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iPhone 4 Hits 3, Completes Clean Sweep of Major UK Networks

Gordon Kelly


iPhone 4 Hits 3, Completes Clean Sweep of Major UK Networks

And that makes five...

In a brief statement on its blog 3 has proclaimed:

"Three UK will launch iPhone 4, the thinnest smartphone in the world with the highest resolution display ever built into a phone, in the UK on June 24. Customers can pre-order iPhone 4 beginning Tuesday, June 15."

In some ways we shouldn't be surprised, but we are since T-Mobile is now tied to Orange which no doubt made that deal much easier to sort out, O2 was the founding UK Apple partner and Vodafone and Orange already had agreements in place for the 3G and 3GS.

By contrast 3 tends to do things a bit differently and is traditionally associated with low prices - if occasionally iffy reception and customer service. Then again the two could also be a perfect match given 3's traditionally generous data packages and its network wide free use of Skype - something which could be a key differentiator given the iPhone 4's ability to multi-task.

Now we just await those all important tariffs...

In related news Pocket-Lint has pointed out that apps will need to be updated to be compatible with multi-tasking in iOS4 in order to work - they will not work automatically. This is something Apple has subtly mentioned in passing, but not emphasised and adds a nasty wrinkle to those hoping to multi-task to their heart's content from 21 June.

Expect app developers to be recoding as we speak, but I suspect there will be some delays and noticeably from smaller part time devs who actually have to work for a living.

Link: Three UK iPhone 4 Pre-Registration Page


June 10, 2010, 4:25 pm

unlimited data from 3 is a sweet pot. Though most of the rural areas of UK dont get any reception from 3, if you're a city guy, 3 offers good service. You get free video calling every month depending on ur tariff, dont know if apple would allow video via 3g since the market in uk is already mature enough to handle the traffic.


June 10, 2010, 4:57 pm

I'm hoping that all these different places that the iPhone is available from will mean that on the 24th it is available for purchase somewhere and not another fiasco of under-supply like two years ago. When I bought my 3G the O2 website took it off sale for 2+ months as they couldn't keep the shops supplied.

Was the 3GS hard to get on launch day too ? Pretty sure that iP4 is going to have a higher initial demand though.


June 10, 2010, 5:32 pm

Slightly OT. Am I right in thinking that with gap in iOS releases, the iPhone is gonna have a more fully featured version of iBooks, than the iPad that's actually intended to be an e-reader? Because that's a bit weird.


June 10, 2010, 6:34 pm

Three Network is very good. Signal and speed are top! But Iphone says only video calling over wifi ???


June 10, 2010, 6:44 pm

Is there anyone who won't have an iPhone in 6 months? It's a shame that with it being on every network it probably won't do much to drive the price down. They'll all just have the same tariffs as always. Still it means people will choose by coverage and service so perhaps that'll force the networks to improve themselves.

@GoldenGuy: The Kindle is an eReader. The iPad is a touchscreen slate that happens to have a book store so no reason the iPhone shouldn't have iOS first; but I assume iOS 4 will be available for the iPad at the same time though making them feature comparable.


June 10, 2010, 6:44 pm

O2 have come out with there Tariffs.


I'm not liking the 500MB data allowance, and £5 per 500MB. Are O2 have a laugh?

A Scotland

June 10, 2010, 6:52 pm

Annoying that O2 have introduced data limits to their tariffs for the new iphone. I was aware that other networks had moved in this direction and it seems that they have followed. Smells of anti-competitive practice to me.


June 10, 2010, 6:54 pm

Have you seen the O2 pricing just released - WTF! My £35 a month will now get me half the number of minutes and just 500MB of data. If I want unlimited data I have to pay a minimum of £60pm and I get a whole 1GB of data. Just looked up the dictionary definition of 'unlimited' and nowhere does it mention ' this is as much as you want up to a certain limit'. If all four carriers come out with this I'm off back to the dictionary to look up 'Cartel'.


June 10, 2010, 7:01 pm

so O2 let's get this straight - you have gone from £7.50 per month for 'Unlimited data' to a tariff of £5 per 500MB? Why does this industry always have to take one step froward followed by 9 backwards? Just as bad as petroleum prices.


June 10, 2010, 7:02 pm

@all - yep, writing it up as we speak. I love it when companies announce things publicly before telling us. Gives us great prep time ;)


June 10, 2010, 7:03 pm

If your already in a contract as long as you dont change tariff and dont get a new contract (buy the phone outright) you will be able to keep unlimited data AFAIK


June 10, 2010, 7:04 pm

@xbrumster: 3's "unlimited" is a 1GB Fair Usage Policy. Possibly when they announce tariffs they'll just say '1GB'. Still more generous than O2.

@Zero: I agree. Been on 3 for just over 3 years, and service has only got better. That includes their CS representatives too BTW, as I was upgrading last month and they've clearly improved a lot.

As for video calling over 3G, it's probably a quality thing. Going by Apple's presentation, it seems to be playing full-screen all the time. On a 960x640 display, that probably needs more bandwidth than the average video call you have these days (actually, does anyone use them much?).

I'll have another experiment with video over skype on N900 later today maybe... (it only uses about 50% of the screen though).


June 10, 2010, 7:27 pm

and this did tickle me. You will be able to buy extra data - 'Launching October, 500MB additional data for £5' alternatively they have an offer for you to get double that amount of data for ....... wait for it ...... double the price - 'Launching October, 1GB additional data for £10'. Genius O2, now can I have my PAC code please.


June 10, 2010, 7:35 pm

MMS is another sting in the tail by the looks of it on O2. I send quite a few pics a month but even with their 1 MMS = 4 regular msgs, I was still within my 500 inclusive message limit. Now every MMS is going to cost me 20p from what I can see?

Shame I can't get a Three signal at home.


June 10, 2010, 7:37 pm

@Rob - I doubt it's worth giving up a subsidised price to keep your 'unlimited' contract... they all contain a fair usage clause, so there is nothing to stop a cynical policy shift towards 500MB as the upper limit of 'fair usage' if that's the direction the market is headed.


June 10, 2010, 8:11 pm

@GoldenGuy - iBooks is an App and not built in to iOS. The recent announcement by Apple suggests that both the iPad and iPhone will be getting a new version of the software soon.


June 10, 2010, 8:25 pm

After Vodafone's similar step, those O2 data prices don't seem too surprising:


I think the days of reasonably priced 'unlimited' data plans are numbered. It's as if the networks haven't kept pace with the increasing numbers of smartphones they cater for. What's more, increasing the price of MMS messages is more than a little out of order...


June 10, 2010, 8:39 pm

@xbrumster - That's a bit of a blanket statement to say most rural areas don't get reception on 3. I live in the country and am on O2. I've had to disable 3G as the signal is so weak. On the other hand my 3 dongle for my laptop is very fast.


June 11, 2010, 12:33 am

Whilst I don't like these fair use policy caps more than anyone else, I think people have to be realistic about how much data they're actually going to use.

I consider myself a heavy user, and since I got my 3GS last August, I've uploaded 614 mb and downloaded 3.4 gb - all non-tethered. 4 gb in 9 months or so. That doesn't include wifi.


June 11, 2010, 1:37 am


Oh yeah, I suppose. It's the role out of the update I was unclear on. So would the iBooks app be the same, simultaneous update for iPhones, iPads and Touches? I mean, what is the usual protocol to update an individual app as opposed to applications on OS X via Software Update or a new iOS build? Is it built into an iTunes update? Or do you simply go to the App Store, download the new iBooks and it detects and replaces the old one?

Simon Greening

June 11, 2010, 4:25 pm

I had an iphone 3g on a contract with O2. I WAS going to upgrade to iphone 4 with O but now I have seen their new tariffs, I have applied for a PAC code: let's hope thousands do the same!


June 11, 2010, 8:26 pm

I am on 3 and its great. I pay less and get more. The only issue is that there are less people on 3 and so I hardly use anything of the 2000mins of 3-to-3 call bundle most tarrifs attract.

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