Orange UK and Apple have reached an agreement to bring iPhone 3G and 3GS to Orange UK customers later this year. Orange globally now offers iPhone in 28 countries and territories.
Orange will sell iPhone in all Orange direct channels including Orange shops, the Orange web shop and Orange telesales channels, as well as selected high street partners. A pre-registration site for customers to log their interest has already been launched.
Ernest Doku, analyst at Omio, a UK mobile phone price comparison website, commented that the deal could lead to a price war: “This is fantastic news for the consumer. Opening up the iPhone to another network is sure to bring the price down and will finally enable those people who, until this point, have been unable or unwilling to change networks to get their hands on it.”
Omio recommended that anyone thinking of buying an iPhone should wait to see if a pricing battle between O2 and Orange begins. There is a strong possibility that shorter and more flexible contracts will be introduced, said Doku, who continued: “Rumours were rife that Orange was soon to secure the iPhone 3G, but the fact that the latest 3GS model will also be made available will put it on an equal footing with O2.
“What remains to be seen is whether Orange’s price point for the 3GS will be competitive enough to force a price war between the networks, and whether O2 will refocus attention on promoting the newly acquired rival, the Palm Pre, to sway those customers on the fence. Orange has certainly hit the ground running following its announcement about the T-Mobile merger. Acquiring the coveted iPhone is sure to attract new customers and will also boost retention levels, as existing customers are bound to upgrade at the first opportunity.”
More information on pricing, tariffs and availability dates will be released in due course.