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O2 Offered iPhone Contract in UK

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the nice-work-if-you-can-get-it dept.

Wireless (Apple) 178

davidmcg writes "There has been speculation on who will provide the service for iPhone in the UK. Now, the answer has been provided. It seems that O2 has been offered the contract to provide telephony services in the UK for the iPhone. It seems that the iPhone should be available in the UK in time for Christmas. O2 have refused to confirm or deny these reports, so is it yet another unconfirmed iPhone rumor or is it fact? We can only wait to find out."

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Poll Troll Toll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19761443)

What's better...

iPhone with AT&T [impoll.net]
iPhone with O2 [impoll.net]
iPhone with Mare [impoll.net]

Re:Poll Troll Toll (1)

Ads are broken (718513) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764417)

Pretty clever.

Apple section? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19761465)

When I finally decided to filter news from the Apple section to avoid "iPhone" news. You come and put it in the "hardware" section? C'mon!

Re:Apple section? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19761677)

Yep, this thing is getting way too much publicity. Methinks that lots of slashdotters are entranced by the lotus flower...

But what is interesting is that this could be the 'back door' to getting a GSM iPhone in the USA...

Which is it? (0, Redundant)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761491)

"O2 Offered iPhone Contract in UK"

OR

"O2 Offered iPhone Contract in UK - Mobile phone operator O2 is reported to have won the sought-after deal to sell Apple's iPhone in the UK."

First, the first line seems to imply different things, and secondly, they weren't offered it, apparently they were the winning competitor practically bidding for the contract. I'm so tired of misleading summaries, its not a long article, its shouldn't be hard to summarise *waits for someone to compaign about the article's "Girth"*

Re:Which is it? (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761511)

Sorry to reply to myself, but just wanted to correct the second headline, it should read

"O2 'to get iPhone contract in UK' -Mobile phone operator O2 is reported to have won the sought-after deal to sell Apple's iPhone in the UK."

Re:Which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19761875)

April is autism awareness month.

Re:Which is it? (2, Interesting)

macmaniac (734596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761621)

Apparently the poster didn't catch that O2 has denied the reports that it has signed a contract with Apple.

Reuters Article [reuters.com]

Re:Which is it? (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763325)

There are at least two companies that have been reported in reputable papers to have signed a deal over the iPhone, T-Mobile in Germany and O2 in the UK.

That sounds odd, considering that it would seem most reasonable to have one distributor for all of Europe. However, Apple runs 17 iTunes stores in Europe, and neither T-Mobile nor O2 cover the three territories Apple is reported to be targeting with its first volley of iPhones: Germany, France and the UK.

There are some other complications as well, but having multiple operators isn't as non-nonsensical as it might seem.

International iPhone: Europe, Japan and 3G UMTS [roughlydrafted.com]
Apple introduced the iPhone exclusively in the US. Here's a look at what's involved in getting the iPhone to work in other markets now, and challenges Apple will face in the mobile market internationally.

Unraveling Anti-Apple Panic: iPhone Activation Privacy Scare [roughlydrafted.com]
CNET's Michael Tiemann desperately wants your attention before you activate your iPhone. It's apparently a matter of Internet Safety, if his blog tags are not just random words to bait the attention of Google. Don't dismiss Tiemann just because he blogs for the notoriously anti-Apple CNET. He's also president of the Open Source Initiative and vice president of open source affairs at Red Hat.

Unraveling Anti-Apple Panic: the iPhone Launch Success [roughlydrafted.com]
Apple captured international attention at the launch of the iPhone, despite only being available to consumers in the US. In January, Steve Jobs set the goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. Various analysts warned the the unit's higher up-front price and requirement to use AT&T service would raise significant barriers.

Enough with the MacRumor.com stories (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19761561)

Look, I'm a mac fan boy myself, but jeepers! Leave the rumors to the rumor sites and the news to slashdot and others.

Otherwise, just syndicate from their RSS feed and save the effort.

What about smaller countries (5, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761605)

I live in Eastern Europe and the presence of Apple here is basically nill.

There isn't a single Apple store here. There are 3rd party distributors which sell Apple hardware/software and that's about it. With the kind of deals iPhone is after (tightly integrating the iPhone functionality with a specific provider), I see a big chunk of the world simply denied access to the iPhone (with the exception of illegally imported and hacked units I guess..)

Re:What about smaller countries (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19761903)

That's because you are a bunch of peasants better suited to driving tractors on your glorious 5-year plan. That, or eBay scans.

Re:What about smaller countries (2, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763497)

That's because you are a bunch of peasants better suited to driving tractors

I'm sorry, you're mistaken for New Zealand, where I live -- plenty of farmers driving tractors down here, even on the motorways :)

Re:What about smaller countries (4, Insightful)

droopycom (470921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762141)

A big chunk of the world is denied basic such as:

- peace
- clean water
- clean air
- housing
- electricity

Yes, I do also dream about the slick iPhone, but right now this dream is being tainted by mixed reviews anyway.
And my $499 are better spent buying a new stove anyway...

