O2 Confirms iPhone 3G Exclusivity

Unlike other countries there will be no telco competition in the UK.

So the ‘iPhone 3G’ ultimately feels more like a mod where a hacker has stuffed in a 3G chip and basic GPS and been forced to bend a plastic back around the extra bulk, but what about the positive network news… oh.

Sadly, unlike many other countries, UK dwellers will once again be restricted to O2 should it wish to snap up Apple’s improved, if incremental, upgrade. Matthew Key, chairman and CEO of O2 owner Telefónica Europe confirmed “The iPhone has been a phenomenal success for us. We look forward to offering an ever better iPhone 3G experience exclusively to our customers in the UK and Ireland.”

Thankfully then we know Steve Jobs has promised to restrict 8GB iPhone 3G pricing to a $199 (£101 equivalent) in every country. Whether the same will be true of the 16GB iPhone’s $299 (£162) RRP is as yet unknown. The notion of two year contracts to subsidize the new handset could be a distinct possibility, but for everyone’s sake we hope it sticks to 18 months max otherwise we’re all off to Zibri again.

So while the iPhone 3G may have lost some of its premium status and underwhelmed on launch the new midrange price means it is still likely to be incredibly popular. Furthermore, with Jobs’ claiming 6m phones have now shipped worldwide (many no doubt unlocked) it could well be in line to hit its 10m end of year target.

If only it hadn’t scaled down its ambitions quite so much to achieve it…


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