Apple Confirms O2 to Offer iPhone in UK

Apple Confirms O2 to Offer iPhone in UK

In a press event today, Apple and O2 confirmed earlier speculation and announced that O2 would be the exclusive carrier of Apple’s iPhone in the United Kingdom, with iPhones set to go on sale November 9th at an starting price of £269 (including VAT) for the 8 GB model.

iPhone tariffs from O2 will be available at prices of £35, £45, and £55, all of which include unlimited “anytime, anywhere” data service along with free unlimited use of the The Cloud’s network of Wi-Fi hotspots, encompassing more than 7,500 cafes, lounges, airports, and restaurants. The plans vary in the number of minutes and SMS text messages they include.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with O2 to offer our revolutionary iPhone to UK customers,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in a statement. “U.S. 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.”

Almost as interesting as the deal of Apple’s deal with O2 were the things Apple did not outline in its announcement. First of all, the iPhone offered in the UK will be the same EDGE-enabled device riding the AT&T network in the U.S.—that is, offering mobile data services at bandwidths which, if better than nothing, have proven frustrating to digital media fans. iPhone watchers had been hoping for a revised 3G version of the iPhone which would offer greater mobile bandwidth, leveraging the widely-deployed 3G networks in Europe.

Further, Apple has still not announced distribution partners for the iPhone in France and Germany; details are expected this week.

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