Being "denied" iPhone is kind of like being "denied" twinkies, oreos or root beer...

Its just a freaking gadget. Your life wont change.

Re:What about smaller countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762399)

Being "denied" iPhone is kind of like being "denied" twinkies, oreos or root beer...
So long as it remains root beer, I believe denial of beer is a human rights violation - something the US is guilty of, since American "beer" is a facade

Re:What about smaller countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762487)

As long as I'm outside of th ol' US of A and have access to real cookies, being denied twinkies and oreros is less than the dirt under my sandals. That said, you can imagine what being denied root beer would be.

Sometimes European barbarians do get the better deal. And sometimes they don't. As for which one the iPhone issue is, YMMV. I for one will stick to a phone that I can use for more than a couple of days in lost places with weak GSM signal and no power plugs, but that's just my cup of tea.

and enough iPhone non-stories already! What next, iPhone survives transatlantic journey?

--
captcha is resigned - wonder about what that would be.

Re:What about smaller countries (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762693)

A big chunk of the world is denied basic such as:

- peace
- clean water
- clean air
- housing
- electricity


What a cheap spin: if I want iPhone then it must be I don't sympathize with the dying african children! What a monster I am!

Loser.

Re:What about smaller countries (2, Funny)

Traa (158207) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763275)


A big chunk of the world is denied basic such as:

- peace
- clean water
- clean air
- housing
- electricity


Hey, you live in California too??

- peace: The best reason for War the US has to offer.
- clean water: I sure as hell don't drink it from the tab, and some people here can't even afford to buy drinking water (more expensive then gas)
- clean air: Ever been to LA?
- housing: renting 2 bedroom apt at $2000/month till I can get my $750K 4 bedroom house (no yard).
- electricity: 2 more weeks of heat and no water and we will loose that as well. Rolling blackouts where discussed on the radio again today.

But f&^%ck all that...I gots an iPhone baby! :-P

Re:What about smaller countries (2, Informative)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763863)

-California is not a warzone.
-You _have_ a tap. Care to walk miles for water every day?
-Beijing "air pollution capital of the world" [guardian.co.uk]
-A valid point
-I heard a report on the BBC today talking about this informal study they're doing on quality of life in Baghdad. All three of the families they are tracking got about an hour a day of electricity this week, and constant electricity supply is in the dim future.

Re:What about smaller countries (2, Funny)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764257)

...so, what you're basically saying is, there are places that exist which are *worse* than california (like baghdad or beijing). Given that level of endorsement, I hope you don't blame me if I'm not packing my suitcase for a trip to LA anytime soon :)

Re:What about smaller countries (0)

sankyuu (847178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763441)

I come from the southern Philippines*, and I have had my share of bombings/non-potable-water/fingernails-blue-becaus e-of-inhaling-smog; and during college, I I'd just buy rice worth 10 US cents and ask for soup from the cafeteria for a tasty lunch.

And guess what! If it weren't because of electric pianos, computers and phone networks and other "luxuries," I would never have taken interest in computer programming and be working where i am now. I'd be filling a redundant role either as a driver or a farmer. Even worse, I might have ended up a misguided vigilante, building bombs instead of printer drivers.

Yes, access to basic necessities is good, but it doesn't hurt at all to provide access to technology. In fact, my life did change because of freaking gadgets. When you love technology and you're stuck in a nook without an apple store, you would drool over it even if you lived on a diet of rice and soup and couldn't afford it. Having a fancy shop around makes geeks in your community excited about the possibilities of life.

*If you're wondering how I learnt to speak English despite my (previous) dire poverty, I have the American churches to thank (Mormons, Catholics and Protestants) for teaching in our town after World War II.

Re:What about smaller countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19763943)

Right. When people don't build houses, don't grow food, let factories pollute their water without restrictions, then somehow they are DENIED those things? Oh, I want a house too, free food, AND a pony!

Re:What about smaller countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762435)

Sounds like Chattanooga, Tennessee!

Re:What about smaller countries (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762595)

I live in Canada and the Apple presence is kind of non-existent. Not counting the iPod, it's pretty hard to find any apple products here in Canada. You can order online, but in terms of physical presence, there is none. There used to be one shop I knew of that sold a lot of Apple stuff (notebooks, monitors, software) but they closed down recently.

Re:What about smaller countries (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762713)

I live in Canada and the Apple presence is kind of non-existent. Not counting the iPod, it's pretty hard to find any apple products here in Canada. You can order online, but in terms of physical presence, there is none. There used to be one shop I knew of that sold a lot of Apple stuff (notebooks, monitors, software) but they closed down recently.

Making fun of Microsoft and claiming how OSX will take over the world is kinda funny put in perspective (they're not even actively selling outside of few select countries ?!).

Re:What about smaller countries (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763047)

Canada is not a "small" country - geographically speaking. Sure, there little Apple presence in places like Tuktoyaktuk or Ikaluit but it doesn't mean there's no Apple dealers in Montreal or Toronto. Then again I havn't been to Tuktoyaktuk or Iqaluit so there may be one there. All my relatives have some version of the iMac.

Re:What about smaller countries (1)

topham (32406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763527)

I can walk less than 2 blocks and buy a Mac, or, I can drive a couple of kilometers and buy a Mac.

There are lots of companies which handle Apple products, you just have to open your eyes to find them.

Announcing things before Steve Jobs does.... (3, Insightful)

emjoi_gently (812227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761607)

If O2 does have the contract, you know they will keep quiet about it until they are given permission to talk.

What about this (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761637)

Let's all ignore the issue until Apple announces its European partners. Sheesh.

3G for Europe? (4, Informative)

aluminumcube (542280) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761649)

Just an uninformed theory, but I think Apple would need to go 3G with the iPhone if they want to really succeed in the Euro market. Most Americans have never had the exposure to get addicted to a fast net connection on a cell phone, so going with EDGE is grumble-worthy but not a deal breaker for the US mass market. Europeans, on the other hand, are 3G fanatics from what I understand.

Re:3G for Europe? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762231)

I don't think 3G is a big deal in the consumer market - at least not here in the UK. It may be different for business users, but for personal cellphones only T-Mobile has a sensible mobile data plan; the others are living in a different world. Orange - to whom I am a bonded villein for another 8 months, 3 weeks and 4 1/2 days - recently wrote to ask me if I wanted to pay £8 a month (that's $240 for you Americans) for a data plan capped at 30Mb. Each month. Frankly, I don't even look now at a phone's data performance. It's just not a factor right now.

And in case you now think I'm some sort of Luddite, I bought one of those credit card-sized LCD personal organiser databanks from the Innovations Catalogue when I was 14.

Re:3G for Europe? (3, Interesting)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763411)

If someone is willing to fork out $500 on a phone, they are much more likely to also want top of the line features (ie 3G). Even Apple can't compete *solely* on their brand name. They actually do have to be competitive on the features they offer, especially in the higher end of the market.

Re:3G for Europe? (1)

DohnJoe (900898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764207)

And in case you now think I'm some sort of Luddite, I bought one of those credit card-sized LCD personal organiser databanks from the Innovations Catalogue when I was 14.
oh, admit it, it came as a gift with your popular science magazine subscription and was more useful as a paperweight.

Re:3G for Europe? (1, Informative)

Sircus (16869) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764279)

£8 a month (that's $240 for you Americans)


£8 is US$16.14 at current rates. Or $193.68/year.

Re:3G for Europe? (4, Funny)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764395)

humour (that's humor for you Americans)

Re:3G for Europe? (1)

ironfrost (674081) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762653)

If they really are signing an exclusive deal with O2, 3G will be even more important. O2 never rolled out EDGE services; they jumped straight to 3G instead. If Apple don't upgrade their hardware then users will be stuck accessing the internet over GPRS, which is basically unusable for "normal" websites.

Re:3G for Europe? (1)

aaron.rowe (40518) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764239)

Exactly my thoughts, as far as I know, in the UK the only network that provides EDGE is Orange, therefore Orange is the most likely network to provide the iPhone in it's current state. Upgrading the iPhone to 3G (UMTS/W-CDMA) will make it a better phone and make it compatible with all networks in the UK I believe.

Re:3G for Europe? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762765)

That's not really true. Some of us have been using EVDO for a good while now--and AFAIK, EVDO RevA competes with anything Europe has to offer. This is exactly the reason I would never consider moving to ATT--their gsm network currently can't compete!

Why do they need exclusive contracts? (5, Insightful)

jaaron (551839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761651)

Why can't Apple just sell an unlocked phone and really help change the market? Is it the visual voicemail app that needs operator support? Is Apple going to negotiate contracts in every country? What a mess.

They dont want the market to change (4, Insightful)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762195)

Why would they? They want to share in the revenue from month to month..not just a one time hardware purchase. Think of it more like a pay-for-play model. Apple gets to make 50% off each iphone, then get a certain % of the monthly service fee that the iphones will bring the operators. Normally these phones are heavily subsidized by the operators in america, this is not true at all in EU which is why you can get an unlocked phone. This phone is not subsidized by US carriers, which is why they can afford to give apple a piece of the monthly on top of the cost of the phone. Win Win for apple.

Re:They dont want the market to change (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762303)

Good point. But doesn't Apple make 100% on each iPhone? I thought 50 % of what you pay is manufacturing costs.

