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MacRumors
Aug 5, 2009, 10:00 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/08/05/o2-iphone-exclusivity-in-the-uk-to-end-october-9th/)

Mobile Entertainment claims (http://www.mobile-ent.biz/news/33951/O2UK-iPhone-exclusive-to-end-on-October-9th) to have viewed documentation revealing that UK wireless carrier O2's exclusivity contract for the iPhone will expire on October 9th. Rumors of the expiration surfaced last month (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/07/15/apple-to-break-o2-iphone-exclusivity-in-the-uk-but-not-for-the-3gs/), but this new report is the first to offer a supposed date for the expiration. Both reports do indicate, however, that O2 may retain exclusivity for the iPhone 3GS, leaving competitors with the option to offer only the iPhone 3G for the time being.O2 signed its original deal with Apple in late 2007, and is believed to have the rights to sell iPhone to 2012.

However, the exclusive arrangement lasts only for two years – although sources say that O2 may retain sole rights to the recently launched iPhone 3G S.Reports have pointed to Orange and T-Mobile, both of which offer the iPhone in other countries, as likely bidders for the right to offer the iPhone in the UK. In fact, The Register reported (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/03/t_mobile_i_phone/) earlier this week that T-Mobile has already begun offering a small number of iPhones in the UK to high-spending customers who have threatened to leave the carrier in order to entice them to remain.

Article Link: O2 iPhone Exclusivity in the UK to End October 9th? (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/08/05/o2-iphone-exclusivity-in-the-uk-to-end-october-9th/)



drummerlondonw3
Aug 5, 2009, 10:03 AM
this will be the obvious next move for Apple, total saturation. Also remember that Apple is looking to push the App Store so opening up the carriers will happen.

t0mat0
Aug 5, 2009, 10:10 AM
Please can you edit the title so you highlight that this is likely only the iPhone 3G, and not the iPhone 3GS?

Mobile Entertainment is claiming that the exclusivity to the iPhone 3G may expire on October 9th, but this isn't necessarily covering the iPhone 3GS, nor say the iPhone 3,1...

The thought of O2 exclusivity of the top end iPhone model till 2012? hmmm.

OllyW
Aug 5, 2009, 10:11 AM
Great news if it's true. :)

Let's hope it's soon available on all the UK networks.

AlunJ
Aug 5, 2009, 10:20 AM
In my opinion they would be silly not to roll out to other networks. They have got to be losing market share in only being able to offer iphones through o2. I would love an iphone but am not prepared to leave orange for the privilege and am certainly not paying over the odds for a sim free version or invest in a handset and jailbreak it.

lostinspace2011
Aug 5, 2009, 10:43 AM
The only problem with the iPhone is O2 in the UK. O2's coverage is so bad, even in metropolitan areas. I work near Elstree inside the M25 and have barely a signal and never 3G, even though on O2's coverage map this area is supposed to have it all. T-Mobile was much better for coverage and I believe Vodacom is even better. At least on vodacom one get get themself a femtocell to address any coverage issues. O2 is just miles behind the rest.

:(

thewinelake
Aug 5, 2009, 10:58 AM
It's not just coverage. Even when there's a decent signal one is often sitting there waiting for action. I suspect DNS problems or other internal data network issues. Based on other experiences, I suspect that T-Mobile and Orange are at least as bad and I can't speak for Vodafone, but choice would be nice.

t0mat0
Aug 5, 2009, 11:36 AM
Least O2 has made noises about joining with Vodaphone to share masts at some point in time.
Edit - Maybe the iPhone 3GS 8GB might mean the iPhone 3GS won't be totally exclusive either?

Steven Jackson
Aug 5, 2009, 11:40 AM
I wonder where this will leave those of us who bought a Pay As You Go 3GS, despite being mid-contract for the 3G. Will I be able to unlock, at the end of my contract, and switch to a PAYG company other than O2?

Steve.

yawa
Aug 5, 2009, 04:22 PM
This would do it for me. Myself and a number of people i know wont get an iphone until its available on an another UK network.

My phone is to important to me to put up with 02's crap coverage. I always find it amusing at music festivals when pretty much anyone on O2 is unable to use the network for a good 3 days.

ct2k7
Aug 5, 2009, 04:26 PM
I wonder where this will leave those of us who bought a Pay As You Go 3GS, despite being mid-contract for the 3G. Will I be able to unlock, at the end of my contract, and switch to a PAYG company other than O2?

Steve.

I doubt it, there's been no report of O2 losing the iPhone 3G S completely to that chain.

TheBritishBloke
Aug 5, 2009, 04:32 PM
I can't see Apple making it a nationwide availability for every network, this would increase sales... Slightly.. But would probably cause their market share to drop, as the exclusivity is what makes it.. 'special'.

Personally, I love it being on O2, they do offer the best, and everything is UK based unlike other providers. If it was allowed to someone else too, only provider I would choose is 3, as they have unarguably the BEST coverage all over Britain by far, only problem is their support is based somewhere in Asia which is what puts me off.

