Attractions of unlocking in the UK

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by cjbryce, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. cjbryce macrumors 6502

    cjbryce

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I'm on Vodafone and have been for 15 years or so, so I do understand that there may be some "customer loyalty" to one network or another.

    However, and this is probably me failing to understand something fundamental so I'd welcome some explanation, I don't really understand the apparent rush to unlock the iPhone from O2 in the UK.

    It seems to me that the deal with The Cloud, and from July 11th, BT Openzone make the O2 contracts quite attractive.

    What am I missing? Is O2 coverage much worse than any of the other networks? Do the other networks have comparable WiFi deals?
     
  2. mhuk01 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    South West England
    #2
    you are missing the fact that some people are tied into contracts with other networks, and have good deals elsewhere.

    I am with vodafone on a 12 month contract - £10 per month, stop the clock minutes, unlimited data. Everything I want/need for £10 per month - i've been with them for a while and pushed for the best sim only deal I could get!

    First I was worried the 3g iphone would be difficult to unlock because of not being able to get it without activating it. Now i'm not so worried, with o2 saying you can buy it online.
     
  3. Nipz macrumors 65816

    Nipz

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    i personally think 02 is the best in the UK.

    i have been with them 8 years (im 18 now) on contract and not once have i not got what i want from them in turns of deals (not that im a brat)!

    i dont know of any other network that does all the hot spots (not that i have looked into it) so this maybe the reason!
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    I'm one that will be waiting for an unlock. Why?

    I'm also with Vodafone, have been for quite some time and am quite happy with them and my contract.
    I'm stuck in this contract until Christmas anyway.
    I'm not interested in free WiFi. I plan to use it mostly on the train anyway so WiFI is useless to me.

    So I'm patiently waiting on PAYG handset cost, and for some l33t folks to unlock it :)
     
  5. Nipz macrumors 65816

    Nipz

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    i dont think they are ever going to bring out an unlocked iPhone!

    Well at least not untill iPhone v3 and onwards.
     
  6. phalewhale macrumors 6502a

    phalewhale

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #6
    My experiences with O2 have been awful in the past - the customer service is almost non-existent in my experience. However, they most likely have the best network coverage in the UK since they inherited a lot of British Telecoms mobile infrastructure. Vodafone however also have excellent coverage and I've been with them for around 4 years now - with the exception of a spell with O2 last year for the original iPhone.

    I too am wondering how the new 3G iPhone will be activated. If it is something that has to be done in-store (as reports have kind of suggested) then you could cancel the contract within the first 14 days and keep the phone as an iPod if that is possible. They may have T&C's that state you will have to return the iPhone too though?? I dunno.

    But if it is going to PAYG, could they have you activate it in store? I'm sure there will be something...

    Is the in-store thing only in the USA?

    Don't you get WiFi on the train?
     
  7. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #7
    Not on the Tube (which I use most) or c2c (which I use occasionally).
     
  8. Nipz macrumors 65816

    Nipz

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    You can buy a pay & go iPhone on the net! So can unlock that if you want
     
  9. senorFunkyPants macrumors 6502

    senorFunkyPants

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #9
    One of the problems for O2 is that there is some regulatory pressure from Ofcom to unlock mobile phones at the end of a 12 month contract if requested for a reasonable fee.
     
  10. phalewhale macrumors 6502a

    phalewhale

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #10
    ah. Anyway, when I click on the Apple online store and look at the "where to buy" section, it doesn't mention Apple! Only O2 and the CPW - what's the crack?

    when did this come into affect?
     
  11. tom. macrumors 6502

    tom.

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    O2 customer service is the worst I have ever experienced, I will never move back to them after what I went through. They're lacking in knowledge of their own policies and their own products, they have been anything from stubborn and uninformative to plain abusive. I have been with Orange for years, and although they have some fundamental flaws (as most networks do), in terms of customer service, I always get on well. They value customers and at the end of a contract they will make you any offer to stay.

    Everybody has their own experiences and preference for operator and if Apple continues to offer this exclusively to O2 customers, they are seriously cutting down their market. I know I'm far from the only one who will refuse to move operator (for one reason or another).

    Although I love the iPhone and I think the success of it is fantastic, there is a LOT more money to be made for Apple. People will say, 'well they don't need to open it up to other operators, it's successful enough as it is', however there is untapped potential and willing customers on other networks asking for Apple to take their money.

    Just my two pence/cents
     
  12. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #12
    I haven't had any dealings with O2's mobile customer service, but recently I had to call them with a question about my broadband connection, which they supply. My call to the freephone number was answered immediately and the person I spoke to was knowledgeable and answered my question quickly.

    I do think their coverage in my area is absolutely terrible though.
     
  13. senorFunkyPants macrumors 6502

    senorFunkyPants

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #13
    "Regulatory pressure" shouldn't be taken to mean that O2 are legally bound (as yet) to provide unlocking codes at the end of a mobile contract..however it is one of the aspects of the mobile phone industry in which Ofcom are taking increasing action...for instance recently forcing the Three network to change their T&Cs on unlocking. The "expectation" is that the networks will provide an unlocking code for phones bought without subsidy (typically PAYG phones) and contract phones at the end of their contract for a "reasonable" charge.

    I've had the complete opposite..I left Orange because of their appalling C/S and have found O2 to be brilliant.
     
  14. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #14
    I'm actually really happy with O2, but on a £15 contract; I hope I'll be able to use it with the iPhone 3G...
     
  15. Rigsby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    #15
    Everyone seems to knock O2's customer service, so I'd like to put the other side.

    I've found O2 to be absolutely excellent. They are about the only technical customer service that I've not finished the call with the sneaking suspicion that I probably know more than they do! They've always kept to their promises to call back or follow up and have never failed to resolve a problem as quickly as possible. It was enough for me to decide to switch to O2 broadband as well.

    I had been with Vodafone for 10 years, used an unlocked iPhone, then decided I wanted to go legit. I've not had a single regret. (By pure chance I seem to spend my life closer to O2 masts than Vodafone masts, so I'm getting better signals as well!)

    Incidentally, I worked with London Underground until fairly recently, and although they are looking at providing phone service underground it will be many years (and many iPhone versions) before you are surfing at any decent speed underneath Tottenham Court Road, so you'll need to out in the sticks with long overground sections to benefit from the 3G.
     
  16. ripkord macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #16
    Ive never had a problem with O2, vodaphone, tmobile or orange.

    Three however - utter useless twats
     
  17. tom. macrumors 6502

    tom.

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    I think it's fairly expected that people get the same lack of returning calls/technical knowledge etc etc from different operators. The problem is, you can have 100 people tell you how fantastic it is, but after you've been burned, you're usually very reluctant to go back.

    It is very tempting to go to O2 for the iPhone, but i'm not ready to even consider actually moving. I'm going to give it another 12 months on Orange JB and see where we are.
     
  18. phalewhale macrumors 6502a

    phalewhale

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #18
    I understand but disagree. I can find no evidence of regulatory pressure being applied. Please provide a link in case my searches have been pants. If the case I found was the one you were referring to, it was back in 2006.

    It will likely take a defeat in court before O2 offers unlock codes for it's iPhones without subsidy. And if OFCOM have no objections to the exclusivity deal to O2 (as they told me in my conversation on the phone a little earlier), there is no chance it will happen any time soon. Instead we will most likely end up relying on Apple once the exclusivity deal ends...

    Any ideas when that is?
     
  19. davem7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #19
    Since this hasn't been said yet I'd advise caution against getting your hopes up about an unlock just yet. Remember that when Apple released the iPhone in the UK originally, they changed the bootloader on us meaning almost three months of delay in the software/hardware unlocks whilst a new exploit and secpack was found. I would be highly surprised if this were not the case for the new 3G versions.

    I would imagine that since the 2.0 firmware has been 'available' for a while that a jailbreak will be pretty much imminent but unlocks will probably take quite a while longer. That being said it's eminently possible that a crack could be found within days of the release. There's just no way to tell until someone in the know actually gets their hands on one.
     
  20. phalewhale macrumors 6502a

    phalewhale

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #20
    2.0 has already been "jailbroken". http://www.talkiphone.com/iphone-firmware-20-jailbreak-314/
     
  21. Nipz macrumors 65816

    Nipz

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    The current 2.0 has. But the current version didnt have GPS and prob not the full 3G. Apple will be trying their up most to stop people hacking and unlocking. Was talk about bringing in a fine if you dont activate the iPhone within 30 days...
     
  22. phalewhale macrumors 6502a

    phalewhale

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #22
    If the fine talk is true, people should boycott purchasing one! Can't see fines happening in the UK.
     
  23. senorFunkyPants macrumors 6502

    senorFunkyPants

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #23
    This is a little old but its the first I found:
    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/Oftel/consumer/advice/faqs/mobfaq3.htm

    "Ofcoms policy on SIM locking
    Key points
    * SIM locking is permitted under current EU and Oftel guidelines as mobiles sold are subsidised - therefore it is allowable for the mobile companies to recover the associated cost of subsidising the mobile phones sold.

    * However, mobiles should be able to be unlocked once the subsidy has been recovered. This should generally be within a year if not before.

    * Charging for the associated admin costs of unlocking a mobile is acceptable, but customers should not expect to pay more than £30 + VAT"

    Ofcom are now being more aggressive in their dealings with the networks..see recent statements on Cashback deals...and AIUI O2 will be obliged to provide iPhone unlock codes once the subsidy has been recovered at the end of the 18 month contract.
     
  24. davem7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #24
    I'd bet that the 2.0 jailbreak was probably done via some kind of pwnage hack. If your iPhone has PwnageTool then barring an unexpected bootloader upgrade, there's no way that Apple can relock the phone since you can construct any ipsw package you want and flash it to the phone. If the iPhone 3G has a new bootloader (which I really imagine it will) then it's going to take time to find an exploit.

    I don't think they'd get far if they started fining people, that's for sure. It looks like Apple is falling in line with the rest of the market and playing just like the other handset manufacturers.
     
  25. phalewhale macrumors 6502a

    phalewhale

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #25
    Those FAQS are ancient (2002). They are from OFTEL (who preceded OFCOM).

    Until the iPhone section on the O2 site was recently updated, it stated that in order to continue using the iPhone after the 18 month contract period ended you would need to take out another contract. OFCOM have no problem with this apparently.
     

Share This Page