iPhone goes to O2 in UK
Good news for those of us in Britain delicately poised between buying a Blackberry (I know I’m behind the curve here) and waiting for Apple’s iPhone to arrive. O2 is about to sign the much sought-after contract for the UK and may have it out for Christmas.
It means switching mobile networks for me — I’ve always bought Richard Branson’s Virgin-Motorola phones, and stuck with BT for broadband and landlines. O2, which started off at BT when I worked for them, is now owned by Spain’s Telefonica.
The agreement with O2 is reported to include Apple receiving a continuing share of the revenue generated for the network operator. The handsets are expected to be sold for about Â£300 and O2 will be hoping that the lure of the fashionable phone is enough to win customers from rival networks.
It certainly will — has done in my case — and will be a terrific boost to lacklustre O2.
I’ve been watching the hysteria around the iPhone in the states, and read so many reviews of it through the usual suspects, it would be hard to ignore the tiny beast when it arrives. And Â£300 is only $600, a smallish premium on the U.S. price. Normally, we can expect to pay double.
I wonder though why we have to be so far behind America in these launches?
Update: The Register has just published a piece claiming that the components in the 8Gb iPhone cost $220. That makes the expected UK price of $600 pretty fair taking everything into account. The $220 doesn’t include the cost of assembly, shipping, marketing, or the price of the software that makes the iPhone work. Clearly Apple is relying on lifetime revenues from O2, and sales of other media to make its fortune with this gadget.
Update 2: Bob Cringely is now reporting, “It is my understanding that Apple and AT&T are planning a fall rollout for full 3G iPhone service.” Let’s hope O2 is up to speed on that one.