Everyone has there good and bad points, yes O2 has like 4% less coverage than say 3, but everything else they offer much outweighs the downsides. And I believe there are base prices set by apple, so if the iPhone is allowed on other networks, I don't expect to see cheaper prices, if anything the prices will be higher.

Fruiteatingbear
Aug 5, 2009, 06:55 PM
I have no doubt that many people have good experiences with O2, but in the Dales and Cumbria, Vodafone wins hands down for me. A Vodafone iPhone, without all this tedious Jailbreaking and unlocking every-time there's a new software update, would be bliss...

iSamurai
Aug 6, 2009, 03:50 AM
The iPhone market should be opened up to all cellular providers in the UK! Like here in Aussieland there's tonnes to choose from. More competition is always better for the consumer. I'd like Vodafone to take a slice of the cake for iPhones in the UK. Well yeah, I've been using Vodafone since got my first phone so that's probably why I like them.

rcarranza
Aug 6, 2009, 04:03 AM
Good. Not liking O2 these days. Want to go with Vodafone or T-Mobile. Both have much better 3G coverage!

ascender
Aug 6, 2009, 04:31 AM
On the other hand, if O2 were going to lose their exclusivity, would they not be doing all they can to tie existing users in to longer contracts? If part of their exclusive deal does go this year, that would leave a lot of 3G owners free to jump ship in January to a totally new provider.

Problem with mobile phone suppliers is that people's experience can be very much decided on how the coverage is in their geographical area. So you have to bear that in mind when people are moaning about a certain carrier.

Willis
Aug 6, 2009, 03:01 PM
My contract is up in January and if there is another provider that offers more for the same or less, I might think about it. I'm happy with O2, I get good signal all round but I think they take the biscuit sometimes with pricing. However, I'd never go with Orange... my family have had bad experience with them in the past but, 2-4-1 on films makes it a good sway point. We'll have to wait and see I guess

camperdown9
Aug 7, 2009, 02:09 AM
Hi

Everyone is going to have a different take on this one. Someone people will be unhappy that maybe iphone will be available via different operators in the UK. Some people will be happy and lots will not care.

I have been an iPhone user since the first iPhone went on sale in the UK. (even before with an unlocked iPhone from eBay).

When the first iPhone went on sale in the UK I bought it and ported over my number which I had had for years to O2.

When we got a free upgrade to the iPhone 3G, I upgraded.

When the iPhone 3GS went on sale I paid a lot of money for a PAYG handset and put my O2 contract sim into it. (ok I was a fool)

However for the last few weeks I have started to use my iPhone 3G which I unlocked with a Vodafone sim.

Two reasons.

1) At home in the UK my signal with O2 goes from full signal to 1 bar and sometimes no signal within seconds. I am tried of calls getting disconnected or not being able to make a call. (This is not new but I have been kidding myself that all is well, when its not. Also I no longer work so am at home a lot more) Its not that I live in a rural location, I am inside the M25 15 mins from Liverpool Street Station.

2) I spent a lot of time in France and Vodafone offer much better roaming rates.

I am not saying that Vodafone are perfect. I get a stable signal with them at home only if I switch 3G off. However this is better than what i get with O2 and I use wifi at home anyway.

Everyone is going to have an operator that is better for them. As signals vary dependent on the location and even what the building your in is made off.

Choice has to be a good thing.

Alex

nomad01
Aug 7, 2009, 02:28 AM
Personally, I love it being on O2, they do offer the best, and everything is UK based unlike other providers.

You've not used their email support then?

That's based in Asia and is appalling!

Centralman
Sep 13, 2009, 03:12 PM
I think it will be happening as I went into an Orange Store today and the person who served me told me that Orange is indeed getting the Iphone in October but could not give me a date :)

CentralMan

nickane
Sep 22, 2009, 04:37 AM
I can't see Apple making it a nationwide availability for every network, this would increase sales... Slightly.. But would probably cause their market share to drop, as the exclusivity is what makes it.. 'special'.

Personally, I love it being on O2, they do offer the best, and everything is UK based unlike other providers. If it was allowed to someone else too, only provider I would choose is 3, as they have unarguably the BEST coverage all over Britain by far, only problem is their support is based somewhere in Asia which is what puts me off.

Everyone has there good and bad points, yes O2 has like 4% less coverage than say 3, but everything else they offer much outweighs the downsides. And I believe there are base prices set by apple, so if the iPhone is allowed on other networks, I don't expect to see cheaper prices, if anything the prices will be higher.

I highly doubt anything so drastic has happened to 3's network in the 3 years since I left them (mainly due to disappointing coverage) as to justify the claim that they have the best coverage by far.

If they're so good, then why are they still so ludicrously cheap? Maybe their 3g coverage is good but as far as making calls go they're appalling. I couldn't get reception on the top floor of a house in central london and when i did o2 would often drop the call and you'd have to redial 20 times before u could reconnect. Do they still have the walled garden? That would be a blast with the multitouch interface and revolutionary internet browsing capabilities that the iphone brings to the table.

