Apple announced the iPhone for launch on the 11th of July at a price of $199, which would see AT&T lose $600 million. AT&T said that while they realised it would mean an initial loss in profits, the company would make that back once a customer’s two year contract ended and it no longer had to share the subscription fee with Apple. Now reports say that UK operator, O2, will offer the iPhone to customers for free with selected plans.
Ronan Dunne, the CEO of O2 UK said in a statement that the iPhone had made a name for itself within the company as its fastest selling device. He argued the point that with the new pricing, the 3G iPhone is “an unbeatable proposition”
O2 announced in a press release that customers who choose service plans costing either $88 or $146.50 a month will get the 8-GB version of the 3G iPhone at no additional cost. The 16GB handset will also be available free of charge with a similar offer but requires a more expensive plan.
The general consensus among operators seems to be that while they might lose out at first, the new cheaper iPhone will mean a more widespread adoption among customers than what we saw with the first version of the handset. iPhone users in France last month claimed that French carrier, Orange began contacting them in reference to subsidies for the iPhone or a possible trade in for as little as €50 extra for the new version, however these claims were not confirmed by Orange.
We contacted O2 UK for comment and enquired as to whether or not they were worried about monetary losses with the new Apple unit but they were unavailable. We will update the article when we hear from them.