Apple and Orange finally break O2 UK iPhone monopoly
Some countries that had the “privilege” of getting the iPhone early on, such as the US and UK, have been shackled to one telecoms company since the outset.
While AT&T may still have Apple fans tied up, there is at least some hope for UK users who either object on principle to exclusive deals (common though they are), or don’t like the O2 network because of its reliability or customer screwing tactics.
Orange UK has announced that it has done a deal with Apple to offer the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S on its network later this year (that’s a three month window to work with, though if it doesn’t arrive in time for the Christmas rush I’ll be very surprised).
Those who haven’t yet succumbed to an iPhone can now pre-register their orangey interest.
Orange claims it has the largest 3G network in the UK, despite not being as big overall as the likes of O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile. Don’t forget, though, that there are merger talks in the pipeline, which could mean that, one way or another, T-Mobile customers could also get their mitts on an iPhone.
Details on pricing, tariff and availability are yet to be confirmed, so we don’t know if there’ll be a contract-free option or whether we’re in for a healthy dose of competition.