Vodafone, EE, and O2 opened up pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus this morning, but only Vodafone's site remained up in the face of what was thought to be a rush of orders.
While UK mobile networks typically reveal pricing and tariffs for new iPhone straight after launch, this year, operators decided to remain coy on such details until pre-orders opened today.
However, there's more of a wait ahead for would be buyers of the latest Apple handsets. Possibly due to massive interest in the new iPhone 6 devices, EE's entire website has been down for maintenance ever since it announced on Twitter that it was taking pre-orders, while O2's iPhone 6 page has been down for hours because its "online shop is very busy", according to a message on the site.
Vodafone's site is up though and it's offering the 16GB iPhone 6 for no upfront cost on a two-year contract with its 10GB and 20GB 4G network data plans, which respectively cost £53.50 and £58.50 a month.
Trading in an old iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c will get iPhone 6 buyers a £5 discount on the monthly fee for the 10GB plan, reducing the monthly tariff to £48.50.
Meanwhile, the 16GB iPhone 6 on Vodafone's 4GB 4G data plan starts at £43.50 a month on a 24-month contract with a £99 upfront contribution.
The 16GB iPhone 6 Plus on a two-year 4G plan with 10GB data a month starts at £58.50 with an upfront fee of £19, while its iPhone trade-in offer on the 10GB plan reduces the monthly fee to £53.50 and with no upfront fee. The 20GB equivalent costs £63.50 a month, also with a £19 upfront fee.
But, given the apparent interest in the iPhone 6 Plus with larger storage, buyers may be more interested in pricing for the 64GB and 128GB options.
The 64GB iPhone 6 Plus on a two-year 10GB 4G contract will cost £58.50 a month with an additional £99 upfront fee. The 20GB equivalent costs £63.90 a month with a £49 upfront fee, while the 7GB option costs £53.50 a month with a £129 upfront contribution. The 4GB option costs £48.50 a month with a one-off £179 fee.
The monthly tariff for the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus on a two-year 10GB 4G is £58.50 with a £179 upfront fee. The 20GB equivalent costs £63.90 a month with a £129 upfront fee, while the 7GB option costs £53,50 a month with a £209 upfront contribution. Meanwhile, the 4GB option costs £48.50 a month with a one-off £259 fee.
While EE's site remains down at the time of publication, EE has provided some sample pricing for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The Phone 6 is available on a range of 4G plans including £99.99 upfront on a plan costing £40.99 per month, which comes with 2GB of mobile data and unlimited UK calls and texts. The iPhone 6 Plus meanwhile is also available on various 4G tariffs, including one with an upfront £99.99 and £53.99 per month, with 20GB of mobile data and unlimited UK calls and texts.
For consumers who'd prefer to buy their new iPhone outright from Apple, the 4.7-inch display iPhone 6 starts at £539 for the 16GB model, £619 for the 64GB model, while the newly-added 128GB model will set you back £699. The 5.5-inch display iPhone 6 Plus costs £619 for the 16GB model, £699 or the 64GB model, and £789 for the 128GB model.
Buyers at Apple’s store can tack on a starter packs from Three and O2 for £15 that offer 30 days of voice and data. Three has yet to open up pre-orders, but is expected to do so this afternoon.
While the mobile networks' sites may have struggled on iPhone 6 pre-order day, Apple's own store remained online. However, though shoppers were able to place their orders through the site, some models are now only available with several weeks' delay.
Delivery delays can mean either a company couldn’t build enough of a product in time, or that it underestimated demand for it (perhaps deliberately to generate interest and an air of scarcity). If it's the latter, Apple could be on a winner with the iPhone 6 Plus, particularly the gold version: Apple's UK website is currently reporting a three to four week dispatch delay for the 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions of the iPhone 6 Plus in gold.
For those hankering after a silver or space grey iPhone 6 Plus, there's less of a wait ahead: Apple is reporting seven to 10 business day delivery times for both colours across all three storage options.
Apple expects to deliver the space grey iPhone 6 on the official availability date, next Friday 19 September, for the 16GB and 128GB models, while the 64GB model will be delivered within seven to 10 business days.