Vodafone will give the iPhone 4 away for “free” if a customer will pay £60 a month for two years, according to the tariff which has just been published. Like other operators, Vodafone is not yet publishing its pay-as-you-go contract details. O2 published its prices yesterday, and Orange published rates on Wednesday - it has been rumoured that 3 UK intends to declare its prices last, in order to undercut the other players.
T-Mobile and 3 still to go
Although broadly similar to O2’s, Vodafone’s plans have differences which could benefit some users. The biggest difference is that, unlike O2, Vodafone charges the same upfront cost for the phone whether it is bought on an 18 month plan or a two-year contract.
The use of Wi-Fi is also differerent. Where O2’s is unlimited, Vodafone customers get 1GB of Wi-Fi data, along with 1GB of 3G data, on a contract for a 16GB iPhone 4. The device has an upfront cost of £219, and then costs £25 a month on a two-year contract, or £30 a month on an 18 month plan.
The deal also gives users 75 minutes of talk time and 250 texts.
To get the phone “free, users have to either pay £60 a month for two years, or £65 a month for 18 months. On a business plan, users can get the phone free for £50 or £55 a month - for 24 or 18 months respectively. These details have turned out to be the same as those released in error on Monday, when Apple released its SIM-free pricing.
3 to undercut competitors?
Last year, when 3 announced it intended to sell the iPhone, chief executive Kevin Russell promised to negotiate hard on price, so many potential customers hope the 3 network will undercut the others when it brings Apple’s smartphones to a traditonally less-extravagant audience.
The iPhone 4 has a larger battery capable of 7 hours of talk time and runs the fourth version of the iPhone operating system (iOS4), which is the first to include features such as multitasking. It also has a thinner body, a front-facing camera for video conferencing and a built-in three-axis gyroscope.