Re:They dont want the market to change (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762887)

Ah, you forget that Apple is interested in extending it's reach. Locking themselves to AT&T is not part of their long term plan - it is the first step of their strategy for jumping into the market with both feet.

Apple cannot survive only with AT&T in the US. They also need to produce devices for Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Just like the other big boys of Nokia, Motorola, and Ericson.

In the US, the service providers run the show. One simply cannot introduce a device to the cell phone market without commitment from a provider. All those cool GSM phones in europe and asia do sell in the US, but without provider backing, the marketplace is weak at best.

So Apple partnered with AT&T - a good choice, since it has the best GSM network in the Americas. Which means that it is relatively easy for Apple to produce a phone for the rest of the GSM world. Also, AT&T was willing to let Apple sell music via iTunes - something that Verizon and Sprint may have not been able to agree to, since they have their own (failed & over-priced) music services.

If and when Apple has a solid market share, it can produce other devices that are unencumbered by service providers. As noted, Apple can make a good profit on the iPhone - but only once the massive engineering, assembly, distribution, marketing, and support costs are spread over millions of devices. Certainly, Apple is still far in the red when it comes to its net profits on the iPhone.

Re:They dont want the market to change (2, Informative)

fdobbie (226067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764347)

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Phones are historically heavily subsidized in the UK, with a contract (and handset) churn rate of 12 months. The MNOs have been pushing hard to kick that out to 18 months, but it's nowhere near the state of affairs in the US where 24 months is standard.

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (4, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762287)

I agree. Apple tries to bring the retardedness of the American mobile phone market to Europe. I don't think people here are so keen on switching provider for the iPhone as they are in America, simple because they are not used to switching providers for a new phone. But, I could be wrong. In any case not being able to buy it without the subscription is the ultimate show-stopper for me. In the long run buying without a subscription is usually cheaper.

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763121)

In any case not being able to buy it without the subscription is the ultimate show-stopper for me.

Using it without a contract is trivial. There a dozens of stories about how to do it, but in the interest of not adding yet another iPhone story to /. I'm not linking to any.

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (1)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763847)

That's not what the GP means. Over here it's common to be able to buy your phone without having to enter into a contract with any of the service providers. This means that if you want to change providers, you just substitue the SIM card and that's it. No lock ins. It would be a deal breaker for me if I couldn't do this as well, as in my case I only use pay-as-you-go plans. I don't enter into contracts with phone operators. Basically, I require to be able to just stick the SIM from my current phone into the iPhone and keep the same number and plan. That, at least, is what most people in the UK would expect to be able to do IMO.
Bob

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (1)

clonmult (586283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764449)

I think you are wrong ....

I'm under the impression that one of the UK networks main worries is customer churn - changing provider every time their contract is up in order to get a better deal on their next phone.

It'll also be intriguing to see if O2 keep their "normal" practice of supplying unlocked contract phones. Its normally only been the O2 branded devices (XDA, other windows mobile devices) that are locked to O2. Others are practically SIM free offerings.

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (3, Interesting)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762317)

I would have to imagine there are two reasons.

Like you said, the visual email thing requires a good deal of vendor support. And I imagine a vendor is only going to put forth the effort required if they see a substantial return on that investment.

Likewise, there's a very good possibility that AT&T has paid Apple for exclusive rights to the launch (a two year term). That contract, which could be worth a lot of money, is probably worth more to Apple than any kind of "good will" that might change the market or the sales they missed because of it.

All that being said, in two years they will likely make it "open" and you'll be able to get your iPhone from any vendor. We'll see though.

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762737)

"Visual voicemail" really doesn't require that much vendor support, at least not from a technical perspective. Any modern voicemail server has an option to attach voicemail to an email message and send it off. If your phone supports the native recording format of the voicemail system that's all you need -- an email. But even if you need to do some translation it's pretty easy; email->procmail->lame->MMS gateway == visual voicemail. I use exactly that system to get "visual voicemail" on my phone.

Now, I'm sure that providers aren't interested in letting you actually use the voicemail you're buying, for all sorts of reasons that I'm sure make sense in their 1970's telcom minds, but from a technical perspective it's trivial. Almost any modern phone can accept messages that include some sort of audio file, and your provider has all the information and technology necessary to send such messages to your phone when new voicemail arrives.

I'm not bashing the iPhone, but I'm sick of people pretending that "visual voicemail" is something complicated or new.

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762625)

When I first heard of the iPhone there was a lot of rumours going around that this is actually what Apple was going to do. Sadly it never materialized. It would be nice for someone to make an unlocked phone that was actually worth getting, and that would actually get people started on the path to no contracts. Sadly though, this isn't how it works. If you don't sign a contract, and buy your own phone, you pay $300 (or more) for the phone, and $50 for the monthly service. If you sing a contract, you pay $0 for a phone, and still only pay $50 for the monthly service. Only advantage of buying an unlocked phone is that you can switch phone companies. But if you're planning on switching companies, then why are you signing up in the first place. If buying your own phone actually got you cheaper rates, I think a lot of people would go for that option.

