The U.K. Gets An iPhone - InformationWeek

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9/18/2007
09:37 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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The U.K. Gets An iPhone

At today's "Mum is no longer the word" press conference held in London, Steve Jobs announced that O2 will be carrying the iPhone in the United Kingdom. Too bad there's no 3G on board, or anything else new.

At today's "Mum is no longer the word" press conference held in London, Steve Jobs announced that O2 will be carrying the iPhone in the United Kingdom. Too bad there's no 3G on board, or anything else new.The British version of the iPhone is basically identical to the one available from AT&T here in the States. It will ship with the latest firmware (1.1.1) already installed, and supports multiple different language keyboards, but that's about it. No 3G. O2 did manage to agree that its iPhone-toting subscribers could use 7,500 Wi-Fi hotspots (via 02's agreement with The Cloud) as part of their data plan. And this is essential.

02 only has about 30% of the U.K. covered with EDGE. The rest is either GPRS or WCDMA. When I was in London last month, I got to see just how slow GPRS is. The iPhone was practically useless without an EDGE data connection. GPRS just doesn't cut it, especially for a device such as the iPhone that requires speed, speed, and more speed.

Citizens of the U.K. can pay £269 ($536) for the device and then choose from three different plans, ranging from $70 to $110 per month. No word on when or if the iPhone will be available in other countries, leaving the speculation game wide open. It goes on sale Nov. 9th.

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