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Rumor has UK's O2 offering 'free upgrade' to 3G iPhone, more...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Macworld UK is running with a rumor that British wireless carrier and exclusive iPhone service provider O2 is planning to lure customers to its network through hefty incentives such as a free 3G iPhone.

Citing "sources," the news site reports that the incentives aim to boost sales of the next-generation Apple handset, following so-so sell-through of the company's first generation phone in the UK ahead of recent discounts because it did not operate on the faster third-generation networks that are more common in the region than they are in the US.

Specifically, it's claimed that Apple will charge only £100 (~$193) for the 3G iPhone expected to be announce next week, but that O2 may offer the handset at absolutely no cost to new subscribers who sign up for its most expensive tariff (service plan), which fetches £75 and includes 3,000 minutes and 500 text messages.

According to the report, O2 may also cater to would-be customers who wish not to be locked into a service plan, offering them the new touch-screen device for the same £269 price as today's model under a contract-free, pay-as-you-go model.

What's more, Macworld UK adds that existing O2 iPhone customers may be lured into an 18-month contract extension with the promise of a free upgrade from their existing iPhone to the 3G model.

Macworld UK has not traditionally been rumor outlet and therefore the accuracy of the report is unknown. However, Ars essentially reported the same thing in regards to a full subsidy over two weeks ago.
post #2 of 23
To be honest these deals fit right into the pricing plans that are offered by most carriers in the UK and most of Europe.

Rarely does one pay for a phone over here when getting a contract, it's normally thrown in for free. When you're getting a high end phone, normally you'll have to pay a bit, but even then it's normally free if you take on a big plan (75 pounds a month for example).

Even 269 pounds for the prepay version is about right, considering that it will still be locked to the O2 network.
post #3 of 23
hahahah for free???
These things are getting out of hand. We get ourselves so hyped before these events, its no wonder they always disappoint so many.
post #4 of 23
[QUOTE=Hutcho;1260047]To be honest these deals fit right into the pricing plans that are offered by most carriers in the UK and most of Europe.

Yeah, I guess you might be right. Although it fits into convention, I dont really think it is Apple's style, however.
post #5 of 23
Apple still has to compete, even if they have a device that is miles better than anything else on the market.

As I said, free is completely normal in the UK. It's not really free though, because when you sign up you have to take a 12/18/24 month contract, over which your monthly fee's actually pay for the phone. It's not like in the US, where I understand you can buy the phone and then choose whether to take the contract when you get home, or hack the phone and not take it. You physically won't have it in your hand in the UK until you've signed up for the contract.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

Apple still has to compete, even if they have a device that is miles better than anything else on the market.

As I said, free is completely normal in the UK. It's not really free though, because when you sign up you have to take a 12/18/24 month contract, over which your monthly fee's actually pay for the phone. It's not like in the US, where I understand you can buy the phone and then choose whether to take the contract when you get home, or hack the phone and not take it. You physically won't have it in your hand in the UK until you've signed up for the contract.

No? Not even if you buy it at an Apple store?
post #7 of 23
[QUOTE=sausage&Onion;1260059]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

To be honest these deals fit right into the pricing plans that are offered by most carriers in the UK and most of Europe.

Yeah, I guess you might be right. Although it fits into convention, I dont really think it is Apple's style, however.

Why do you say that? Apple still gets its monies. Apple is not subsidizing the cost. The carrier is.

For example, Apple lists the phone for 300 whatever at it's store or on-line. Distributors or carriers would pay about 10% less or perhaps more for large quantities. At that point, the carrier can sell it at list, discount it, or even give it away.

For anybody that thinks they are getting a free phone when the sign a multi-year contract, I have some waterfront property in the Everglades for sale.
post #8 of 23
Sounds totally legit, and totally normal for EU.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 23
Quote:
ahead of recent discounts because it did not operate on the faster third-generation networks that are more common in the region than they are in the US.

If Apple think that the main reason the iPhone didn't sell well in the UK was a lack of 3G then they're in for a shock.

People love the concept, the technology but hate the overpriced 3rd rate contract that goes with it. Unlock the iPhone Apple, then watch it go.
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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

People love the concept, the technology but hate the overpriced 3rd rate contract that goes with it. Unlock the iPhone Apple, then watch it go.

You can buy a factory unlocked iPhone in at least 2 countries and there are ways to unlock it yourself.
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post #11 of 23
That Pay as You Go option, at that price with the 3G, will add me to the list of iPhone users.

Doubly quick if it's 16GB at £269. But either way I'd get one. If the 16 is £329, I'll have some thinking to do. I want the 16GB, and £329 without a contract's not bad...I dunno...I'll have to give it some thought if it turns out that way.

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MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.8
White iPad (3G) with Wi-Fi | 16GB | Engraved | Blue Polyurethane Smart Cover
White iPhone 5 | 64GB | On 3UK

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post #12 of 23
I got a feeling that ATT will once again bend there customers over a table and break out the KY
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebrunn View Post

I got a feeling that ATT will once again bend there customers over a table and break out the KY

The Alltel acquisition by Verizon may get AT&T to be more competitive to retake the #1 slot as the largest US carrier again. I guess they could acquire another carrier themselves, it would only take about 8M to best them on that front. With the 3G iPhone coming out that doesn't seem too difficult to achieve, even without an aggressive plan.
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post #14 of 23
I really can't see this happening, I mean...it would completely murder iPod Touch sales.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Macworld UK is running with a rumor that British wireless carrier and exclusive iPhone service provider O2 is planning to lure customers to its network through hefty incentives such as a free 3G iPhone.
[...]
Citing "sources," the news site reports that the incentives aim to boost sales of the next-generation Apple handset, following so-so sell-through of the company's first generation phone in the UK ahead of recent discounts because it did not operate on the faster third-generation networks that are more common in the region than they are in the US.
[...]
What's more, Macworld UK adds that existing O2 iPhone customers may be lured into an 18-month contract extension with the promise of a free upgrade from their existing iPhone to the 3G model.

