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iPhone 3G & 3GS Hit Vodafone UK In 2010

Gordon Kelly

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iPhone 3G & 3GS Hit Vodafone UK In 2010

Now this is more like it...

Following yesterday's news that you will soon be able to get the iPhone on Orange, Vodafone has today also crashed O2's once exclusive party with news of its own deal.

Again favouring the unbelievably short press release, the network proclaimed: "Vodafone and Apple today confirmed that they have reached agreement to bring iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to the UK and Ireland in early 2010. Beginning today, Vodafone UK and Vodafone Ireland customers can register their interest in iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS at www.vodafone.co.uk/iphone and www.vodafone.ie/iphone respectively. Pricing, tariffs and availability information will be announced locally in the future. Vodafone now offers iPhone through thirteen of its operating companies."

As the announcement states, having an iPhone deal is nothing new for Vodafone (in June last year it simultaneously secured iPhone contracts in 10 countries), but nabbing an agreement in the UK remains a big deal. Perhaps more importantly, prospective UK iPhone owners will now have a) more choice when purchasing a handset, and b) hopefully more competition in terms of pricing.

This leaves T-Mobile and 3 as the only major networks not to offer the handset, though the Orange T-Mobile merger may see the former gather it by proxy. By contrast, whether 3 will be able to negotiate terms with Apple seems more open to question given its (laudable) commitment to free VoIP.

What does seem clear however is Palm Pre or not, O2 looks set for a desertion of disgruntled iPhone customers when their contracts expire. 3G coverage problems, data network failings and controversially high iPhone 3GS tariffs have seen it lose much goodwill over the last year.

That said, I do wonder if Apple will continue its new found liberalism when it comes to assigning a network(s) when it chooses to announcing its fourth generation model sometime in Q3 2010...

Link:

Vodafone UK iPhone Pre-order Page

Vodafone IE iPhone Pre-order Page

Hamish Campbell

September 29, 2009, 4:24 pm

Well 3 does have the iphone now here in Denmark.





Must say I'm not so pleased with them....problem with the phone, they won't fix unless broken screen is also fixed and paid for by me, outrageous price for said screen replacement etc etc....





I should have had the screen fixed without telling them from someone else.

Simon

September 29, 2009, 4:29 pm

Does anyone really think that the iPhone being on more than one network will in anyway introduce price competition between the networks? I can see them all sticking to roughly the same price, or have such different tariffs that comparison is impossible. The deals that they sign in revenue sharing with Apple will pretty much dictate this.

HarryGlass

September 29, 2009, 5:33 pm

Looking at this another way, this is Apple realising that other manufacturers have finally caught up with them. Hardware wise there's better options out there and always have been, but by next year Android will be on 2.0 and quite mature. Windows Phone 7 will be coming out. Maemo on Nokia devices. Palm will have generation 2 of the Pre, both hardware and software. Blackberry will have Storm 2 out next month. All these devices, OS's and they all now have their own Market/App Stores that are growing at a rapid rate and the software to compete with Apple. They no longer have the market to themselves.





They came out with a groundbreaking device, they innovated it as far as they could and can't go much further with it (though please, stick a decent camera with flash in there!). They can no longer afford to stick with one carrier. I think the next step after this is to have more than one device. Maybe an iPhone mini, maybe something with buttons (so it can be a serious gaming device). But a new game is emerging.

Brian ONeill

September 29, 2009, 5:47 pm

I have an unlocked iphone that I use with asda mobile. Asda mobile uses the vodafone network, and i must say its generally excellant. I have the 1st gen iphone so i am only using gprs, so i can not comment on 3g, but general reception is very good.

Keithe6e

September 29, 2009, 6:32 pm

@Simon: Does anyone really think that the iPhone being on more than one network will in anyway introduce price competition between the networks?





Yes, how much do you thing O2 buy the Iphone from Apple for?.


Now considering the new Touch (32Gig) is like a 3GS without the phone bits & bobs, and even buying direct from Apple it's £229, how much do you think O2 buy the Iphone for? My gut feeling there not even needing to load price onto there 18/24 month contract, I bet there making an instant profit on the initial sell.





IOW: O2 pricing for the IPhone 3GS is pure and simple daylight robbery. I'm sure competition will sort that out. :)

Tony Walker

September 29, 2009, 10:56 pm

Ha! That'll teach O2 for not treating us 3G customers right in July. They could've got a fair portion of us by offering the 3GS to us on a new 18 month contract. Hee, hee, hee! Now we have choices when our contracts are up. I think there's a few of us who will be saying "up yours" to O2 ASAP.

JJones

September 29, 2009, 11:25 pm

I've read several articles on the web that state that Vodafone will only be offering the Iphone to existing customers and NOT for new connections. Can TR clarify this?

Gordon394

September 29, 2009, 11:38 pm

@JJones - Sounds extremely unlikely, but we've left a message a contact at the Vodafone press office.

Greg17b

September 30, 2009, 12:21 am

I'm typing this from my 3GS now. Full signal bars on 3g, but snail speeds. The O2 network is creaking under the strain.





If I hadn't got the benefit of their corporate discount (30%) then I'd be more than a little miffed. I don't think Apple's competition is mature enough just yet, but when my contract expires in 15 month's time, I suspect it will be a different matter.

Orinj

September 30, 2009, 1:23 am

@JJones, that's not quite right. Vodafone will be giving priority for sales of the iPhone to existing customers but new customers will still be able to get one... eventually.

Simon

September 30, 2009, 7:04 pm

@Tony Walker "Ha! That'll teach O2 for not treating us 3G customers right in July." Why should they? You entered a contract for 18 months. NO other phone user gets a "get out early to get the new model of phone" contract, so why do you think people with iPhone's are so special. As long as you keep entering 8 month contracts, you are going to be the in the same position when Apple release a new phone every year. Next year you will be cursing Orange no doubt.

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