Thursday, July 3, 2008

iPhone 3G may cost as much as £1,350 on O2

For those of you in the UK waiting eagerly for July 11, here is a useful comparison of the total cost of ownership for the iPhone 3G on each of O2's Pay Monthly tariffs.

O2's best price for iPhone 3G is £639 over 18 months, which gets you the 8GB model with 75 minutes and 125 texts per month. If you need 3000 minutes and 500 texts, iPhone 3G will run you £1,350 over 18 months. All plans include unlimited 3G and WiFi access on O2's network.

Me? I'm still waiting to see how much the 16GB model will cost under Pay & Go with unlimited 3G and WiFi access since I primarily want it for email, Web and music. I will almost certainly go the Pay & Go route if TCO is equal or less than the cheapest Pay Monthly tariff. I'd love to just transfer my existing company-provided O2 mobile number to an iPhone tariff, but based on previous experience trying to swing similar arrangements in the US this will likely be way too much hassle if it is possible at all.

So, will Pay & Go have better TCO than Pay Monthly?

O2 briefly posted info on their site last week indicating the 16GB model would be £360 with 6 months of free WiFi access. WiFi access would then reportedly cost £10/month after that. Pricing for 3G access wasn't specified, but I'm guessing unlimited 3G access would likely cost another £10-20/month. It's also worth noting that O2 will likely make you top-up at least £10 every 30 days to retain an active account. This would put Pay & Go TCO for the 16GB model at £820-1,000 over 18 months.

If these pricing terms hold and my 3G guesstimate is accurate, the 16GB model under Pay & Go would be at least £130 more expensive than the £30/month tariff (£820 vs. £699) - and you'd have to pay £200 more up front. Unfortunate if you don't want iPhone 3G for talking or texting or if you really just hate being under contract, but not surprising since O2 and other carriers much prefer to have their customers on contract to ensure a more predictable revenue stream.

Looks like I'll be going on contract for O2 mobile number two...

No comments: