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O2 loses iPhone exclusive

Orange and Vodafone soon to sell iPhone

3G iphone

The second-generation iPhone 3G

Vodafone mobile customers will be able to get the Apple’s iPhone or iPhone 3GS from early 2010, following Vodafone’s announcement today of an agreement with Apple. 

Vodafone’s news follows a similar announcement yesterday by mobile rival Orange that an agreement between Orange and Apple will allow Orange to bring iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to its UK customers later this year.

If you’re wondering what the big deal is with the iPhone, take a look at the Which? interactive guide to the Apple iPhone 3G S to learn more about the many multimedia features of the iPhone that make it much more than just a phone.

O2 has iPhone competition

Orange and Vodafone’s news means that for the first time, mobile customers will not have to use O2 as their mobile service provider if they want to get their hands on the Apple iPhone 3G S or iPhone 3G.

Neither Orange nor Vodafone have yet revealed any details on pricing, tariffs or specific availability dates, but you can register your interest on the Orange and Vodafone websites.

If you can’t wait to get hold of an iPhone, it’s currently available on the O2 network from £342.50 on pay-as-you-go (PAYG), or if you want the handset for ‘free’ you’ll need a pay-monthly contract from £35 a month on a 24 month contract.

Is an iPhone price war in the offing?

Which? mobiles expert Ceri Stanaway says: ‘Opening iPhone availability up to competing networks could spark an iPhone price war between O2, Orange and Vodafone, hopefully meaning better deals for iPhone customers.

‘O2’s loss of its exclusive deal could also come as great news to mobile customers who have been dying to take full advantage of the iPhone 3G’s wealth of features and functions, but who can’t get a decent O2 3G signal where they live.’  

Mobile 3G coverage maps published by Ofcom earlier this year indicated that O2 had one of the least extensive 3G coverages among the five mobile networks 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

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