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Orange & T-Mobile UK to Sell iPhone 3G

Gordon Kelly


Orange & T-Mobile UK to Sell iPhone 3G

Looks like we're at last about to get some iPhone carrier choice...

In what seems to have been the worst kept secret since, well - the last worst kept secret, O2 is said to be losing its exclusive contract for the Apple iPhone. Interestingly however this is just for the iPhone 3G not the newer, faster and more expensive iPhone 3GS.

The Register reports T-Mobile has confirmed to it directly that talks have begun about stocking the second generation handset and word is Orange is rumoured to be in on the negotiations as well. Interestingly there have been no such rumours out of the US which suggests either the single carrier option isn't working in the UK or Apple has voiced some internal frustration with O2. I couldn't think why...

If true, expect more on this soon.

In related news O2 is offering users free Twitter SMS alerts from August. This comes in addition to the deals the network already has in place offering similar notifications from Facebook and Bebo.

Both @replies and direct messages are eligible for the free alerts which could cost it a pretty penny if you can match the circa 650,000 followers so far amassed by top UK Twitter person Stephen Fry. Or you could just bulk up TrustedReviews followers or my own (I'm on O2!).


via The Register


July 14, 2009, 3:37 pm

I don't imagine the free Twitter updates are going to cost O2 anything, given the marginal cost of delivering an SMS on its own network is infinitesimally small.


July 14, 2009, 4:45 pm

Thank God Jesus Christ... finally.. fianlly...


July 14, 2009, 6:35 pm

So long as the pricing is competitive (i.e. T-Mobile and Orange don't think they're selling the 3GS!) then this is going to be excellent news! Though we do have to hope that unlimited data tariffs accompany such a move - I can't imagine using an iPhone and having to worry about how much data was being used. That's one thing O2 got spot on, though even that took a little pit of pushing (from Apple and outraged customers if I remember correctly).

Visual Voicemail would be nice, too... I could never go back to voice menus!


July 14, 2009, 6:42 pm

If I remember correctly, and there's a fair chance that I don't, one of the reasons Apple went with 02 is that they were the only ones willing to upgrade their network to be able to handle Visual Voicemail...


July 14, 2009, 7:04 pm

Was getting my iPhone 3G replaced a second time before the warranty runs out today, one of the Geniuses was happy to convincingly smile and say "yes, it is rumoured...." with regards to the 3G on Orange/T-Mobile. So I assume it will happen most likely.

This is good news, as from my experience Orange has the best coverage out of all the networks, I'll finally be able to get a second iPhone for my friend who is using a Motorola PEBL U6 after breaking a Samsung F700 entirely!


July 14, 2009, 8:28 pm

@cub: there's also the fact that unless things have changed recently, O2 are the only UK network to have EDGE reception...


July 14, 2009, 8:47 pm

@ChaosDefinesOrder - ...which was obviously important for the 1st gen iPhone, with its woeful omission of 3G capability. Not so much any longer though!


July 14, 2009, 9:45 pm

Free 16GB on all 18 month contracts over £25? I should hope so.


July 15, 2009, 1:35 am

@Chaos: to my recollection O2 actually had one of the worst EDGE coverages (maybe none). Take a look at their 3G coverage to show their commitment to improving the data speed of their network.

I remember reading an article in a mobile industry magazine which indicated that Apple, a company very much about the brand, plumped for 02 due to *The* 02, which is something that makes them stand out from the other networks. This was despite O2's shocking EDGE and 3G capabilities.


July 15, 2009, 3:34 am

Well its a step in the right direction, I'm not a fan of giving key handsets to one carrier only. Storm, Magic, Pre, iPhone, its not a good trend. I'd like to think it will end, but it doesn't look like it will anytime soon.


July 15, 2009, 3:35 am

iPhone on T-Mobile's network should be excellent since they have the best network for mobile broadband!!! Can't wait!!!


July 15, 2009, 3:35 am

Two weeks time the old phone with the new software according to a Chap at T-Mobile UK. My qualifications? I spend over 4K a year and was discussing taking the New Compact V (HTC) and was told to hold on for Two weeks's) The Business team have aparently had some to try!!!


July 15, 2009, 2:57 pm

@John: which was obviously important for the 1st gen iPhone, with its woeful omission of 3G capability. Not so much any longer though!

Not sure about that, for places were I don't get 3G with the IPhone I can often get EDGE. And were I can't get EDGE I'll get GPRS/GSM. I tend to find most Towns I can can get 3G, but sometimes I'll get 3G in places I wouldn't expect, eg. went to a Farm/Cafe place in the middle of nowhere and it was 3G. It's not perfect and certainly could be better, but remember it's not like you don't have any internet access when outside a 3G zone.


July 16, 2009, 12:40 am

I contacted T-Mobile termination deapartment and without any prompting ( I didn't know about this news article ) I was told that next Friday 23rd T-Mobile WILL be stocking iPhone.

So yes it confirmed and true, starting next Friday


July 16, 2009, 1:14 am

@a18041967 - I've just checked with T-Mobile staff who denied all knowledge and said they'd usually get a 2 week or more heads up if something this big was happening. So looks like a false alarm.

Btw, Friday is the 24th ;)


July 16, 2009, 2:07 am

You have to be careful, the normal call centre staff do not know all the facts, the gentleman I spoke to in terminations was very knowledgeable, and stated that he was only aware of new handsets for the next three weeks.

I do not beleive it's a false alarm, I did not prompt or ask the agent about an iPhone, but we'll just have to wait until next friday.


July 16, 2009, 2:43 am

@a18041967 - well if you can get any form of official written confirmation then we'll fun with it and provide full credit to you ;)


July 16, 2009, 3:02 am


I'm with Orange and would have to disagree about the great reception. At least in my own experience.

Still this is great news!

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