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O2 Improves iPhone Tethering Deal & Will Unlock Handsets

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It seems the iPhone is determined to jump up and down and demand our attention this week, so let's condense a whole raft of news on Apple's polarising smartphone...

Two lots of O2 developments to begin with and both are positive. Firstly in an interview with The Times (while it is still free) confirms rumours that O2 will soon offer to legally unlock iPhones for customers.

"Once the iPhone becomes available on other UK networks, we will allow O2 customers to unlock their iPhones, although of course they will still need to honour any outstanding contract period they have," said O2 CEO Matthew Key. "At the end of their contract period, they are entirely free to move to another operator — though naturally we hope they won't want to!"
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Good luck with that. Still the move is to be applauded and with the handset no longer a network exclusive it complies with European law. O2 will unlock monthly iPhones for free at any time, but they will still have to honour the remainder of their contract while 'Pay & Go' (read: pre-pay) customers who have owned their handsets for 12 months can also unlock for £14.97 (O2 commits to 12 months of free WiFi & data on a pre-pay contract).

Also winning O2 praise this week is news it will improve its hereto dreadful iPhone tethering plan. Dubbed the 'Total Connectivity Bolt On' it allows new and existing iPhone customers to get a 3GB monthly tethering allowance for £9.79pm before 31 December (down from £14.60) and add the O2 Home Broadband standard package for free. Alternatively, a £7.34pm discount against O2 Home Broadband Premium, Pro and O2 Home Broadband Access packages is available. Better, but I still don't see why 'unlimited' data on your iPhone should be paid for twice just because the handset is plugged into a PC...

Next we're hearing news of a 2.8in iPhone 'nano' (yep that old chesnut again) and talk of an 8GB iPhone 3GS. All are perfectly plausible, but we're not going to get into rumour mongering at this stage.

Finally some app news and arcade classic R-Type is headed to the iPhone while existing favourite Shazam is getting a refresh. There's no date on the former as yet, but a new premium edition of the latter called 'Shazam Encore' promises to attain quicker results, recommend music based on your tagging history, access music charts created by other Shazam users and enable artist, album and track searches from a catalogue of over 8m songs. Encore will cost £2.99. The bad news is the existing free Shazam app will limit new users to just five tags per month, though existing users will be able to continue unhindered.

It had to make money somehow...

*and breathe*

Links:
O2 iPhone
R-Type on the iPhone
Shazam Encore

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