I had hoped O2 would be replacing the 8/16Gb iPhone 3G with the new 16/32Gb 3GS, but the AT&T pricing of $199/$299 made that look unlikely. O2 now have an iPhone 3GS pricing page and they’re not coming cheap.
The last generation iPhone 3G stays at £96.89/free, but the new 16Gb 3GS rises to £184.98 on cheap/shorter contracts, compared to £155.61 for the replaced 16Gb 3G. The 32Gb 3GS comes in at a wallet busting £274.23, or £175.19 if you are willing to sign up for a 24 month contract. That’s a TCO of £890.91 for a 16Gb model on the £35 tariff for 18 months, or £926.91 for 32Gb. The new 3GS is also available on pay as you go:
- iPhone 3G 8GB – £342.50
- iPhone 3G S 16GB – £440.40
- iPhone 3G S 32GB – £538.30
That’s an eye watering price for the 3GS, but since it includes 12 months of unlimited data it works out cheaper for anyone with light call and text usage.
The real issue here is the use of 18 and 24 month contracts, especially when Apple seem dedicated to a 12 month release cycle for its iPhone hardware. Macworld has some details for users looking to terminate their contracts to get the new model, and the bad news is that it looks like O2 will want the remainder of the contract paid in full. That means an iPhone 3G owner 12 months into their contract would have to pay £205.56 plus cost of new 3GS model, with the prospect of doing the same in 12 months when the next version is released.
I’ve had a couple of experiences this week with iPhone’s that have made me ask this question. I frequently work with a consultant who has owned a first gen iPhone for nine months. He’s never been able to get sending an email through an AOL account to work reliably, so I had a look at the settings for him. We eventually worked out that the only time he could send emails was when the iPhone was close enough to connected through an open wireless access point. Receiving emails works fine, but not sending. The O2 stores he has visited were clueless about this problem, so I’m investigating for the next time I work with him.
While playing with the email settings I asked if he would mind me trying out the location awareness in Maps. Since the phone can use local cellphone towers to work out its location I expected this to have no problem. After a few minutes searching the iPhone still hadn’t worked out where it was so I gave up. My mobile is on O2 and I had maximum signal strength, so did the iPhone. Read more…
Apple has said on its web site that it sold one million 3G iPhones over the launch weekend, a feat that took 74 days with the original iPhone. Given the problems people had actually buying and activating the device I can’t help wondering how much higher the sales figures would be if all the systems had worked as intended. O2 UK is reporting all iPhones are sold out, more stocks will be arriving weekly but are expected to be in short supply for the next few weeks. Not bad for a computer companies second phone.
Starting February 1st, O2 has changed its UK iPhone plans. The £35 a month for 200 minutes and 200 texts is the same price, but now offers 600 minutes and 500 texts. The £45 plan now has 1200 minutes up from 600, still with 500 texts. Customers paying £55 a month can drop to the £45 tariff and get the same package, or go to a new £75 per month plan with 3000 minutes and a rather unimpressive 500 texts. All packages still feature unlimited data and access to O2 wireless hotspots.
No reasons given for the changes, so make your own mind up if it’s to boost lower than expected iPhone UK sales or just sweeten the deal.
My first smartphone was a Nokia 7650. Chunky, solid, poor keyboard and questionable styling, but this was the future. Lots of groundbreaking features that weren’t quite perfected but a big step forward. My dream of one device to rule them all was looking like a vague possibility. I became the department geek where I worked at the time, the only person with a camera on their phone. Believe it or not, I was in great demand. The department manager wouldn’t buy a digital camera and I had by far the easiest method of getting photo’s into a powerpoint presentation.
Unfortunately, it all seemed to go wrong after that.