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (1)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764569)

In Sweden at least (and in most of Europe, I would guess) there are pre paid plans where you literally pay nothing except for when you actually use the phone to make calls and send texts. Receiving calls and text messages are free.

That means that paying $300 for a phone that is unlocked won't force you to pay $50 monthly as well. Besides, a cheap phone is more like $50, and the monthly charges are typically far less than $50 for the cheap plans anyway.

It seems to me like cell phones are incredibly much cheaper in Sweden than in the US. (This doesn't apply to business use - for some reason companies are typically charged US like amounts.)

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762719)

Just wait until they release the iPhone in Australia next year. It's illegal for a telco here to lock a phone to a provider, better yet, we can take our phone number with us when we switch.

Re:Why do they need exclusive contracts? (1)

Merusdraconis (730732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763671)

It's the networks that require the phone locking; the phone manufacturers would certainly not like to have to implement locking.

That said, Europe and Australia require it to be possible to remove the locks.

And this is a frontpage article? (2, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761681)

From the summary:

It seems that the iPhone should be available in the UK in time for Christmas. O2 have refused to confirm or deny these reports, so is it yet another unconfirmed iPhone rumor or is it fact?

Well, how about you RTFA that you yourself linked to, buddy?

1. "Press reports said that O2 is set to sign an exclusive contract shortly and should have the new phones on sale in time for Christmas."

2. "However a spokesman for O2's owner, Spain's Telefonica, said that a deal had not been signed."

Translation: a deal is close, almost on the verge of being done but not yet completed. So, yes, for now, it's an unconfirmed rumour. When all parties have signed on the dotted line, then it will be fact.

Really, how can a story that questions itself make it as a frontpage article?

Re:And this is a frontpage article? (1)

ScriptedReplay (908196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762539)

Is this the same Telefonica that's currently about to be fined ~100M Euro by the European Commission (biggest telco fine yet) for anticompetitive behavior in the broadband market? Them getting the deal would make me wonder what criteria is Apple using when picking partners. First AT&T ...

Re:And this is a frontpage article? (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763877)

My guess is their criteria is whats best for making money, not what soothes the civil rights sensibilities of the average paranoid slashdotter.

Re:And this is a frontpage article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19763951)

Actually, it looks more like they hunt for someone with EDGE network. If it's not in the customers' best interest, well, that's tough.

Re:And this is a frontpage article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19764259)

Damn them for not getting everything perfect out of the gate.

Re:And this is a frontpage article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19763707)

You see, in the old days, we had this thing called journalism, where the news was more than just press releases, and often included speculation.

Re:And this is a frontpage article? (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763759)

You see, in the old days, we had this thing called journalism, where the news was more than just press releases, and often included speculation.

I've never seen a journalist question the premise of his own article. Journalists don't write stories that tell us the Widget X will do Function Y and then end their articles asking if we think that it's possible that X will do Y...

OK, if the story title was a question then what follows would be forgiveable, but the title states something as a fact but then goes on to question that fact. That's just silly.

3G? (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761709)

Given the limited nature of American 3G networks, the whole iPhone and EDGE thing can be (to some extent) explained away. But considering how widespread 3G is in Europe, I'd hope Apple has a 3G-ified version of iPhone ready for them. The lack of 3G in the phone, IMHO, is one of the more critical mistakes that Apple has made, especially in introducing such an obviously media-heavy device.

3G chips too power intensive (4, Insightful)

hypermanng (155858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761847)

Jobs said he's not going to do 3G until they can get 3G chips that use less power. Who wants to bet Apple is arranging to have exactly that available by the fall?

Re:3G chips too power intensive (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761961)

If that's true, then I would say delay the European iPhone launch until they can do it right. But seriously though, how many handsets out there do 3G? How many of those have good battery lives? Heck, I'm about as die-hard Mac-head as they come, and I don't really buy the power consumption thing.

Re:3G chips too power intensive (4, Informative)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762115)

Jobs said he's not going to do 3G until they can get 3G chips that use less power. Who wants to bet Apple is arranging to have exactly that available by the fall?
I'll take that bet. If chip companies could make lower power 3G chips, they would. It's not like Apple's the only company that wants 3G chips that consume less power, in fact, they're one of the smaller companies (in terms of the production volume of their phones) that wants chips like that.

3G chips need more power than EDGE chips, it's just a fact and although there may be advances so that they require less power than they do now, no amount of "arrangement" by Apple is going to speed that up.

