O2 let customers down with new iPhone 3G S pricing plan


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Let's be right, the new Apple iPhone 3G S is more evolutionary than revolutionary. It has a faster processor which according to Apple means apps will run twice as fast, it has a 3 megapixel camera, can shoot short videos and erm..a compass. You can now buy it as a 32GB version but other than that it's not really a massive change to the iPhone 3G. So you would think that given that the iPhone 3G S doesn't give us anything that exciting or new then O2 would give existing iPhone 3G customers an incentive to upgrade wouldn't you? Wrong. Here in the UK, according to the official O2 Twitter feed the cost of upgrading will likely be "monthly cost x months left on your contract, but specifics may vary slightly". So let's say you have 6 months left on a £34.26 a month contract that's £205.56. If you bought into an 18 month contract, which if memory serves you pretty much had to do when upgrading from the original iPhone to the iPhone 3G and have say a year left then that's £411.12. To add insult to injury however, when you upgrade you are only given the choice of a new 18 month or 24 month (come on O2, 24 months is seriously taking the water isn't it? There will probably be 2 new iPhones in 2 years) contract. And if you choose from the 2 lower monthly payment options - as most people will - then you have to pay an additional £274.23 for the 32GB iPhone 3G S. Add that all up and for people on the average tariff with between 6 and 12 months remaining on the contract and it's going to cost around £500 to upgrade to the new iPhone 3G S. Just for a compass. To add yet more insult to injury 02 are now offering a "tethering" option. This is where you can use your iPhone 3G S as a modem for your laptop. Sounds good right? As one of the key benefits of the iPhone 3G is that you get unlimited web browsing as part of the monthly fee. Not the case for tethering though. O2 have now seen fit to charge us £14.68 a month for a lowly 3GB and a massive £29.36 a month for 10GB. I really don't understand this pricing model one bit. It's free to browse the web via an O2 iPhone but if you connect a laptop to it, it can be up to £29.36 a month?? Wow. O2 can you find any more ways to take your loyal existing customers eyes out? These price plans are nothing short of outrageous. I certainly won't be upgrading and may even move to the HTC Magic on Vodafone which is free and quite possibly the better phone. UPDATE: What makes this even more disappointing is that when the iPhone 3G came out, existing O2 iPhone users could upgrade for free. There was no contract buy out and the 8GB iPhone 3G was available for free if customers chose a £45 or £75 a month contract. You could get a free 16GB model if you chose the £75 plan. Depending on which one of O2's other plans customers picked, you could get a 8GB model for £99 or the 16GB model for £159 pounds. What I'm listening to right now: DJ History Balearic Charts

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35 Responses to O2 let customers down with new iPhone 3G S pricing plan

  1. it is for reasons like this that I moved *away* from o2, I had a bad experience before with them, but as they are the only supplier allowed for iPhone I have no choice but to move from 3 back to o2. My friend bought an over priced unlocked iphone 3g just to avoid going with o2.

    Their monopoly will not last forever, but our memory of how we are treated *will*. As you say, this kind of thing will make people look at the alternatives and find that the overall experience (including network) factors in a great deal.

    On the positive side, this is an opportunity for o2 to show they are listening and do something right.

  2. Chris says:

    [quote]I certainly wont be upgrading and may even move to the HTC Magic [/quote]Its good to see that finally you’re beginning to see sense my friend! That reminds me, I must deal with a solicitors letter I have from O2 regarding one of my domains… :)

  3. Joff says:

    And here I was hoping the iPhone news would be enough to sway me to the device and O2 but these charges are laughable!

