As just announced at Apple’s media event in London, O2 will be the first European carrier for iPhone. iPhone will be rather unchanged from its United States variant, offering only 8 GB as the launch option.
More importantly though is the price they will be paying for iPhone, ï¿½269. That’s approximately 1.3 times as much for the device than the United States price, taking into account the conversion rate, coming in at $535 USD.
However, even worse is the price O2 is charging for data. Plan price points with unlimited data, and similar SMS text messaging options, come in at 35, 45, 55 Pounds. That translates to about $70, $90, and $110 USD, respectively. Meaning, UK citizens will also be paying more for service plans than in the Unied States
Generally, European customers pay more for data services, but less for devices. For example, extremely high price devices such as the Nokia N95 are available for $70, a fraction of what they would charge, even with contract in the United States. However Europe is also notorious for charging multiples for data than what United States customers pay. This bucks the trend, and stigma, that the United States lags Europe in data and internet proliferation.
O2 further followed with vague mentions of an acceptable use data limit, citing something along the lines of “1,400 pages”, which translates into an unknown maximum data usage. Also, iPhone will have an 18 month contract, as opposed to the 24 month contracts on AT&T.
Apple did not announce a similar Starbucks partnership, nor did they announce the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store update for existing iPhones. However, O2 did announce that iPhone buyers will have free access to a national Wi-Fi network, Cloud, with 7,500 hotspots available. This is being offered in lieu of 3G access, which has become a baseline standard for devices in Europe. iPhone will go on sale on November 9th in the UK.