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PAYG iPhone Launch Date Announced

Gordon Kelly


PAYG iPhone Launch Date Announced

I've never really understood the attraction of buying unsubsidised handsets, but they don't get much bigger than this...

At long last O2 has officially announced PAYG versions of the 8GB and 16GB iPhone 3G will go on sale at its stores plus those of the Carphone Warehouse and Apple on 16 September.

Pricing is naturally high with the 8GB model coming in at a hefty £349.99 while the 16GBer offers slightly better value for money at £399.99. Why so expensive? Clearly O2 has no desire to cannibalise its contract deals.

That said, O2 is throwing in 12 months free WiFi and data and considering many Windows Mobile based smartphones carry sim-free prices of £450+ it could've been worse. On the other hand it is key to point out PAYG iPhone 3Gs are not unlocked, just available without contract and so far no successful unlock has been developed for them.

Another thing to bear in mind is these models will not have visual voicemail or - more confusingly - call merging. Data settings will also need to be changed from their Pay Monthly defaults (guide under 'Activation' tab here) to PAYG confirming they are simply standard iPhone 3Gs just without a contract.

So will you take the plunge?


iPhone PAYG Product Page


September 2, 2008, 4:08 am

"confirming they are simply standard iPhone 3Gs just without a contract"

As opposed to what else? 399 is not actually that bad for a PAYG phone of this type...


September 2, 2008, 4:26 am

@ChaosDefinesOrder - quite obviously as opposed to an iPhone which has even taken the time to have PAYG settings put into it!


September 2, 2008, 12:51 pm

Complete ripoff like all PAYG. And you can't even unlock it...


September 2, 2008, 3:37 pm

Correct me if im wrong but in theory you could buy this for &#163349 and then take out the online 30 simplicity contract and itd work with this phone even if unlocked. Simplicity online 30 is currently &#16320 a month (down from &#16325 a month) with 500mins and 1000texts and one bolt on (i.e. unlimited web) and you're not tied into an 18month contract...

A much better option in my opinion, especially if you are going to go over the 500txts a month that comes with the iPhone contracts....


September 2, 2008, 5:35 pm

Ssshh - don't look too closely for solutions like this that might get in the way of iPhone worship...

Oliver Levett

September 2, 2008, 5:58 pm

So, &#163399, with out a contract, for a limited, media centric device, which has a SIM lock...

An HTC Diamond, without SIM lock, and without a contract can be got for less than that! And, within two days of SIM locked HTC Diamonds being released, there was a (free to nice people) SIM unlocker for it courtesy of Olipro and Cmonex at XDA-Developers - the same pair that have made it possible to flash custom ROMs to the devices to make them even more powerful!

A Raphael can be got for not much more than that, and that's including the price of a 16GB micro SD card!

Now can you see why people say it's a rip off?

Oliver Levett

September 2, 2008, 6:05 pm

And, how many WM devices are there that sell for more than &#163400?

I can think of:

HTC Shift - that's more of a laptop anyway

HTC Raphael - the best device out there, so it's worth the cost.

HTC Kaiser - I've found two or three places selling it for more than &#163400, which is a rip off...

HTC Advantage (X7510, and the X7501 isn't selling for much less).

Sony Experia X1 - pre release prices, so may be less, but it's an over priced hand set considering panels does very little to mask WM, and the keyboard is less than amazing.

Samsung Omnia - Expensive, but awesome.

HTC Sedna - Very rugged and great at what it does...

some iMate ultimate devices - good, although no attempt to hide WM...

Now, compare that to the huge list of WM devices available for less than &#163400.

Virtually everything MWg make

Most HTC handsets

Some iMate devices

Asus devices

HP iPaqs


Toshiba devices

And a lot more devices/companies that I can't be asked to list...

The iPhone is a rip off with a contract. How is taking the operator subsidy away going to make that any better?!?


September 2, 2008, 7:25 pm

Most high end mobile phones / mini computers are a complete rip-off, WM or Apple based. &#163400 buys an awful lot of other gadgets! Of course you could just stick with the nokia 6310i (with enormous battery life and complete indestructibility) and buy a laptop (with mobile broadband dongle) & proper GPS device instead.


September 2, 2008, 8:25 pm

@Oliver Levett

"A Raphael can be got for not much more than that, and that's including the price of a 16GB micro SD card!"

What shop is that offer from?


September 3, 2008, 7:15 am

@ALL (!) - I think factoring in 12 months of free WiFi hotspot access (The Cloud & BT Openzone) and 12 months free data makes this handset considerably better than value it appears on the surface. Here's how:

O2 charges &#1637.50 per month for each of these features as "Bolt Ons" so that's &#163180 worth of free tariff right there.

Next, pick up a standard Simplicity contract (a rolling 30 day contact) and choose, say, 600 minutes per month which is &#16320pm (and comes with another free bolt on of your choice: unlimited texts, unlimited O2 to O2 calls, etc) and you're also clawing back &#16315 per month on the equivalent iPhone tariff. This is another &#163180 saving over the cost of 12 months meaning by the end of a year the phone has effectively paid for itself and there was never the pressure of a lock in contract.

Come this time eBay the handset unlocked (a solution will surely be around by then), make a tidy profit and see what the market has for us come this time next year... iPhone 3.0, Android v2.0, even a Windows Mobile 7 based handset, etc etc.

Good old maths.


September 3, 2008, 5:57 pm

its actually only &#16310 for both wifi and data together ;P


September 3, 2008, 6:15 pm

Fair enough - I didn't know there was a combo package available.

But if you knock &#16360 off those numbers, they still play out well.


September 3, 2008, 6:20 pm

@ gordon, they do indeed and ive always loved the ipod touch and always wished it had a phone function so now i might take a dive at the PAYG iphone as i will save loads not having to pay monthly as i never use up all the minutes to make it worth it


September 3, 2008, 7:23 pm

@Gordon - is 12 months 'free' (i'm sure you actually pay for this in the price!) WiFi really a good replacement for access anywhere 3.5G, on the move? It would be next to useless to me, unless you spend your life in coffee bars and airports I don't really get it. Besides, you only end up looking for a Starbucks and spending &#1635 on a coffee! :o)


September 3, 2008, 7:59 pm

@ lifethroughalens, the 12 months free is wifi and 3.5G data


September 3, 2008, 8:07 pm

@lifethroughalens - think you don't understand.

1. There is free WiFi access to The Cloud and BT OpenZone hotspots (yes, airports, coffee bars, etc).

2. There is free data access over either a 3G, EDGE or GPRS signal (depending on signal availability) meaning free web surfing, emailing, YouTube watching, etc etc.

3. Given the &#163500+ Samsung Omnia and &#163450 (pre tax) Nokia N96 if these services are built into the cost does it really make any difference?!


September 3, 2008, 8:27 pm

Ah-ha, I didn't get that bit. My fault. Well in that case it might be worth a punt!


September 3, 2008, 8:34 pm

Yep, it does make a difference.

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