good - I've never had a problem with it. How many are stupid enough to think that there aren't caveats to "unlimited" services? I mean really? more than 0.5GB is a lot on a mobile device.

    @the 'tard who reckons that the HTC Touch is a bargain for free. They'd have to PAY ME to have one of those, especially on the sorry excuse that is Orange. How much data comes with that contract? That'll be NONE. I was an Orange "customer" (gluton for punishment more like) for 10 years, supposedly a Premier one. I had numerous HTC handset, which were ALL replaced AT LEAST once over 18 month contracts. They. Are. Shit.

    Feature wise Nokia and WinMo tick all the boxes, but the features are so badly implemented, it's comical. A Focus RS ticks all the boxes of a high performance sports car - more than and Aston Martin, does that make the RS *better* than the Aston? No.

  53. JeeBee

    @ MGJ

    "can't see anywhere if it supports bluetooth keyboards properly, stereo headphones, standard 3.5mm jack etc. Need to upgrade from a 2 year old N95 with GPS; does the iPhone have that? All the comments are about tethering; how would they tell?"

    iPhone OS 3 has far better support for Bluetooth for applications (they can even have custom protocols), but I don't know if it supports bluetooth keyboards or if it is possible for someone to release an app to add that to the OS.

    It will support stereo bluetooth headphones. It has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. It has AGPS - that's full GPS with additional cell tower assistance which is useful in cities where getting a satellite line of sight is harder. It doesn't come with GPS software built-in, you'll have to buy the TomTom app.

  54. Drew Scott


    No, it's full GPS, not tower triangulation. It's drops back to tower triangulation if it can't get a GPS signal (which is pretty useful), but the 2nd gen iPhone has a GPS chip.

  55. Piloti
    Jobs Horns

    @@ International ? By Anonymous Coward

    Basiocally, buy a good nokia. Almost anything from the E series.

    But get to from Nokia direct and then it is unlatched.

    Therefore you will not be paying sill roaming priices as you will be able to drop a local sim in whereever you habppen to be.

    This is always the best option.

    Thenm you can get a good mp3 to boot which you will be able to use on the 'plane......


  56. Darius
    Thumb Down


    Disappointed at the high cost of the 3GS.

    Disappointed that Apple did not announce a smaller iPhone (Palm Pre/Vodafone Magic sizes are much better).

    Disappointed that the tariffs are still poor value compared to O2 standard tariffs. 500 text allowance on all tariffs - it'll take 4 text messages to send an MMS!

  57. Anonymous Coward

    Was going to....

    I have had a 16Gb Iphone 3G with 7 months left on my contract.

    I was going to go straight out and get the new one as soon as it was available, but won't now due to the disgusting pricing policy from O2.

    Why do we pay twice that of the Americans, and then have to pay extra for tethering, THEN have to pay to buy out of the existing contract!! No Way O2!!!

    They have definately shot themselves in the foot with this one. I had the original IPhone, was expecting a decent upgrade path to the 3G, didn't get it! thought they might reward loyal customers? No way, we end up paying more because of the contracxt buy-out.

    F*** EM!! They'll not be getting any cash out of me this time, OR in January, when my contract is up. By then + 6 months, the next nextgen IPhone will be due for release!!! and hopefully by then O2 will have lost their exclusivity and competition will bring the price down.

    O2 = Scum-sucking leeches!!

  58. Darius


    From the TomTom website:

    'the TomTom car kit that offers secure docking, enhanced GPS performance, clear voice instructions and hands-free calling, while charging your iPhone at the same time.'

  59. Joe Montana

    Buy out

    If you buy out your existing O2 contract, what happens to all the inclusive minutes/data which you would be paying for? Do you lose it, or does it get tacked onto the end of the new contract they make you buy?

    Anyway, i think the new pricing is ridiculous, but people will line up and flood the stores in the first week anyway... When the previous 2 models came out they were out of stock for weeks and with long queues trailing out of the stores. Perhaps they are planning to handle the initial flood of demand - higher price will reduce demand and increase the margins from those who do sign up... Maybe they will drop the prices significantly after a couple of months?

    I already have the iphone 3g, and won't be buying the 3gs at these prices... I might consider it when the current contract expires, if they offer a decent deal on it by then.

    The tethering pricing is stupid too, you can use third party tethering apps with the current models if you jailbreak and they work fine...

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    SatNav feature pointless

    If you have £800 to spend on a iphone, you certainly should have a car with either built in GPS or just a straight forward TomTom One which you leave in the car. (glove box etc).

    Personally my girlfriend would just think I was a complete tosser if I took an iphone out and mounted on the dash board to use as a GPS. The Tomtom GPS add-on for in car navigation is really not a must have.

    Any family car journey I've been on - the last place you want to put your iphone is on a mount on the windscreen, generally the owner is looking up facts to correct any sweeping statements about the current state of the economy / Gordon Brown, or usefully finding a good recommended restaurant via the web, for somewhere to stop and eat. Other than that - surely the kid in the back wouldn't let it be mounted on your dashboard - they would be playing some game on it.

    If you getting a cheap phone (nokia 6300 etc) to pair with itouch - there are lots of better contracts than paying £35 a month, I'm sorry to justify the price by combining the two is total rubbish. This thing is overpriced and really not worth it. O2 you need to thing again on your pricing, yeh - and improve your 3G coverage before this thing becomes 'mainstream'

  61. Jared Earle

    Buy out your contract?

    I spoke to O2 this morning and to buy out my contract will cost me the same as keeping it going; just under £35/month for the next seven months in one hit.

    Yes, that means if I want to get a phone next Friday, I need to slap down £514 for the 32GB and start a new contract.

    It's the exact same cost as buying a new phone/contract and keeping my current contract running and giving the old phone with the new SIM with its seven months of free minutes and SMSes to the missus until January.

    As a guaranteed customer, I'm now thinking I'll wait for the v4 next summer as if I sit out my contract, it'll be next year when I can get a new one.

    18 month contract and 12 month product cycle. Retarded.

  62. Anonymous Coward

    Gutted - Cos I know I'll still buy one

    Gutted about the price hike - may be it has something to do with the s**t exchange rate - yet something else to blame this useless government on.

    Will probably still buy one when my t-mobile contract is up (2 months) nothing else comes close to the usability of my ipod touch. Year sure other phones tick all the boxes that is apart from the one that's labelled 'is it possible to do all these things this without throwing the dam thing on the floor and smashing it up' - A bit like the fate of a certain N95 I once had!!!!

  63. Martin
    Paris Hilton

    @Ian Ferguson

    This is my current train of though. I bought a 8GB 2G in March '08, and will be eligible for an upgrade in August.

    Now, since the 2G cost me £350 from the apple store, it's probably fair to assume I never received a handset subsidy, as I opted not to the take the 3G early upgrade "incentive" of buying out my existing contract.

    So, surely as a "valued customer" or whatever they'll refer to me as, surely I am entitled to a larger discount on the 3GS, as they have yet to give me a handset discount at all?

    If all else fails, I'll just ask them to unlock my out-of-contract phone, which, IIRC, they are required to do, and piss off to another network. I can live without visual voicemail.

    Paris, because she's as clueless as O2

  64. jeffrey

    Missed a trick

    o2 should have 3 options in my opinion:

    12 month contract - expensive line rental or low minutes included.

    18 month contract - as is, no early upgrade but less minutes /more line rental than 2 year option

    24 month contract - but that anyone who has this can upgrade to a new iphone after 12 months at whatever the cost for a new customer is, at this point the old two year contract is removed, and you get a new two year one. This way anyone who wanted to could update annually to a new phone without disadvantage, but if they wanted to leave then they would have to wait the full 2 years (one of which would be staring at an iphone which was newer than the one they possessed), but they get full advantage of cheap calls loads of miniutes free phones etc

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The title says it all.. I won't be upgrading! The main thing I want is tethering so I can use my iPhone 3G with my TomTom via Bluetooth - a BASIC feature that you would expect to work - I am not paying on top of my contract for this!

    Talk about not rewarding loyal customers! Disgusting!

  66. Anonymous Coward


    Talking to O2 today, it would seem that the warranty on the iPhone is only for 12 months, even though the contracts are 18-24 months. Apparently one may take out an extended warranty for around £10 per month (but only when initially taking out the contract).

    So if you don't take the extended warranty option (at around £240 extra for say 2 years), then you could end up with an broken phone after 12 months, that you would still have to pay another 6-12 months of rental for!

  67. Anonymous Coward

    I won;t be upgrading

    As far as I'm concerend this is a rip-off. You're meant to value customers not treat them like rubbish.

    And as for the £15 /month for tethering... No Comment!!!

  68. Mark Grady

    I still want to know ...

    ... how will they know whether your data use is stand-alone or tethered? Will the new OS monitor data pass through and lock it down if there's an ACK/NAK fail from the carrier network over whether you've paid your bill?

    This would explain how comes AT&T are taking the same stance in the US over using the iPhone 3G/3GS as a modem. Bend over and spread 'em ...

    I was willing to put with no tethering knowing it would be coming in an OS release, but these charges for tethered data are now making me reconsider my iPhone and think about the Palm Pre or a Nokia.

    Bad O2, bad.

  69. Anonymous Coward

    Everyone here seems to miss a trick...

    Belgium and France both are required by law to offer unlocked phones... Go to Belgium or France, buy an unlocked phone and it's all yours to use as you wish.

    And, what is likely going to happen is that the Euro providers will make the cuts as Apple wishes, and it'll lower your TCO...

  70. Chris Wood

    iPhone coming to Vodafone?

    Just spoke to someone at Vodafone who told me to "hold off for a month or so" when I said I wanted to leave for O2 and the iPhone as they believed that "the new iPhone is not exclusive to O2".

    Could be bullshit, or could be the reason why O2 aren't able to offer the same discounts as AT&T in the states: their exclusive agreement with Apple has expired, along with any discounts from Apple that might have come along with that agreement.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Oi el Reg

    I wanted to rate this article (top marks natch) but no "rate this article" ???

  72. Robin
    Thumb Down

    O2 are pushing it

    I bought my iPhone on launch day (on the 35 quid tariff). Yeah I paid a premium but it's done sterling service.

    I was going to replace it with a new one but I'm having second thoughts now. Especially as I'd have to buy out my contract when the new OLED-screened model comes out.

    Nice one O2, you've pushed it too far. It's not like their service is worth the premium they charge.

    Of course, all this will change in a month when the uptake is lower than expected and they have to slash prices.

  73. Sean Donnellan
    Thumb Down

    But it's a iPhone!!!!

    The 3GS iPhone looks nice, has flashy adverts with a very populated app store ("Need to divide a restaurant bill by 2, there's an App for that").

    I fail to understand the hype for a new device that offers what Windows mobile has had available for over 3 years. It’s as if the main stream media can’t be bothered to read the manual……

    HTC/WinMo handsets have had tethering, MMS, sync with Outlook, emails, web browsing, YouTube, and multi codecs for audio & video, but get so minimal mainstream press coverage by comparison. (New iPhone on all National papers' websites front pages) My TyTn II is still running strong, and still gets mistaken for an iPhone (until the keyboard slides out).

    Apple launch a v3 OS, and don’t/can’t make features like MMS, video & tethering backwards compatible. And still no multi-tasking - come on - no wonder the device is fast, it’s not having to do any work!

    On the carrier front, T-Mobile Web’n’walk offers virtually unlimited browsing, and their £1 a day limit option for non WnW use is excellent for regular tethering away from home (One month I used £150 "worth" of data - Actual charge £27.50)

    My wife’s BB Bold has MMS, video and multi tasking and tethering - again included, no tariff surplus. (Currently in use, Thanks Virgin Media).

    How O2 cannot offer MMS immediately, and charge so much for tethering - I’ll never understand. I’m quite amazed how both O2 and Apple can get away with it !

  74. Gordon

    @miss a trick

    will be interesting to see what the italian/french/belgium sim unlocked 3gs prices are like on ebay. typically the factory unlocked 3g's were between 450 and 600 from the non rip off merchants.

    however given that apple (illegally i suspect) dont offer a pan eu warrantee its a risky business

  75. Ty
    Jobs Halo


    You bunch of whining cheapskates on welfare!

    None of this whining will stop the iPhone 3GS from decimating the handset market while you all squirm in misery!

    N97??? lol

    Narrow-minded blinkered ignorami every one of you.

    CARRY ON!!

  76. Anonymous Coward

    @iphone coming to vodafone

    i smell cow faeces. not in the uk at least in the short term certainly not something a call center muppet would know.

    vodafone uk's buyers have their head so far up their backsides that they couldnt recognise a good (mainstream consumer) smartphone if it came up and bit them.

    missing both the iphone and the pre - for the storm and the magic - both screaming NICHE. can i have some of what they are on?

  77. Anonymous Coward

    Why Not Pay As You Go?

    Hmm - what part of 18 month "contract" don't people understand?

    Surprised no one has mentioned the £440ish upfront Pay As You Go deal, which compared with an 18 month light user contract starts to make sense. You get a bunch of free texts when you top up £10 a month, that £10 takes care of light calling requirements, and you still get the all you can eat data for the first 12 months. After that, it's £10 a month.

    New iPhone out after 12 months that you simply must have - just sell this one. In good nick I'd be amazed if it's worth less than £100-£150.

    I reckon the logic of this is that the typical prepay punter is incapable of controlling their phone use - and so O2 are counting on excessive use driving their profits. In my case, they'll be wrong.

    Incidentally, can anyone point at evidence of a 500mb monthly data limit? Sure, these are common on lesser "smart" phones, but I thought Apple fairly adamant that it must be properly unmetered. Just light use of iPlayer and the odd Podcast download would easily blow that limit out of the water.

  78. Gulfie

    Tethering? No Thanks!

    Taking it as a given that O2 were always going to shaft its iPhone customer for tethering (the alternative being to shaft its own business model - as if) I'd like to make a couple of observations. I have an iPhone. The signal quality is renowned. Its not the best. Working away from home, my regular hotel is not, according to my iPhone, within range of a 3G tower. However my O2 USB 3G modem is. And its six inches from my iPhone. So here are my two thoughts:

    One. I wouldn't use tethering unless it was free because most of the time I know full well I'm not going to get 3G data speeds. The phone just isn't capable. End of story. The most you can do is email and web browsing. No downloads, no streaming, no VPN (unless you like your VPN sssslllllooooooooowwwww).

    Two. It is only slightly more expensive to sign up to O2's mobile broadband with a separate 3G USB modem - and the modem is much better at finding and using a 3G signal. Oh, and you get free access to The Cloud with those too. And I can make calls while I VPN, stream and download.

    As far as the mobile broadband market goes O2 are no worse than any of the others... and if you don't take up tethering you might actually be able to beat O2 into a deal, or walk and go to Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile... you do have a choice.

    I'm off now to download Safari 4 for my Mac. Using my 3G modem. While I phone home. Looking forward to Snow Leopard and iPhone 3.0

  79. Neil Alexander
    Thumb Down

    How will they know whether you are tethering?

    It's probably simpler than you think; my bet is that the tethering will be hardcoded by the operators to use a different access point. In that case, it's very very easy for them to now if you're tethering.

    I'm amazed that not one of you guys even thought of that.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Costs on AT&T in the US

    AT&T are asking $199 for the 16Gb model and $299 for the 32Gb.

    The following tariff conditions seem to apply:

    - You have to take a £30/month data package.

    - The cheapest call time package is 450 minutes @ $39.

    - A 200 SMS package is $5/month (though you could go without inclusive at $0.20/SMS).

    - They're only available on 24 month contracts.

    When you amortise the cost of buying the handset over the contract, you end up at ~$92/month for the 16Gb and ~$96/month for the 32Gb. That's about £56 and £59/month respectively.

    It's probably even more than that as none of my calculations include tax (unless the prices on the AT&T site already do), coz I don't know how all that works in the US.

    For the sake of comparison, 600 minutes and 500 SMS can be had for £37.89/month (16Gb) or £41.56/month (32Gb) in the UK on 24 month contracts. On 18 month contracts, you're looking at £44.54/month (16Gb) or £49.50/month (32Gb). All on the £34.26/month tariff.

    Hope that makes sense!

  81. Anonymous Coward

    You guys are just a big bunch of whiners

    Take a trip to Hong Kong or ask a mate to get you one from there when it releases. Apple sell it in the store for HKD7000. then continue using whatever feck contract you are on...

