UK iPhone Launch

Quick thoughts on the UK iPhone launch:


  • The contract is 18 months, not 24 as some had suggested
  • Including the Cloud connectivity is very clever. It partially compensates for the lack of 3G
  • The included data plan fair usage limits of roughly 1400 web pages a day translates to about 0.5-2Gb a month (depended on the web page size they’re assuming). That’s competitive with T-Mobile and 3’s data tariffs


  • The tariffs (£35 to £55) are too expensive, given the phone costs £269 and it’s an 18 month contract. They should have offered £25 to £45, or at worst £29.99 to £49.99
  • No 3G. Despite the WiFi bundle, this is a big deal. Steve Jobs is wrong about the tradeoff they’re making of battery life vs data speed
  • The killer quote was from O2 regarding EDGE coverage: “By launch we’ll be north of 30% and build from there”. EDGE is slow enough. If that coverage is going to be patchy, it means relying on GPRS. Oh dear…

So a bit of a mixed bag, but not enough to tempt me away from my N95. I wait the iPhone 2 with interest

9 thoughts on “UK iPhone Launch

  1. Stephen

    Presumably the tariffs are so expensive because O2 reportedly pay Apple 40% of them.

    It does seem with 3G that Jobs hasn’t quite realised that the UK is well in advance of the US with 3G, but not up there with WiFi.

    By the way, O2 have said the WiFi agreement isn’t exclusive to iPhone, and I think the other operators would be daft not to come to similar arrangements – so regardless of what this will do for Apple and O2, it may be a good thing for WiFi in the UK.

  2. Steven Post author

    The WiFi agreement for all phones would be very interesting. It’s not something I’d pay much for, but it is a very nice added extra.

  3. Andrew

    I saw the iPhone in the flesh on Friday night, and for all the downsides about price, features etc. It is really cool. It oozes style, UI is great, and makes you want one…..

  4. Steven Post author

    I know what you mean; I played with Stephen’s iPod Touch last Friday, and was suitably impressed. However, my comments above still stand; it’s too expensive and needs 3G connectivity.

    I’m holding out for one Google’s new Android phones, or the iPhone 2.0.

  5. andrew

    getting an iPhone 2 yet? I am in two minds, I am not sure I want a cheap plastic back and no dock, for 3g, makes me think the iPhone 2 will be a N95 user experience. 🙂 I have managed just fine with my iPhone ‘classic’ using wifi. Think there has been one occassion when I could have done with 3G.

  6. Steven Post author

    No 32Gb version, crippled bluetooth, and the poor camera are disappointments.

    That said, 3rd party apps, GPS and 3G are massive improvements. On my N95, 3G browsing is nicely usable, but GPRS is too slow for all but the most simple sites (I appreciate that Edge is somewhere between those two). I’ve had months where I use only 2 or 3 voice minutes (that’s not a typo), but well over a hundred megabytes of data. Flat rate, high speed data is very important to me.

    The Google Android devices are looking interesting, but they are many months away, and might not deliver the goods.

    Given the slightly improved pricing from O2, and the upgrades they’re offering for existing owners, I’m probably going to take the plunge with an iPhone 3G on O2.

    The plastic back and the lack of a dock, are not big issues for me.

  7. Ian Chilton


    It’s much more tempting with 3G, GPS and much cheaper pricing but it’s a real bumber that they have not done anything about the rubbish camea, no flash, no MMS, no front camera for video calling etc.

    My contract is up next month and it’s a real pull – the iPhone is lovely for web browsing and e-mail but the phone side of things just doesn’t seem as good as a Nokia (I have an N95 8GB) – and I am quite happy with 3UK so not sure about going to O2…..


  8. Steven Post author

    Hi Ian,

    I’m similarly torn, but web browsing is more important to me than the phone side of things.

    I also remember how lovely my Treo 600 was; the integration between all the apps was great, and I get the impression that the iPhone is similar in that respect. The N95, for all its good points, doesn’t feel like such a coherent experience.

    I’ll probably hang onto my N95 though, rather than selling it on eBay, so if I want full bluetooth or a good camera, I can just swap the sim over from the iPhone.

  9. Andrew

    Re: Camera, I think you have to use it to appreciate it, admittedly it hasn’t got a flash, and the 2Mpixel isnt a worry, as the results are suprisingly good, in fact excellent, much better than say a 3.2 Samsung, but yes its still a way off a Nokia or SonyE

    I think if you want an iphone for a phone. Dont buy one. Its overkill.

    If you want an iphone for: a phone, internet device, and brilliant ipod, then there is nothing else to buy.

    Its really killer strength for me is browsing the web though, with Safari, Apple have shown what a rubbish browsing experience the web is on other phones.. 3G or not.

    My two annoyances are : Bluetooth – I want to use bluetooth headphones, and MMS, but I can live without it.

Leave a Reply