  4. purple says:

    I will stick with my Blackberry on Orange I have all I need unlimited web browsing, MSN, Twitter, Facebook, Sat Nav, Google Maps. I can actually type quickly on them too.
    I have never liked the O2 Network, was gutted when they signed the exclusive for iphone

  5. Helen Marie says:

    This is really disappointing, as you know I am a complete iPhone lover and upgraded to the 3G version last year which cost me about 90 more and I was really disappointed as it wasn’t really that much better, the mobile internet is marginally better but I find myself getting really frustrated by its lack of service still. At the Take That concert I was desperately trying to tweet my pics but the service let me down – annoying for a very expensive phone. I played around with the HTC magic a few months ago and I must say I was really impressed, the internet is much faster than the iPhone and the functionality is better. The only nagging thing stopping me ditching my iPhone is the music / film download capabilities. However, if rumours are true about Spotify having an application on the android system then I think I really will switch …. shame as I really was an avid iphone fan ..

  6. Mark Boyd says:

    Damn o2!

    I was so excited to hear the new model was coming out. I am just off the phone to o2, I was expecting a free upgrade (im at the end of my contract anyway!) and they want to charge me 185 for an 18month 35 a month contract.

    As you say, for a compass! The current 3g model can be jailbroken to do most of the stuff the new one does… on top of that the 3.0 software will be out pretty dang soon, so why would ANYONE pay for the new phone other than to say they have it!?

    I’ve always been a fan of o2, they’ve served me well over the years, but this is just taking the biscuit!

  7. Neill Watson says:

    There might be hope yet. Rumours in the UK press are that there might be a break point in the O2 / Apple contract at two years, which comes up in September.
    Here’s hoping…
    Alternatives to iPhone that sync with a Mac, anyone?

  8. jacko says:

    …but if the only real difference is a compass then why are you so bothered about upgrading? ;-)

  9. Original iPhone was fully paid for by customers, whereas O2 subsidised your purchase of a 3G one. Of course they’re going to want to recoup this.

    If you have a 3G, get OS3 and wait until the next iPhone launch in June ’10 – or for a price drop when you’re outside of the minimum terrm.

    No network will help you upgrade within your minimum term, why should O2 be any different just because it’s an iPhone? They should lose money just to make already-committed customers feel warm and fuzzy?

    Don’t sign up to an 18 month contract and then complain that you’re stuck on an 18 month contract, I guess?

    The tethering charges take the piss, true, but if that matters to you then get a dongle for less money.

    Helen Marie – it doesn’t matter how expensive your phone is, a busy cell is a busy cell and if you’re in the middle of tens of thousands of people at a TT concert then yes, it might be difficult to get a data connection.

    Joff, do you intend to use tethering? Because other than this how does the pricing differ from any other phone? Have you looked at N97 prices?

  10. Adding, I see O2 are having to defend themselves on this via Twitter, eg: “@O2 Minimum term contracts apply to all O2 Pay Monthly customers it wouldnt be fair to allow some customers to change this”

  11. Kieron says:

    My point is that given that the iPhone 3G S is such a minor upgrade then surely O2/Apple would offer existing users at least some incentive to upgrade? Instead they are trying to make us take 2 year contracts (I mean come on) and charging almost 300 for the new phone as well as ludricous tethering charges. Put them all together and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Oh and the reason we’re all on 18 month contracts is because we didn’t have a choice.

  12. Kieron says:

    That’s my point. I’m not going to pay 500 or thereabouts for a compass :)

    Surely Apple/O2 could have come up with a better pricing structure for all compass fans?

  13. The only reason to offer an incentive to upgrade is to get you to re-sign onto an 18- or 24m contract. And then guess what happens when iPhone 4G comes out in 12m?

    You had a choice, you could have not got an iPhone.. The phone cost on a 12m contract (which O2 don’t do any more) would have been.. high.

    I have about 10m left on my 18m iPhone contract so this annoys me too, but logically I can see they have very little choice. God knows what someone who signed up to a 24m contract within the last 2 or 3 months (or last week!) is thinking.

  14. I have been waiting for the iPhone 3GS announcement because I wanted an iPhone with a semi decent video capability, the compass is just a nice to have for walking directions :) I would be much happier with 3 or Orange as would most sane people but we are stuck with who Apple chose. Ending my 3 contract today (hopefully) and making my deal with the o2devil

  15. Simon says:

    I’d happily pay the full price for an unlocked 3GS and carry on with the rest of my contract. Or I’d pay for the subsidised phone and a new 18 month contract. But neither of these are options (as far as I can see). Think I’ll make do with the v3 software upgrade for now.

  16. Simon says:

    Actually it looks like you can get it on PAYG and stick the contract SIM in so no big dramas. Not unlocked but better than nothing.

  17. Lewis says:

    how much is the normal 3G iPhone going to cost when the new one come’s out?

  18. David says:

    I’m a consumer, I make the choice to buy or not to buy. If you do not like the contract (duration or terms) – DONT BUY!
    My contract with O2 has been lapsed for months, I’ll be buying the new phone (I’ve been waiting for), because I’m a Apple loving geek with needs!
    Yeah it’s expensive, yeah there’s a recession but, it’s my money and screw the terms – bring it!

  19. Theo says:

    The new palm pre that got launched this week can sync thru iTunes as far as I know. Might be worth looking at. As for now I’ll stick with my iphone 3g it works just fine without a compass.

  20. Quite disappointing for iPhone fans. O2 need to make the upgrade less costly say by a fixed amount 50 bucks for all.

  21. Kieron says:

    “Yeah its expensive, yeah theres a recession but, its my money and screw the terms – bring it!”

    Love it :)

  22. Steve says:

    I would rather go for a new iphone than upgrading.

  23. Interesting though – saw this on quidco – “Mobiles.co.uk are offering 60 cashback for the new iPhone 3GS – Pre order now” – maybe there is more for us affiliates in the new version than there was in the old one…

  24. Callum says:

    Hi Simon,

    Check out our website PhoneDevil.com in about 2 weeks when it is relaunched.

    We have been one of the main UK providers of the factory unlocked (i.e. never-locked) iPhone 3G, and I expect this will be true even more so for the 3G S model now that we have our new site going live.

    Hope this helps

    Callum
    PhoneDevil.com

  25. Callum says:

    It looks like the pricing is remaining the same for the standard 8GB model Lewis, on both pay as you go and contract.

  26. Also missed out of all of these calculations is the fact that you can still flog your old iphone for about 220+ on fleabay.

    I also see Quidco making/distributing money from it instead of just dropping by millionaire-affiliate Kieron’s blog to bitch :D

  27. Steve K says:

    I was about to get an iPhone as my first ‘smart phone’ a couple of months ago, and then decided to hold out for the rumoured new model.

    I’ve been with Orange since they launched in 1992, but I want the iPhone, so I’ll pay the money for it – just as I paid 200 for my first mobile with Orange almost 17 years ago!

  28. Maybe they got supply issues, and limited stock availability is causing them to not offer attractive upgrade packages. Can’t you get handsets from the East for much cheaper?

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  30. Cheap DVDs says:

    I’ve actually got shares in the company that do the graphics for the iPhone, so I’m hoping that lots of people upgrade and it’s a big success!

    It ought to be a lot better speedwise than the previous iPhone, so is a worthwhile improvement. But it is expensive for people to upgrade.

  31. Sam says:

    It’s all reli a big fraud that 02 customars should have to pay such a high price on the new iPhone upgrade when customar services tell you that you will get free upgrades or pay slightly more for larger. Memory I feel like I have been tricked when I sighned up to the iPhone 3g contract for 35pounds a month for 24 months an a month later the new upgrade comes out an I have to cancel an pay off the existing contract if I wnt the new phone my advice is to stay away for 02

  32. Well since they kinda have monopoly on iphones they can do whatever they want. Obviously it’s a lot cheaper to just buy one in apple store or off the internet for the full price, but most people would rather spend twice as much in the long rund then shell out right now for a full price.

  33. Personaly I prefer buying the phone separately and using it witha prepaid sim card. This way I don’t have to worry about silly charges and insane costs that come with deals attached to great phones.

  34. Guy says:

    True! No network will help you upgrade within your minimum term, why should O2 be any different just because its an iPhone?

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