Tuesday, September 2, 2008

iPhone pre-pay available from September 16th

O2 has announced the 3G iPhone will be available on prepay from September 16.

The 8GB model will be priced at £349.99 and the 16GB at £399.99. The price includes unlimited web browsing and Wi-Fi for the first 12 months. The prepay 3G iPhone will be available from O2 stores and The Carphone Warehouse stores.

At the end of the 12 months customers can continue to receive unlimited browsing and Wi-Fi for £10 per month.

Prepay customers will be able to use their 3G iPhone on all of O2's prepay tariffs, but new SIMs will be set up to the Favourite Place tariff as a default.

Existing O2 prepay customers who want to purchase the device may be eligible to receive 10 per cent of the value of their top ups over the past 18 months (up to £200) credited to use on their new iPhone.

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Mobile broadband to drive laptop market?

The Times has published an interesting article today describing the industry motivation for providing free laptops with 3G Mobile Broadband contracts; it says...

Mobile phone companies have long offered free handsets to customers to encourage them to sign up for contracts, but now they have a new lure to persuade people to part with their hard-earned money – free laptop computers.

In doing so, they are threatening to spark a boom in the laptop market and to generate a return on the fortunes they invested on bidding for 3G bandwidths in 2000.

Shaun Collins, managing director of CCS Insight, a technology analysis group, believes that mobile broadband is the best thing to happen to mobile operators since the text message, in terms of its ability to drive revenue. He said: "The most important thing is that no subscriber stops their voice and text package – it's always an addition."

"Some laptops are cheaper to buy than mobile phones, so why wouldn't operators do it? The sheer economics of it means it's a wonderful opportunity."

Mr Collins expects to see a boom in the laptop market as a result. "It beckons an explosion in laptop growth and an explosion in connectivity and that's very potent. Most of the additional growth in the laptop market is likely to be connected devices.

"How often do you change your laptop now? Probably never. But if they were free every two years? It would encourage people to think of laptops like mobiles. Laptop prices are also falling as fast as mobile prices."

Read the full article here.

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