Today’s announcement goes beyond just the launch of the iPhone5. With the iPhone 4S 8GB, Apple is now able to offer its products with iOS6 at ever more aggressive price points in the UK. As an entry level iPhone, it’s a formidable competitor.
The inclusion of LTE1800 in the new iPhone5 gives EE a de-facto exclusive on the product for 4G in the UK. This will undoubtedly leave EE marketing departments purring at the possibilities. However, it will do little to ease the war with rival operators and we can expect Vodafone and O2 to be formulating their Plan Bs pretty quickly.
The question is, will the iPhone be different enough for customers who have been impressed by products from Samsung and HTC this summer? This remains to be seen, but with many UK subscribers waiting to see the iPhone5 before committing to their next contract, the operators will have a fight on their hands for these customers in Q4.