    Remember this is 2009, not 1989 and air travel has eroded international boundaries.

  82. SuperTim
    Jobs Horns

    Can i remind EVERYBODY!!!!

    That Apple are the ones who dictate the terms of the contract for the service providers, and those terms include the cost of the handset to be a set amount and to receive a proportion of the line rental costs (the ONLY hardware manufacturers to do this).

    So while O2 seem to be "ripping off" britain, they are the only ones to have agreed to the terms. Without that, the iPhone would not be available from any service provider and would be a grey import with no support.

    Unlimited data on the iPhone is NOT the same as unlimited 3G data on a Laptop, as anyone who uses their lappy for watching downloaded movies can tell. the cost of the data is the same as having a 3G dongle. I dont see the point in not offering a discount, but i bet you could ask for a discount if you were out of contract.

    I agree with the sentiments regarding lobotomies and such, but let's not go off half cocked, eh!

    And, YES i do work for O2, but would never buy an iPhone, so am not just spouting the party line about our products (except for Broadband, which is fantastic (yes, that is aimed at all you orange fanbois, all 3 of you)).

  83. J

    Fan Boi

    Okay, I'm something of an iPhone Fan boy - although I can still acknowledge some its missing features (now only LED flash)

    I still love the iPhone, look forward to OS3.0 but think O2 have royally f***ed up. The new pricing is bad enough (although why current 3G users expect to be able to cancel/break their current contract without penalty is beyond me).

    The real killer is the insane tethering costs. £15 a month? I thought I already had an 'unlimited data' plan with the iPhone. I can understand O2 not wanting users to hammer their (crap) 3G network for 10's of gigabytes per month, but why not a soft cap of 1-2gb per month. I imagine for most users, the occasional ability to use tethering would be useful - but most don;t use it enough for £15 per month.


    Roll on Vodafone/Orange iPhones......

  84. This post has been deleted by its author

  85. Adam T


    I got a little plastic compass from a christmas cracker last year. It's in good working order and you can guarantee you won't get mugged on the tube for it.

    I'm willing to part with it for £29.99 or £2/month for 24 months.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: SuperTim

    "That Apple are the ones who dictate the terms of the contract for the service providers, and those terms include the cost of the handset to be a set amount and to receive a proportion of the line rental costs (the ONLY hardware manufacturers to do this)."

    This is not true - O2 have themselves admitted they have reduced the subsidy on the 3GS compared to the 3G for new customers, and this is the reason for the 87% price rise.

    Looks like your management are lying to you.

    "Unlimited data on the iPhone is NOT the same as unlimited 3G data on a Laptop, as anyone who uses their lappy for watching downloaded movies can tell. the cost of the data is the same as having a 3G dongle."

    Well it is - there's already a fair use policy on the unlimited data and using p2p or streaming is already prohibited. Publish the limit and enforce it . But there is no reason for the obscene charge.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So "Super"Tim. Why are the contracts different from country to country and telco to telco then? If Apple *do* dictate terms, why have AT&T dropped the bat by stalling on MMS (as service they presumably already offer) and tethering (to the noticeable chagrin of the crowd, Forstall and Schiller)? I smell a company trying to "distance" themselves from a fuck up...

  88. Jordi
    Thumb Down

    My prediction

    After initial pathetic sales results and when Apple realises that O2 have screwed up so bad with their pricing that a Razr is outselling the new toy in town, they will pick up their brand new 3GS and will give Vodafone a quick call to let the doors wide open for them just like they have in other countries. Vodafone will subsidize aggressively and O2 will have to retaliate so the final result will turn into a fair deal in place coming from one form or another. Btw, is not wishful thinking but just a fact of life.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Adam Jarvis

    That may be your opinion, but I fear it is not universally held. I guarantee that £800 for an iPhone is far, far, far cheaper than you can buy a car with built in satnav for.

    I also postulate that one would need a phone (say free but £25 per month = £600 over 2 years), GPS (tomtom or otherwise - call it £100 and that is very generous) and an mp3 player (you will get laughed at in the playground if it is anything other than an iPod but hell call it £50) which already runs to something like £750 over 2 years, as opposed to £997 ish for the iPhone over the same time.

    So what you are really saying is "Anyone who has £247 over 2 years (or £10 per month) to spend on an iPhone should instead buy a bigger car".

