I've also also talked about the challenges of getting prepaid subscribers to use data plans, something which has developed very quickly over the past 6 months.
And, lastly, I pondered about how the Apple's iPhone commission model would fit with prepay-centric markets.
Taking all this together, at first glance I'm pretty impressed with the way in which O2 UK is pitching its own new iPhone prepay offer. It's pricing 8/16GB variants at £350/400 inclusive of a year's data connectivity. (It's £10 a month)
It will be interesting to see how many people decide to use the prepay iPhone as a data-only mobile Internet tablet device & MP3 player, while keeping a separate phone for voice & SMS. If you treat the mobile data as being worth £10 a month, it's like paying £230/£280 for an iPod with full mobile web & email access. Compared with, say, a Nokia N810 or even some of the lower-end mini laptops (which probably would be used as a "second computer") that makes a lot of sense.
In my view, it puts the iPhone centre stage in the new "MID" (Mobile Internet Device) category, albeit without some niceties like Flash support. (Edit - Hmmm, I wonder if this is connected to the recent interesting in Flash Audio-based VoIP?)
(Yes, I know that many people will use it as a phone as well, but personally I like having a separate data device/contract that doesn't have an associated 'public' phone number I tell anyone, so I'm free to switch when something better comes along, with having to think about number porting)
The £10 a month for data in months 13 and onwards seems a bit pricy, compared to the £5 that 3 offers for a month's data on prepay SIMs in the UK (I have one), but I guess that predicted iPhone data usage is probably much 2x the average that 3 is expecting from its prepay data users. What's not unclear is whether the iPhone can be unlocked after Month 12, and a different operator's SIM installed.