Re:3G chips too power intensive (1)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762707)

Don't bet on it. Chip makers will make lower power 3G chips when they think they can get a return on the development investment. If the current status quo is considered acceptable then they will not push for it. Now we have Apple saying that you can not put your 3G chipset into the iPhone unless it is low power so I would believe that someone will or has put the time and effort into delivering such a solution to them.

Specific customer demand drives a lot in the electronic component industry. A lot of those customer specific solutions then get turned into catalog parts that other companies will be able to take advantage of. Component vendors are always looking for an "alpha" customer to help drive development.

Re:3G chips too power intensive (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762891)

Yes, specific customer demand is really what pushed IBM to work on the lower power consumption Power5 CPUs in order to bring Power5 to the MacBook. That was really successful for them.

Yes, partners do push the industry, but Apple is and will always be a bit player with influence only over the young, stupid yuppies to whom their products are marketted. Nobody else cares, particularly not the technology manufacturers who can either spend a shitload of money to give into demand to sell a couple hundred thousand units, or stick with existing core competency and continue to sell millions upon millions.

Re:3G chips too power intensive (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763165)

Yes, specific customer demand is really what pushed IBM to work on the lower power consumption Power5 CPUs in order to bring Power5 to the MacBook.

IBM is a $100B company. Marvell, for instance, earned just $300M last year, and would do backflips to sell ten million or so more chips to Apple.

Re:3G chips too power intensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19763235)

This has to be the most retarded thing I have ever heard. Get a clue man. Your little theory is ridiculous. Take off your tin foil hat and get a real education before talking out your ass.

Re:3G chips too power intensive (3, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763457)

My point is that the demand is already there for lower power 3G chips and the fact that Apple wants them now too doesn't change anything. Every phone manufacturer would kill for lower power 3G chips and every 3G chip manufacturer is already trying to deliver them. The incentive is already there -- if some company came out with a 3G chip that used significantly less power they know they would kill all their current competitors as well as increase the market for 3G phones because at present there are a lot of phones that don't include 3G chips specifically because of their power costs (once again, the iPhone is hardly unique in this regard).

Re:3G chips too power intensive (1)

burndive (855848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762357)

Who wants to bet that's just Jobs dissing a feature that he didn't include so that everyone will "understand" why they're stuck with EDGE?

Re:2.5G chips too power intensive (1)

reagan9000 (573671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762991)

My iPhone loses it's charge in less than one day of moderate use, which I define as checking, reading and replying to e-mail several times a day, 10 minutes of phone calls, and a 45 minute commute watching podcasts. If that's it's power usage for so called 2.5G, they've got a way to go wrt power management before 3G will work.

I reckon that a lot of it though is unoptimized power management on a 1.0 product.

Re:3G chips too power intensive (1)

jettoblack (683831) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764267)

http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/en/product/3g/708sc/index .html [softbank.jp]

This phone is REALLY small, has 3G+GSM+Bluetooth, and the battery life is not bad at all. Granted it doesn't have a large screen or fast CPU, but the fact that they can put all that (and TWO cameras, the front one being for video calls) into this tiny form factor and still have good battery life prety much disproves the power excuse...

Re:3G chips too power intensive (2, Insightful)

prockcore (543967) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764329)

Jobs said he's not going to do 3G until they can get 3G chips that use less power. Who wants to bet Apple is arranging to have exactly that available by the fall?


Well then Jobs should've looked at a non-GSM provider.. since EVDO uses less power than 1xRTT.

Actually, Jobs should've just taken the battery life hit on GSM anyway.. the fact that all incoming calls go straight to voicemail while Safari is running is ridiculous. This is also probably why iChat is unavailable.. you couldn't be on AIM and use the phone at the same time.

Re:3G chips too power intensive (1)

clonmult (586283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764461)

I've been wondering about the power consumption of 3G, and reckon it to be an almost total red herring.

I've got a Nokia N73, and have sometimes switched to EDGE/GPRS in order to see if I get much more standby time. I do get a little more standby time, but only in the order of a few more hours. Typically 3 days on edge, maybe 2 3/4 days on 3G. Not a deal breaker there.

Re:3G? (1)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761999)

What North American networks will an unlocked European iPhone work on? And what are the speeds of those networks?

Re:3G? (1)

Sandcastle (563801) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762965)

The lack of 3G in the phone, IMHO, is one of the more critical mistakes that Apple has made

Just because it's "bad", as in it really hobbles the phone, don't think it's a mistake. Just like most things Jobs/Apple does, there's usually reason behind any apparent madness. For instance, we have three likely influences, that mean no 3G may suck, but is likely better than the other options and even less likely to be a mistake:-

- Higher power needs - battery life is an issue as it is, especially given you can't just swap to a spare. No consumer is going to run the equation in their head and say they don't mind low battery life because it's 3G - they'll just dislike the battery life.

