Apple launches iPhone in the UK

Apple launches iPhone in the UK

Summary: The much-hyped mobile device will be available to buy from 9 November, through Apple, O2 and The Carphone Warehouse


Apple launched the iPhone in the UK on Tuesday, and said the device will be available to buy on 9 November.

As expected, the iPhone will be available on the O2 mobile network. It will cost £269 for the 8GB model.

Customers will be able to buy iPhones through Apple, O2 (the exclusive UK carrier) and The Carphone Warehouse.

Apple will be expecting brisk business when the iPhone goes on sale. The company said on Tuesday that it sold its one millionth iPhone just 74 days after the device first went on sale in the US on 29 June.

"US iPhone customer satisfaction is off the charts," said Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, in a statement, adding: "We can't wait to let UK customers get their hands on it and learn what they think of it."

iPhone users in the UK will be able to activate their iPhones using iTunes on a PC or Mac without having to visit an Apple store, the company said. An iTunes guide will take them through choosing their tariff, a credit check and activating their device.

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Three tariffs will be available at £35, £45 and £55 per month. For £35, users get 200 minutes of calls and 200 text messages. For £45 they receive 600 minutes and 500 texts and for £55 they get 1,200 minutes and 500 texts.

According to O2, there is "unlimited" data use, subject to the company's "fair use" policy. There is also free access to the 7,500 Wi-Fi hotspots on The Cloud network.

Apple claims that its "unlimited anytime, anywhere mobile data usage" is a market first.

iPhone activation will require an iTunes store account or a credit card plus the latest version of iTunes and a PC or Mac with a USB 2.0 port.

Topics: Mobility, Smartphones


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • I see possible problems

    what about the contract, 18 months is a long time and, the people who want the iphone but can't get a contract, not forgetting the pay & go customers, are they to be the have not's.
    Also the people who don't have credit cards or even, an itunes account. They just want the iphone on pay & go.
  • Chocolate teapot

    According to Apple's support site, the iPhone needs either an EDGE connection or WiFi for internet or mail access. Even with a deal with "the cloud" the nearest public WiFi to me is 12 miles away. Guess what, O2 won't tell anyone if there is any EDGE coverage, let alone where it is. The only reason I can think of is that they don't cover much of the country. So buy an iPhone and get no mail or internet? Sounds as useful as a chocolate teapot.
  • O2 EDGE

    My O2 Blackberry has started showing EDGE instead of GPRS recently in a few areas. I suspect a rollout is under way.
  • Does O2 do EDGE?


    You might have seen EDGE in your particular location but when I asked O2 for a definitive answer as to where/when it's available they either didn't know or wouldn't say!

    Search for EDGE on the O2 web site -- you get nothing! Ask their sales people -- they don't know what you're asking about. E-mail their support staff and you get no response.

    Figures available from other sources suggest that their coverage is less than 30% of the UK and mainly concentrated on London and the home counties.

    So 70% of the UK don't have EDGE -- so can't get e-mail or web browsing on an iPhone without a personal WiFi network -- so would do better with the bottom of the range Nokia (that can get e-mail over the "plain old telephone system").

    The cloud has some WiFi points, but I don't want to travel 12 miles (during opening hours only) to the nearest one -- in a pub -- to read my mail. I want to get it while I'm on the move.

    If only someone from either Apple or O2 would give a definitive answer to the EDGE availability in the UK question that would be great -- but they don't, so it's a chocolate fireguard (to change the metaphor slightly).

    Then again, a blackberry CAN give me my mail almost anywhere. Where did you get yours?
  • O2 do know about edge - kind of!

    i have just been on the phone to o2 who say they haven't released exact locations of edge coverage yet as they are upgrading areas as soon as possible, right through to mid November, so don't yet want to announce locations that they cannot deliver in time - apparently.

    They said their aim for the release date is to have edge in all the major towns and cities, then depending on testing it will go to more rural areas, but it will be an ongoing upgrade. If you leave a city with edge in and go into the countryside apparently anywhere that you have signal to voice calls you will still have access to GPRS, so you canl still get emails etc.
  • Actually it's not on sale on the 9th

    If you have a look at both Carphone Warehouse and O2 stores' information you will see that they both close at 1800 every day (although it's earlier on Saturday). The iPhone is supposed to go on sale at that time -- but almost all of the stores will be shut!

    Guess the only way to buy one on Friday is on-line and I bet it won't be delivered until Monday.

    Isn't that false advertising?