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O2: Contract Commitment Required For iPhone 3G

Gordon Kelly


O2: Contract Commitment Required For iPhone 3G

Sorry non-Apple fans it is more iPhone 3G news, but for converts this is worth pricking up your ears...

Following reports that all iPhone 3G purchases made in the US through AT&T will have to be made in store (an obvious attempt to curb the previous widespread unlocking) I've chased O2 for the skinny on the UK situation.

O2 spokesman Nick Wilkins cleared up the situation: "Yes, the bulk of the activation process will happen in store (or on the O2 online store) before you receive the device. So you have to sign up to the contract before you get the device (unlike previously). Having said that, you still need to connect the iPhone to iTunes to complete the activation process." {Brackets not mine}

So it does indeed look like those past promises to join O2 before skedaddling over to ZiPhone and unlocking your handset will go out the window this time around. From what we gather the system will be the same through Carphone Warehouse too where customers have to commit to a contract either in store or online before completing the check-out process.

Ultimately however with App Store on the way and impressive subsidized pricing and call plans available the only benefit of unlocking now is to keep your current network. This can be a big deal for those living in areas with poor O2 coverage, but in general this now differs little from the 'exclusives' most networks regularly attain on a whole variety of handsets.

Suck it up people.

Update: An official clarification from Nick on the online buying process: "You select the device you want, tariff etc and then go through the credit check, sign up and agree to the contract (all online). The device is then sent to you in the post. You plug it into iTunes and it is un-bricked."

Seems water tight to us.


O2 iPhone 3G Contracts

Marc Davies

June 10, 2008, 7:52 pm

If that's the case why do they have the iphone advertised as coming soon to Pay & Go?


"Customers will soon be able to enjoy all the great features of iPhone without a monthly contract with the iPhone for Pay & Go."

George Street

June 10, 2008, 8:37 pm

Why would you want to unlock the phone now, it's on a cheap contract, it's going to be available on Pay & Go. It's available in LOADS of countries!

You can also transfer your current number from any existing phone to O2 so i don't see why anyone would want to unlock the iPhone.


June 10, 2008, 8:41 pm

I agree with Marc here, The reason you need to go through activation for the contract iPhone is because it's subsidised this time like other mobile phones.

However there will be a PAYG version that we will be able to buy (At a higher cost I assume) and then unlock.


June 10, 2008, 9:18 pm

If you currently have a contract which you can't or don't want to break but do want an iPhone then you would probably want an unlocked one no?


June 10, 2008, 10:09 pm

In Reply to Hugo

I agree but then that is what the PAYG version is for is it not?


June 11, 2008, 2:04 am

PAYG option please! For fifteen quid on same O2, i now get unlimited O2-O2 minutes (great for MY collection of PAYG o2 contacts) i get massive text allowances, and most of that fifteen quid to spend on the few cross-network calls i DO make. I don't want a contract, so i will wait to hear what SIMable have to say ;)


June 12, 2008, 4:47 am

Well keeping with the spirit of everyone feeling iRate, here's how much slimmer the iPhone 3G has made my Wish List :

Set your music as a ringtone

Proper bluetooth for sending files

Decent camera, not that 2MP insult

Dock thrown in

Hotmail support (fat chance)

Card slot (clinically obese chance)

Record video

Tactile feedback

More video codec support

MMS (sod email, everyone - everywhere - has this)

Might as well round out my fat jokes by concluding that it's not exactly the Brittonesque transformation my list was hoping for. But I won't lie - the price is tempting me anyway.


June 12, 2008, 9:04 am

Eek - sorry, I meant full Bluetooth DEVICE capability - like for a stereo profile. But on second thought, I'd easily trade that in for just better signal quality, since it's purporting to be a phone.

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