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November 2, 2009

Orange unveils iPhone price details

But no price war just yet

By Steve Evans

Orange has unveiled price details for the iPhone as it gears up to start selling Apple’s device on November 10.

Orange will become the second UK network to offer the popular device and consumers and business users will be able to get their hands on it the day after O2’s exclusivity period is over.

Those looking to acquire the new iPhone 3GS can get the 16GB version of the smartphone for free, if they are willing to sign up for a 24-month pay as you go contract starting at £44.04 a month and offering 1,200 minutes and 500 texts. Unlimited minutes, texts and a free 16GB iPhone are on offer to users willing to pay £122.34 a month. The bigger 32GB version is also available free of charge at that monthly price.

For those unwilling to commit to a two-year contract Orange is offering 18-month deals. 

Orange’s prices are very similar to those offered by O2. In fact, O2 offers a 24-month pay as you go contract with 1,200 minutes and 500 texts on a 16GB iPhone for £44.05, one penny more expensive than Orange.

When it was announced that Orange and Vodafone would be entering the iPhone market many analysts predicted prices would fall. Ovum analyst Steven Hartley said at the time: “There will be a price war. Research shows that in every country where there is more than one operator selling it, it is cheaper.”

He added that he expects the tariff for the iPhone to come down by £4 or £5 a month, knocking £120 off the price of a 24-month contract. Vodafone is yet to unveil its iPhone prices.

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For businesses looking to sign-up to the iPhone, Orange offers tariffs at £30, £40 or £50, depending on length of contract, iPhone model and the amount of minutes and texts on offer. Prices are similar to the consumer tariffs but with fewer texts on offer.

One potential advantage that O2 has is that it offers unlimited data on all its pay monthly iPhone deals. Orange’s tariffs, both consumer and business, claim data is unlimited, but it has put in place a ‘fair usage’ limit of 750MB.

“The excitement for the iPhone is immense, and this is a great day for our customers, our company and our employees. Since we announced the iPhone on Orange we have already seen more than a quarter of a million customers register their interest on our website, said Tom Alexander, CEO of Orange UK.

He also emphasised the better 3G coverage on offer at Orange. “We will be matching their enthusiasm with a 3G mobile broadband network that covers more people in the UK than any other operator, a commitment to deliver the best 3G experience on the iPhone and best-in-class applications and plans,” he said.


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