Apple : welcome to Europe, where the Rules of Engagement do ot just change because you enter the playing field.
I see the added value to an iPhone and I REALLY want one. But if I can get a Nokia N95 for a Euro (or a dollar - never mind the exchange rate for once...) why oh why would the average punter spend more.

Unless he lives in the Banana Republic of Absurdistan (aka Belgium) where we will have to pay full price PLUS a data tariff that will be on par with the rest of Europe

Do not be fooled by thinking that just because handset subsidies are illegal here we actually pay less. NNNNNOOOOO we pay MORE.
post #16 of 23
I'd love to believe this one. The prices and tariffs are what they should be, but since when have Apple listened to European customers?

Next they'll be giving us Brits British Keyboards that don't have silly key locations.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBookBen View Post

I really can't see this happening, I mean...it would completely murder iPod Touch sales.

no it wouldn't! they are not even in the same league. A free or subsidized iPhone is nothing compared to the very expensive contracts, *ESPECIALLY* in the UK as compared to the USA.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

no it wouldn't! they are not even in the same league. A free or subsidized iPhone is nothing compared to the very expensive contracts, *ESPECIALLY* in the UK as compared to the USA.

Very expensive compared to the US? Have you even looked at the plans? For example, in the UK you get 1200 minutes, 500 texts and unlimited data for 45 pounds, or around $90US. In the US, you get 1350 minutes, unlimited data but only 200 texts for $100. And lets not forget that you also have to use those minutes for INCOMING calls as well in the US! In the rest of the world you only pay for outbound. And the UK contract is only 18 months, instead of 24 months like in the US.

The other plans are the same. As far as I see it, the UK has much better deals than in the US, and probably the best in any market into which the iPhone has been released.

But none the less, people aren't going for this deal because you can get the same plan for the same cost (in fact a lot of times cheaper) but you'll get the phone, like the N95 for example, for 1 pound.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You can buy a factory unlocked iPhone in at least 2 countries and there are ways to unlock it yourself.

Yes i know that but i'm talking about having a UK iPhone where i can buy over the counter, stick my company sim card in it (which i'm already paying for) without hacking or worrying about updates. Legit!!
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #20 of 23
I think it's totally plausible that O2 would take this approach - iPhone sales weren't what they expected, and they need to shift units. I stayed well away from the iPhone due to the crummy packages that were initially offered, but bought one when they revised them upwards.

Unfortunately I took that decision 6 weeks before they slashed the price (d'oh).

I'm hoping that by swapping my existing iPhone over I'll get a discount come launch day, so the rumours are encouraging. I spend a lot of time commuting from Yorkshire to London, and the iPhone is a godsend for email - small as my laptop is, I can't pop it in my pocket...
post #21 of 23
Why in Thor's Beard is this article so confident of its facts?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2084...next-week.html

Not even a "This is speculation"
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

To be honest these deals fit right into the pricing plans that are offered by most carriers in the UK and most of Europe.

Rarely does one pay for a phone over here when getting a contract, it's normally thrown in for free. When you're getting a high end phone, normally you'll have to pay a bit, but even then it's normally free if you take on a big plan (75 pounds a month for example).

Even 269 pounds for the prepay version is about right, considering that it will still be locked to the O2 network.

I have wandered into the Regent St, Brent Cross and Kingston Apple Stores a few times this past week, as well as a few O2 shops. This does sound right. Free with post-pay plans, given 3G and GPS, if so, then no worries there for O2.

£269 for 8GB (maybe 16GB) and £329 for 16GB (maybe 32GB)... like the Apple Store prices. O2 may offer "cheaper" iPhones than Apple Store, in that O2 can offer, even for prepaid plans, free mintues, texting, etc. like they do for many phones and carriers in the UK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Sounds totally legit, and totally normal for EU.

Yup, from what little I have seen so far being new to the UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBookBen View Post

I really can't see this happening, I mean...it would completely murder iPod Touch sales.

Depends. Apple may do an overall bump in this way, let's assume for arguments sake if only one new iPhone model comes out:

£269, £329 :: iPhone 16GB, iPhone 32GB
£269, £329 :: iPod touch 32GB, iPod touch 64GB

This maintains the spread in iPhone-released countries, while bumping up the competitiveness/ maintaining the attractive nature of the iPod touch in non-iPhone countries.

Remember that iPod shuffle and iPod nano are all "gateway" iPods to the bigger Apple scene. iPod classic is nice, with decent margins, but really more of a placeholder to upsell to iPod touch. For all those who don't want a new phone but want a new iPod/ MP3 player/ MP4 player/ PDA, the iPod touch is really, the only way to fly.

An iPod touch 64GB would be totally awesome. Remember "non-SSD-class" flash memory is getting staggeringly big and cheap.
post #23 of 23
I've been more than happy with my O2 service and my iPhone, I'd definitely add another 18 months to my contract for a free upgrade

Can't see it happening though
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