iPhone to hit UK Nov. 9th

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, News

iphoneO2.jpgWell, Apple did NOT announce the arrival of the Beatles on iTunes today like I thought and I have never been happier to be wrong. As most other rumor sites predicted, Apple did officially announce the date for the UK launch of the iPhone. November 9th the iPhone will go on sale in the UK and as predicted O2 will be the exclusive carrier of the “Jesus” phone.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with O2 to offer our revolutionary iPhone to UK customers”, said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “US iPhone customer satisfaction is off the charts, and we can’t wait to let UK customers get their hands on it and learn what they think of it”.

Apple held a special event at the Regent Street Apple store Tuesday morning to announce the deal. At the event Apple and O2 also gave details on pricing and service plans. The iPhone will be available in an 8GB model for £269 (inc VAT) (USD ~ $536). For service, customers can pick from three monthly iPhone “tariffs” offered by O2. £35 (USD ~$70) for 200 minutes, £45 (USD ~$90) for 600 minutes, and £55 (USD ~$110) for 1200 minutes. The 200 minute plan includes 200 SMS messages, while the upper two plans come with 500 SMS messages a month. All plans come with unlimited data, visual voicemail, and access to 7,500 wifi hotspots from The Cloud.

If you ask me, the pricing of the iPhone seems a bit steep. Maybe Apple thinks what worked in the US can work in the UK too? If that is the case I think they are making a huge mistake. It will be interesting to see how well the iPhone sells at that price in the early weeks of the UK launch. After issuing massive price drops in the US just months after release, UK customers may be more likely to wait and see if Apple repeats it’s iPhone price cutting tricks again across The Pond.

On the O2 side of things… I am sure some are a bit disappointed that there was no 3G version of the phone announced. The iPhone on O2 will continue to run EDGE just like the AT&T iPhones here in the States. The advantage in the UK is customers will have free unlimited access to the 7,500 wifi hotspots from The Cloud. Unfortunately, Apple may have needed to include the UK hotspot deal because currently only about 30% of the country is covered by O2 on EDGE. Still, it’s nice to have the wifi and I hope Apple is looking at working out some similar deal in the US. Since T-Mobile would be the logical choice for a wifi hotspot deal here it seems unlikely Apple would do it, but you never know. It could be an interesting way to leverage iPhone service and to keep pressure on AT&T.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the UK release of the iPhone be sure to make yourself heard. Hit the Maccast Forum or shoot me an email maccast at gmail dot com.

There are 9 comments on iPhone to hit UK Nov. 9th:

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  1. Neil F | Sep 18 2007 - 07:23

    Having just read the announcement, I’m a little disappointed at the price and the fact that there is still no 3G support. I would have expected after waiting so long that at least a faster method of connectivity would be enabled. I don’t think the justification by Steve Jobs relating to battery consumption warrants the exclusion of 3G, hopefully this will be enabled in the next version of the iPhone. Right now, I won’t be purchasing one, the price alone (£900 for 18 months contact) is just too much. Probably the iPod touch and a regular phone is the way to go.

    Keep up the good work on the show Adam, it’s always a very good listen.

  2. Peter | Sep 18 2007 - 07:21

    From Peter in the UK:

    Well the rumour sites got it just about right in all respects, which in some cases was NOT good news. The price of the iPhone was as predicted ( about 12% more than US ) and the price plans don’t look to bad – although they are more expensive than plans that other networks can offer with less tie-in.

    The big disappointment for me was the lack of 3G. In the UK there is almost complete 3G coverage and anyone with a web enabled phone currently uses it. Going back to 2.5G will be hard to do, and will badly affect the iPhone experience. O2 even admitted that only 30% of their network will be upgraded to Edge by November. Very poor.

    This one thing will stop me buying a iPhone – and Steve Jobs mentioned that new iPhones are already under development. By this I take that a 3G phone is not far off. I’ll wait.

  3. Bill | Sep 18 2007 - 07:42

    Oh dear,
    Rip off Britain bites again.
    Apple have jumped on the O2 over pricing band wagon.

    Have a look at the comparison between what we pay and what the americans pay for the iphone.

    UK 200 mins with no rollover mins @ £35. 00 per month. Handset cost £269. 00

    US 450 mins with rollover mins @ £30. 10 per month. Handset cost £200. 00

    Our higher rate of tax doesn’t account for this massive difference.
    We have a saying over here, Rip off Britain and apple and O2 are helping

    I was looking forward to the iPhone launch but, boy am I disappointed.

  4. Bill | Sep 18 2007 - 08:38

    Here’s the breakdown in Dollars sorry I forgot:
    I didn’t mean to post twice but this price thing has got me all in a fluster.

    UK 200 mins with no rollover mins @ £35. 00 per month – ($69. 72) Handset cost £269. 00 – ($535.90)

    US 450 mins with rollover mins @ £30. 10 per month – ($59.99) Handset cost £200. 00 – ($399)

    UK is paying £2.46 – ($4.9) dollars more per month for 250 less texts no rollover mins

    UK is paying £69. 00 – ($136.90) more for exactly the same phone

    This is the cheapest plan available.

    So that works out that the US is paying $1,478.82
    and the UK is paying $1,790.988
    for 1 – 18 month contract the phone
    ($312.16) more for a whole lot less over 18months

  5. Peter | Sep 18 2007 - 08:03


    If you are going to do a comparison you have to knock off VAT on the UK iPhone price – its not Apples fault that there is 17.5% tax

    The prices are then:

    US – $399 ( £200.28 )
    UK – £228.94

    Not such a big difference really

  6. lee | Sep 18 2007 - 10:23

    Not SO BAD

    Already an O2 customer and paying about £45 a month for the same mins and no
    data no visual voicemail so I’m in on that note

    I also order the ipod touch 16g at £269 which i have just cancelled
    so i now get the phone and other stuff for the same price ok dropped
    to 8g never mind

  7. Vincent | Sep 18 2007 - 02:06

    10:26 – Q: Is unlocking a concern?

    Steve: “It’s a constant cat and mouse game — we have the same thing with the iPod with music.” Steve looks at Matthew, “Are we the cat or mouse?” ‘We have to stay one step ahead of them.”

    Looks like a locked phone ;-

  8. Graham UK | Sep 18 2007 - 05:25

    The point about tax is well made and often overlooked. If you go to the American Apple store and select “buy” you are then asked for a Zip code to determine the tax level. Its very convenient to report price comparisons in the paper that don’t compare apples with apples or is it Apple with Apple.

    Either way it’s pointless comparing international prices in this manner. All manufacturers charge what the market will take – that’s business – if they get it wrong people don’t buy and the price comes down.

    All in all I think Apple have it about right although I do think the lack of 3g is more of an issue in the UK and I would be interested to see how quickly O2 are planning an extension of the edge network. As for wi-fi the coverage, it’s not bad take a look at the cloud site: http://www.thecloud.net/About-us/

  9. Peter000 | Sep 20 2007 - 10:52

    Selfishly, I’m somewhat relieved that the Euro-iPhone is basically the same as the 8 GB here. No 3G, etc. It means my phone won’t be “obsoleted” as quickly, and I won’t have to shell out more money for an updated phone.

    Frankly, Edge has been fine for me for the amount I use Safari. And Google Maps is downright snappy with just Edge, and Email is just fine, since it checks in the background anyway.

    But unselfishly, Apple would have sold a ton more phones had they included 3G right away, I have a feeling.

    Sounds like Apple is on top of it, and will release it as soon as they can get the battery life to be about the same with 3G as it is now with Edge. My guess? This time next year. MAYBE Spring if we’re lucky. :)