Orange UK set to sell iPhone 3G and 3GS later this year

Orange have announced plans to sell the iPhone 3G and 3GS to customers in the UK later this year.

The deal marks the end of an exclusive agreement between Apple and UK provider O2 for the iPhone device which has been restricted to the O2 network since the original launch in 2007. In the announcement Orange said customers will be able to purchase the iPhone 3G and 3Gs "later this year" but did not reveal an exact date.

It's expected that the iPhone will be available to Orange customers at Christmas time. Orange unveiled a site where customers can register their interest in the devices.

The announcement by Orange confirms rumours that surfaced in August regarding O2 losing the iPhone exclusive contract.

More information on pricing, tariffs and availability dates will be released in due course.

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I'm very happy with O2 and their coverage, though the Data Network issue annoys me but looks like its been fixed.
I don't rate Orange at all - reception is poor and their broadband service is abysmal, and the script readers at their Indian call centres just make things worse!

O2 network coverage is abysmal, this will be the main reason people migrate. Many areas of Birmingham I cant get 3G, rural areas no signal at all.

I live in Newcastle and travel to Sunderland everyday for work and both cities have very good 3G reception, so I would expect the 2nd largest city in the UK to have it just as good!

I am on Orange for 18 months contract and now I have 12 months contract left... Is it possible to upgrade contract now? I can't wait to upgrade

I moved from a long time relationship with Vodafone to get my iPhone from O2. Would love to see the iPhone be available on other networks. Apple suck for releasing the phone on certain networks. I love the iPhone but hate Apple as a company.

I've registered my interest even though i already have an iPhone and am already on Orange.

Would love to have a direct iPhone contract with Orange.

forcer said,
I've registered my interest even though i already have an iPhone and am already on Orange.

Would love to have a direct iPhone contract with Orange.


yeah me too. iPhone 2G - was bought when they discounted £100 off the price of it just before the new ones came out. ^-^

So would be nice to get a 3Gs now.

O2 seem the best in the UK in giving people good tarrifs with unlimited data thrown in. Orange seem like one of the companies desperately hanging onto 'data' as being some obscure optional extra that hardly anyone ever needs - I wonder if they're going to get a kick in the ass from Apple before they start selling the iPhone, to fix that situation?

Chicane-UK said,
O2 seem the best in the UK in giving people good tarrifs with unlimited data thrown in. Orange seem like one of the companies desperately hanging onto 'data' as being some obscure optional extra that hardly anyone ever needs - I wonder if they're going to get a kick in the ass from Apple before they start selling the iPhone, to fix that situation?


I left o2 a few months ago, unless anything changed since then “unlimited” internet has a fair use policy of 250mb for all phones except the iPhone. Great for iPhone users but if you have any other phone there not really that great for data.

Yay for competition!!!
Hopefully this will lead to a better iPhone deal for all in the UK - maybe even operator unlocked iPhones.

.fahim said,
Yay for competition!!!
Hopefully this will lead to a better iPhone deal for all in the UK - maybe even operator unlocked iPhones.

/me hugs vodafone iPhone

BGM said,
/me hugs vodafone iPhone :)

Don't forget that Vodafone and o2 announced a network sharing deal several months back. My sources tell me that most of us will begin to see the effects of this from January onwards next year.

This is great for my and my o2 iPhone. I get practically zero signal at work, however there's a Vodafone mast on the roof. Once o2 hooks into the mast I'll get full signal too

TR1GG3R said,
pricing and branding with all the crappy orange firmware/stamps will be a decider for me

Apple would never allow Orange to rebrand the iPhone.

TR1GG3R said,
pricing and branding with all the crappy orange firmware/stamps will be a decider for me

Well said. I will never buy an Orange phone again after putting up with all that orange branding & butchered icons crap on their se580i - unlocked models for me, ever since.

TR1GG3R said,
pricing and branding with all the crappy orange firmware/stamps will be a decider for me

Yeah, I agree. But that's why the iPhone costs upfront as well as the contract. To stop the providers putting their stamp on it.

As long as this doesn't mean that orange have it/or any later iphones exclusively as that will just wind up existing iphone customers (including me) who are on o2 and don't want to transfer network.

However, it might at least make o2 competitive. There is no reason why the 3gs should cost a ton more than the standard 3g did at launch.

I have to agree. I've been a loyal O2 customer for years, and whilst I wouldn't want anything other than an iPhone these days, I will be extremely annoyed if the exclusivity moves to Orange. I would have hoped that Apple would realise that exclusivity only hurts them in the long run. Just as I am loyal to O2, there are many many people who are loyal to Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile or even 3. They would be much better off striking deals with ALL of the network operators, and just letting people have the choice.

kinetix63 said,
I have to agree. I've been a loyal O2 customer for years, and whilst I wouldn't want anything other than an iPhone these days, I will be extremely annoyed if the exclusivity moves to Orange. I would have hoped that Apple would realise that exclusivity only hurts them in the long run. Just as I am loyal to O2, there are many many people who are loyal to Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile or even 3. They would be much better off striking deals with ALL of the network operators, and just letting people have the choice.

brand loyalty is for chumps

It's not just about brand loyalty, o2 provide me with a decent 3g signal in my area and I have a ton of good will built up with them from being with them so long (which means I get cheaper contract renewals) That and the customer service is fully UK based and of high quality. If the iphone goes exclusive to orange, then that's just Apple pretty much dumping on all it's loyal customers from the past 3/4 years.

DrCheese said,
It's not just about brand loyalty, o2 provide me with a decent 3g signal in my area and I have a ton of good will built up with them from being with them so long (which means I get cheaper contract renewals) That and the customer service is fully UK based and of high quality. If the iphone goes exclusive to orange, then that's just Apple pretty much dumping on all it's loyal customers from the past 3/4 years.

sorry, i meant in general.. too many people moan about being a 'loyal customer' when things don't go their way... good work on getting a cheaper contract though..

Why not buy unlocked? I thought most of Europe was free to choose almost any phones they want for any network. Here in the States, unlocked phones are mostly limited to the GSM bands only, no 3G.

True, in this case it would Apple I'd dump for being a bunch of pricks. I'm not going to follow them across networks and take it out on on o2 whenever Apple feel like cashing in on a new exclusivity contract.

That said, this doesn't look like it is one. But I'm worried about the "next" generation iphone next year being shopped around to the highest bidder.

Orange aren't getting an exclusivity deal, it will probably be offered on both networks, Apple are just expanding their horizons and realising it will help their market share to offer the iPhone on more than one network

I still don't see what's so great about these Iphones. For one apple has so many restrictions and typing on glass is ridiculous.

Karo - 323z IT said,
Why not buy unlocked? I thought most of Europe was free to choose almost any phones they want for any network. Here in the States, unlocked phones are mostly limited to the GSM bands only, no 3G.

At least in the UK, you can't buy it unlocked.