While American iPhone users are limited to a single carrier, the UK offers plenty of choice to customers. Three has announced that they will carry iPhone 4, with pre-orders beginning on June 15th. O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone were all confirmed on the 7th.
Even poor math students will notice that UK iPhone customers now have five carriers to choose from. Of course, all of the UK's carriers are GSM. We only have two of those here in the States (AT&T and T-Mobile).
Three is the first to announce a pre-order date (the same as in the US) and, as Engadget notes, typically undercut the competition when it comes to price. It all adds up to a bevy of choice -- and a potential price war -- for UK customers.
In another adjustment, O2 just announced a new pricing model, citing "clarity" and "sustainability" as key advantages. It's caught the attention of our UK readers (thanks everyone!) as it removes the unlimited option for data usage, much as AT&T did last week. The top plan now maxes out at 1GB of data, with buy-up options for 500MB or 1 GB coming in the fall.
Of course, like AT&T, O2 is framing these changes as optimizations to the real data needs of its customers. As of now, the lowest O2 bundle (500MB) provides at least 2.5 times what the 'average O2 smartphone customer' uses. In fact, O2 claims 97% of their smartphone customers won't need to buy additional data allowances under the new arrangement.
"With the wide range of Internet based services now available on mobile devices we're providing customers with generous clear data bundles that give customers freedom," said O2's CEO Ronan Dunne in the company's press release. We're not sure what was so opaque and ungenerous about "unlimited data."
In June, O2 will introduce three inclusive data bundles for new and upgrading smartphone customers. You'll find their latest information here.
Have fun on release day, folks, and may the best provider (for you) win your business.