Orange has announced that it will make the iPhone available on its UK network from next week, 10 November, but the tariffs are not as competitive as some might have hoped.
Selected Orange shops will operate early bird opening and late closing times next Tuesday to cope with the expected demand for the iPhone on Orange, and it will also be available online and at a number of other high street providers.
Orange has also announced the tariffs for the iPhone, which has previously only been available on the O2 network as part of an exclusive contract with its makers, Apple, but Orange has not moved to compete with O2 as strongly as some customers might have hoped, price comparison website moneysupermarket.com has suggested.
Available to Orange's Pay As You Go, pay monthly, and business customers, the iPhone is free with a £30 monthly contract of 24 months, and Orange boasts that the iPhone 3GS is the fastest, most powerful yet, and on Orange it will offer the best 3G network in the UK, covering more people than any other provider.
It is twice as fast as the iPhone 3G, the provider said in a statement, with new features, longer battery life, a 3-megapixel camera, video recording and hands free voice control.
iPhone users also have access to more than 85,000 applications, from Apple's App Store – the largest in the world.
Commenting on the upcoming launch of the iPhone on Orange, Tom Alexander, CEO of Orange UK, said that "The excitement for the iPhone is immense," revealing that Orange has had more than a quarter of a million customers register their interest on the Orange website since it announced that it would be offering the iPhone.
"Earlier this year we stated our ambition to become the destination brand of choice for high end mobile users in the UK," he said. "With the launch of the iPhone on November 10 we’re pleased to be fulfilling that ambition."
But, commenting on the pricing of the iPhone on Orange, James Parker, mobiles manager at moneysupermarket.com said that "although Orange has announced comparable tariffs to O2, competition has not been ignited as prospective iPhone customers may have hoped.
"The tariffs announced by Orange are generally the same as O2s. For example, the average mobile users might go for 600 minutes and 500 texts which costs £34.26 on both networks on a 24 month contract, with the 16GB 3GS handset costing £87 on Orange and 11p more on O2."
Orange does offer a lower entry tariff however, he added, and some other added bonuses such as Orange Wednesdays, and there is the potential to negotiate a better deal, and the prospect of Vodafone offering the handset in the new year could bring more heated competition to the market.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd