iPhone on sale in NovemberO2 mobile phone network will be used

18 September 2007

 

Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrates the new iPhone

Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrates the new iPhone during his keynote address at MacWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco

Apple announced the UK launch details of its long-awaited iPhone today.

The 8GB device will hit stores on November 9, priced at £269.

It will run on the O2 mobile phone network, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs told a press conference in London today.

After the £269 upfront cost, customers will sign an 18-month contract with O2 on a tariff of either £35, £45 or £55 per month.

Apple has sold more than one million iPhones in the US since its launch there on June 29.

The device combines a touch-sensitive mobile phone handset with a built-in iPod media player and a wireless internet browser.

Mr Jobs said: ‘It is a breakthrough phone. It is a very powerful phone and it is super easy to use. It is the best iPod we have ever made.’

O2

The iPhone will be sold at some 1,300 O2, Apple and Carphone Warehouse stores. Customers who switch to the O2 network to get the device will be able to keep their previous phone numbers, O2 said.

The iPhone's internet browser function will be compatible with 7,500 Wi-Fi hot spots across the UK plus other areas where the internet can be accessed wirelessly. Customers will get access to unlimited internet downloads as part of their monthly O2 tariff.

Asked why the device was more expensive in the UK, Mr Jobs said: ‘The majority is, of course, the VAT. The US price doesn't include any sales tax and the UK price does. That is the majority of the difference.

‘Then there is a little bit more because it is more expensive to do business here.’

Apple would not confirm how long its contract with O2 would remain exclusive.

Mr Jobs said Apple wanted to sell 10 million iPhones globally during 2008.

Securing the iPhone deal is a major coup for O2, which is owned by Spanish firm Telefonica, and is likely to tempt customers across from rival mobile phone companies.

Tariff

The £35 tariff includes up to 200 minutes and 200 SMS text messages per month. This rises to 600 minutes and 500 texts for the £45 tariff and 1,200 minutes and 500 texts for the £55 tariff.

The iPhone's sleek design and touch-sensitive screen have attracted praise from reviewers. But some users criticised Apple's decision to run the internet browser function over the 2G network instead of 3G, which is quicker.

But Mr Jobs said running the iPhone on 3G would make its battery life too short. Instead, the device will go online using a built-in wi-fi browser where possible to speed up connection times.

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