- Coverage - obvious but the negatives are even worse when it's not usable in many places. Average consumers aren't going to like the missing out on what it's "meant" to do because they don't have 3G coverage. They won't blame to phone company, they'll blame the iPhone/Apple. Consistent (but slower) service is often better emotionally (across the market generally - not for us maybe ;-))

- Data usage - the slower speeds might be the only reason that Apple persuaded AT&T to offer unlimited data as part of all the plans at such a sane rate. Average usage would go up if the speed was better, so AT&T may not have been willing to do the same for 3G. Again, consumers would be pissed if they started to get charged for excess data from using the touted features of YouTube etc, again apportioning some of the blame on Apple.

The overall, holistic picture of the experience is one of the things that differentiates Apple. 3G (at the moment, in the US) would could very well worsen this aspect of the iPhone. Don't forget that fact when you see an individual "bad" decision, feature deficiency, lack of configurability etc. etc. It what's make Apple products Apple products.

So, these things aren't "failures", or "faults", or "mistakes", critical or otherwise. Sure, the product may not meet your needs, so please don't buy, but all these aspects are very likely more well thought out than we have time to dedicate to them.

Cheers.

Every time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19761763)

an iPhone story is posted on Slashdot, God kills a kitten. Damn, that's a lotta dead cats.

Re:Every time (-1, Offtopic)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762269)

Im in ur graveyard

troubling ur conscience

Lock-in (0, Troll)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761805)

So... a heavily DRMed phone which you can't run your own applications on, even thou it is fully capable, which also forces you to use a phone provider apple chooses for you? How is this NOT an anti-trust case ? Apple was slapped in Europe for the way iTunes locked people to the iPod already. Are they literarely asking for the same thing to happen with the iPhone? Customers should be free to switch provider if the one they are with turns out to suck, and if it isn't already it certainly ought to be law that youa re not allowed to lock phones to a particular company.

PS: Taking bets on weather there will be some form of "region codes" implemented in this one.
   

Re:Lock-in (2, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761937)

Anti-trust? From Apple? They might, if they are lucky, control 1% of the cell phone market!

Seconding this. (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762089)

Paying full price for a crippled GSM phone with no 3rd-party app support, no real-world bluetooth support, no 3G capability, and having to lock yourself into a contract is the height of shortsightedness and stupidity. I don't care how amazing the multitouch or the screen is, I damn well expect to either 1) do anything I can normally do on a GSM phone after spending the full retail price, or 2) have the up-front price slashed if I'm being forced into a contract.

And not only that, but it doesn't use standard sim cards, so I couldn't go to another GSM carrier after the contract is up. Don't like AT&T and want to use T-mobile or Rogers or a European carrier after the contract's up? Travelling outside of AT&T's coverage area and want to avoid the extortionate roaming charges by using a local sim card? Sorry, no can do. $600 paperweight.

Apple's impressed me in the past with their greater willingness to stick to standards than other companies (OSX BSD layer, KHTML-based webkit), and I was planning on getting a macbook when leopard is released, but if this is the way the Apple is going to play I want no part of it. If they sell it unlocked with the ability to use standard sims, I might change my tune. Until then, fuck'em. No new macbook, no new ipod. I'll give my cash to Dell and Archos instead.

Re:Seconding this. (3, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762347)

You just voiced the opinion of the vast mayority of European mobile phone customers I think. Apple is showing their complete ignorance of the European mobile phone market here. They will learn, don't worry.

Re:Seconding this. (1)

threephaseboy (215589) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762687)

I never said it was a flop. (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763237)

I said that the limitations of this artificially-crippled cellphone are unacceptable to me at that price point, and that people who buy it in its' current incarnation are shortsighted and stupid.

Re:I never said it was a flop. (2, Insightful)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764597)

GP said the phone was selling well in the US. You said people who buy it are shortsighted and stupid.

I don't think you are contradicting each other.

Re:Lock-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762441)

It's not an anti-trust case because nobody's forcing you to buy the phone. They're not using an existing monopoly to push other products on you (the way MS used its OS dominance to force IE on everyone).

Re:Lock-in (1)

LadyLucky (546115) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762975)

This isn't anti-trust unless they are actually forcing you to purchase through monopoly power. This is clearly not the case. You have the choice to purchase or not - nothing anti-competitive about it. Just don't buy it.

iPhone contract (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19761919)

YAWN.

will apple get around EU laws force the phone to.. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761925)

How will apple get around EU laws force the phone to be unlocked?

Its GSM (1)

billsf (34378) | more than 7 years ago | (#19761941)

The iPhone covers all GSM bands and should work adequately on any system. Not every feature works on my phone and that's the norm. How much do GSM providers pay for these things? IPhones work fine over here and if they do cost $1000 each as a friend in the industry told me, that should be an option: Free to choose the provider you want.

