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Sunday, November 30, 2008

iPhone available with a year's prepaid connectivity on O2

I saw an advert in one of the Sunday newspapers today from O2.

It is selling the 3G iPhone with a prepaid SIM for £350 (about US$540) for the 8GB version, with the price including a year's data access via 3G and WiFi (excluding roaming or voice calls). After 12 months, an extension is possible at an extra £10 per month.

Interestingly, this needs a dedicated SIM card (presumably to stop people swapping the flatrate SIM into other devices), and the service excludes the availability of visual voicemail. Roaming data in the EU is £3 per MB, and elsewhere at £6.

Full details are here .

Although very conspicuously, there's no link from the line "Unlimited text and minutes are subject to an excessive usage policy. Terms apply" to a web page detailing exactly what the policy and terms actually are. Which is slightly ominous, given all the other aspects have a "View More details" link.


Anonymous said...

Wow, is there really a prepaid market in the UK at the £350 price point. Would love to know how many of these they sell?!?

Dave said...

I picked up the 16 GB for $399 GBP since arriving in the UK. Interestingly, it would have been cheaper to buy the iphone back in Australia for around $750-800 AUD (closer to $300GBP), but anyway, still glad to have one.

The data has been a good deal, i was worried perhaps they might really cap the data rate for prepaid users, but have not found any problems with it.

Dean Bubley said...


I think it's probably more valid to compare the price with various MIDs or even low-end netbooks, rather than other prepay phones.

A Nokia N810 costs £250, for example. So you could view a £350 iPhone as an equivalent device, but with a year's connectivity thrown in for free.

I think this business model (buy a device and get connectivity bundled, rather than get a separate data contract) will be extremely important going forward.


Anonymous said...

with my pedant hat on, £350 is more like US$540

Dean Bubley said...


Thanks, right you are!

And of course, presumably this morning it's also now 2.5% cheaper thanks to our genius Chancellor's cut in VAT....


Anonymous said...

I think from a consumer perspective, offering innovative alternatives to a contract is a great idea.

If Netbooks (embedded, you've got to admit that even the smallest USB modem is a little incongruous in form and function for a 9" wide 'open-the-lid-and-connect' type of device) come with connectivity built into both the device and the price, the subscriber knows what they are getting and will use it and value it.

For the operator, the subsidy is generally less (say £10-15 per month for 12 months) and for the customer there's no haggling at the end of the term to reduce the tarrif by the £15 or so per month of 'rental' from the £25-30 2 year subscription.

BBusyB said...

I've picked up one of the 16Gb ones for £399 a few weeks ago when my old Smartphone died.

The thing is that I could not have considered getting one, if it were not available on Prepay, as I have no use for a fixed monthly contract.

Most of my calls are made using a combination of Skype and Vonage, with very few Voice calls or Texts on my Mobile.

What I do need is Fast data, as I am very dependent on email.

As such the free data for 12 Months while having a nominal value of £120 over 12 months is greta, it is even better, if you compare it to the £15 I was paying each month on T-Mobile.

The only drawback is that it can ot be unlocked officially by o2, as far as I know, which means that I have to carry another phone when I travel.