    Also, we don't all want to have to carry 3 devices (some of us use GPS for walking as well as driving - very difficult to carry your car up a mountain) when one will do, many of us either don't have children or bring them up to not be selfish shiny-grabbing brats (or you could buy them a DS) and would buy our wife/girlfriend/wife and girlfriend their own iPhone if they wanted one.

  90. Greg J Preece

    @Mac Phreak

    Surprised you've had bad experiences with HTC devices. My current HTC PDA has proven utterly indestructible many times over. And my old HTC PDA, whilst buggy on the software side, was totally immune to damage. And by "damage," I don't mean "thrown onto the bed a lot" - I mean more along the lines of "dropped on concrete a lot."

  91. Mark Richardson
    Paris Hilton

    O2 SIM only charges

    An O2 12 month SIM only contract with unlimited web browsing and roughly equivalent minutes/texts as the Iphone tariffs comes to just under £20 per month.

    Presumably, therefore around £20 per month of my £35 per month iphone tariff is call/data charges leaving around £15 per month on the phone itself.

    Why, therefore, is the cancellation amount worked out on the full monthly tariff ?

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Greg J Preece

    Had big issues with built quality and the OS. The handset vibrated itself off my desk and cracked the screen on one occasion. Freak occurrence maybe, except it landed face down on carpet! Wasn't happy! The keyboard on my Tytn kept coming away, as a result I hate slide-out keyboards. The screen on the Touch was awful - felt cheap and it would scratch on my stubble (OK, might be exaggerating, but it *seemed* like it!). To be fair I don't know what they are like now, but after a cursory look over the G1, it looked and IMHO felt "cheap" after having the iPhone for a while. On the OS side, I didn't like the fact that the OS reset and lost *everything* if the battery went flat. Not good! Down right useless infact! Do they *still* do that? It was fiddly and inconsistent too - I don't think it was helped by operators "enhancing" it's feature set. What with iPhone 3.0, Palm's Web OS and Android, I think MSFT are out of that particular race - WinMo 7 IMHO is only ever going to be playing catch up without Gates in charge - see Vista, Zune and ZuneHD.

  93. Dr Richard

    @I fail to understand the hype for a new device ...

    Huh? Have you actually used an iphone and compared it with a Windows Mobile ... not on paper by what hardware or software is available BUT actually use it? Sorry, but to me there is no comparison ... sure hardware wise there are better LG / Samsung / Nokia's out there BUT Windows Mobile sucks and I for one would be glad to stop using it.

    I've held off but am planning on getting a 16GB 3GS on Friday and on PAYG ... I don't use a smartphone for any real phone calls or texts so having "unlimited" wifi and 3G for 12 months (costing £120) is actually very reasonable compared to Vodafone / T-Mobile / Three etc and means that I get a 16Gig ipod + camera + GPS + unbiquitous computing platform for £320 and its mine for keeps. ... and I'll drop £10 on a SuperSIM from Amazon and see if my Three modem SIM will work when the pitiful O2 HSDPA is out of range 8-)

    Looking at the contracts though you get scary costs and not a lot extra to show for it.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Jared Earle

    But you signed up for the 18 month contract, why would you expect it to only last 12 months, perhaps it is you who is the retard (your word) !!!

  95. Anonymous Coward


    I would love to own some apple devices, they are pretty solid from what I am told and seen of them, however you are f**kin taking the piss if you think I will ever give this company any of my money because basically APPLE = RIP OFF THIEVE MERCHANTS and ROBBERS! I don't mind paying for quality but come on, be f**king real for a second who has a grand lieing around to spend on a mac book never mind a phone when you can get the same functionality in either device for less than a third of the price that APPLE want.

  96. DRW
    Thumb Down

    O2 pricing on IPhone

    Put quite simply $199 converted at todays rate is £122.

    Were this the price then I would not hesitate but O2 are adding 50%

    DEAL or NO DEAL? - - - -- - - - - NO DEAL !!!!!

  97. Gavin Bloeman
    Thumb Down

    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.

  98. Rich 30

    free upgrade?

    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

  99. Anonymous Coward

    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!

  100. J 12

    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.

  101. tony

    12 Months

    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

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