Re:Its GSM (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763757)

Maybe it's like iTunes where you pay extra for the non DRM version of the song.

The economics of the iPhone is interesting actually. I read that since the operators don't subsidise it, they pay Apple a cut of the monthly bill. Someone pointed out a $500 phone and $60 a month for one year minimum means people are actually paying $1220 for a phone. Or $1700 if you go for the $100 per month contract. In which case, a $1000 unlocked cellphone seems like a comparative bargain.

And if you don't have the cash up front, Apple has a credit plan with a 180 day no interest payment intro period -
http://www.macobserver.com/article/2001/12/06.4.sh tml [macobserver.com]

Gotta love Steve Jobs.

mod dowN (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762065)

European FCC (4, Insightful)

lastninja (237588) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762131)

Since this is bound to raise questions about will it have 3G type. I thought I should ask a related question. I guess the EU have some sort of FCC equivalent that asserts that devices with radio comply to standards. When would apple have to provide them with an iPhone with a 3G chip, for it to make the before end of 2007 deadline. Are those tests public, i.e. would they have to tell us that they are conducting tests on the iPhone?

O2 as a Provider (0)

moderators_are_w*nke (571920) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762411)

I'm surprised nobody has commented on O2 as a phone provider. I've been a customer of O2, Vodafone and one2one/T-Mobile and I'd have to say O2 were easily the worst of the three in my experience. I think if the rumours turn out to be true I would be put off the iPhone by having to have an O2 contract.

Re:O2 as a Provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19764577)

I was an O2 customer for years, back when they were BT Cellnet. Awful, awful company. Even when I tried to leave them they couldn't have been less helpful - didn't want to know about my reasons for leaving, didn't try to retain my custom, didn't give me the chance to take my phone number with me when I left (which I think is my legal right). I got so annoyed with them, I made a clean sweep of it - gave up trying to get my PAC code and phone number off them, and started afresh and switched to Orange. Much as Orange get a bashing from some people, I'm actually very happy with them - but then, any company is better than O2.

Are Apple deliberately partnering with companies with bad support?

Speculation vs Fact (2, Informative)

Durzel (137902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19762541)

The Times Online [timesonline.co.uk] is reporting that O2 have already won the contract ("O2 has beaten its rivals to win the exclusive UK rights to offer Apple's iPhone"), BBC News is saying that it is "reported to have won the sought-after deal". So the BBC is speculating whereas The Times is claiming it to be fact. I don't know who to believe.

If you believe all the articles you read then apparently O2 have denying winning the contract [tech.co.uk] , being quoted as saying "they're just stories without any truth to them". That sounds like a pretty negative statement for a company who is apprently just being hush-hush about being in such a privileged position.

O2 do not have very good 3G coverage in the UK, it seems almost a no-brainer that Vodafone would've won the contract since their infrastructure is superior. There's no EDGE in the UK, so the UK iPhone either has to be 3G, or work over GPRS... the latter doesn't bear thinking about (think Youtube vids downloaded at 3-4KBps).

The smart money is still on Vodafone to win the contract in my opinion, despite these reports, and the UK (maybe Euro) iPhone having 3G support.

Re:Speculation vs Fact (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19762873)

O2 do not have very good 3G coverage in the UK, it seems almost a no-brainer that Vodafone would've won the contract since their infrastructure is superior.
Infrastructure has nothing to do with it. AT&T won out without having the best infrastructure. It's about Apple's having its say on the iPhone development. Only if wireless companies can agree to that the negotiation proceeds to other aspects such as who has the best coverage area, customer service, profit sharing, etc.

Remember that in the US, Verizon rejected Apple outright on Apple's demand to control the iPhone hardware and software. Incidentally, Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon Wireless. However, regardless whether you think iPhone is worth it or not, 1 million activations by AT&T (unconfirmed) in 4 days should give Vodafone a pause. Will they repeat Verizon's mistake?

Re:Speculation vs Fact (2, Insightful)

clonmult (586283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764479)

Catch is that only T-Mobile has any decent data plans in the UK though.

Vodafone pricing is generally just to be laughed at, call charges, data, whatever, they're just way overpriced. O2 aren't that different.

And as for "no edge in the UK", check your facts first. Orange have definitely rolled out an EDGE network, my N73 drops back to that when I'm on ropy 3G coverage.

Re:Speculation vs Fact (1)

nicklott (533496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19764489)

The UK does have EDGE, (I know because my orange phone is constantly telling me) however O2 doesn't have an Edge network, which makes it a very strange choice of network. Unless they're planning a 3G version for europe, not that the coverage of that is great either.

Vodafone (1)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19763465)

I would've thought it would've ended up on a more international carrier like vodaphone or something. Here in italy a ton of people seem to have their really snazzy cellphones so I'm sure they'd just gobble this shit up.
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