The Phazer
Sep 22, 2009, 11:41 AM
I highly doubt anything so drastic has happened to 3's network in the 3 years since I left them (mainly due to disappointing coverage) as to justify the claim that they have the best coverage by far.

If they're so good, then why are they still so ludicrously cheap? Maybe their 3g coverage is good but as far as making calls go they're appalling. I couldn't get reception on the top floor of a house in central london and when i did o2 would often drop the call and you'd have to redial 20 times before u could reconnect. Do they still have the walled garden? That would be a blast with the multitouch interface and revolutionary internet browsing capabilities that the iphone brings to the table.

3 do have the best 3G coverage in the UK. The problem is that swapping to another provider's network for any 2G coverage causes lots of problems, and since 3 don't have a 2G network that happens on their phones lots and lots.

Phazer

Veinticinco
Sep 23, 2009, 12:50 PM
3 do have the best 3G coverage in the UK. The problem is that swapping to another provider's network for any 2G coverage causes lots of problems, and since 3 don't have a 2G network that happens on their phones lots and lots.

Phazer
Yep, I believe 3 lease 2g network bandwidth off T-Mobile, themselves not exactly a shining beacon of excellence re. call coverage.

SuperMacFan
Sep 28, 2009, 03:25 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8278073.stm

talkingfuture
Sep 28, 2009, 03:28 AM
Register your interest here

https://interest.orange.co.uk/default.aspx

ascender
Sep 28, 2009, 04:26 AM
Thanks for the link, I'm very interested to see what Orange's tarriffs are going to be compared to O2. Certainly in terms of customer service, Orange were always excellent.

sparky7
Sep 28, 2009, 04:30 AM
Register your interest here

https://interest.orange.co.uk/default.aspx

This page says iPhone 3G[S] coming to orange soon, not just iPhone 3G!

talkingfuture
Sep 28, 2009, 04:31 AM
I'm hoping this will lead to a more competitive PAYG price. I don't spend enough to justify the current contracts, but I keep baulking at paying £342.50 for a phone. Alternatively we might see some cheaper contracts with a bit of competition in the market.

ascender
Sep 28, 2009, 04:53 AM
Would be good to see some sort of incentive/discount for multiple handsets in the same house.

Luke Redpath
Sep 28, 2009, 05:25 AM
Great to see O2's exclusivity end, especially as my contract ends in January. I was going to move onto the Simplicity tariff but will now be interested to see what deals Orange have.

But, here is the key thing, will there be an official way of unlocking iPhones that people already have from O2? I can't see O2 wanting to do it if there is a way but will Apple be able to do it perhaps?

phalewhale
Sep 28, 2009, 07:02 AM
This is fab news for anyone who doesn't want to have to deal with O2's horrendous customer service!

Wayne s
Sep 28, 2009, 08:08 AM
Good news indeed, I have been with Orange for years so may get an iphone after all.

talkingfuture
Sep 29, 2009, 03:25 AM
Looks like Vodafone are joining the party

http://www.9to5mac.com/vodafone_gets_iphone_in_uk

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/6241786/Vodafone-will-sell-the-iPhone-in-the-UK.html

competition ftw!

limesmoothie
Sep 29, 2009, 03:41 AM
Looks like Vodafone are joining the party

http://www.9to5mac.com/vodafone_gets_iphone_in_uk

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/6241786/Vodafone-will-sell-the-iPhone-in-the-UK.html

competition ftw!

Just read this on the Torygraph website.

If true, potentially great news on the grounds of network coverage and hopefullly lower tariffs.

(Thank god I didn't take O2 up on their 'generous' upgrade offer when the 3GS was launched, and bought a PAYG 3GS).

lostinspace2011
Sep 29, 2009, 05:29 AM
TheRegister is reporting that vodafone will be offering the iPhone in the UK as well from next year onward http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/29/vodafone_iphone/

I am hoping that O2 will offer unlock codes for existing customers.

rashdown_online
Sep 29, 2009, 07:50 AM
YEAH!!!

"Vodafone joins the iPhone throng,"
"Cupertino gets another dumb pipe laid to its door"

"Vodafone has confirmed it will be selling Apple’s iPhone in the UK and Ireland from early next year, joining Orange as notches on Jobs’s bedstead."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/29/vodafone_iphone/

Luke Redpath
Sep 29, 2009, 08:13 AM
I am hoping that O2 will offer unlock codes for existing customers.

It won't be down to O2 if my understanding of how iPhone's are locked is correct.

It all happens during the iTunes activation process, where the IMEI is checked on Apple's servers and then locked to the correct network.

What this does mean, is that Apple could add an option to select your network (from one of the approved networks at least) and then lock it to that network during activation.

iSimon
Sep 29, 2009, 09:09 AM
My understanding is that it is down to the operator as to whether they offer unlock or not (if you look at the Apple website you will see that across the world some do but most don't). If they do offer it then when you request it the next time you link up to iTunes you get a carrier update file (or similar) which contains the official unlock code - once that is done your iPhone is permanently unlocked.

The iTunes activation process that follows initial setup, upgrade or restore doesn't affect the carrier lock/unlock as far as I know.