One of the favourite descriptions of the UK, especially amongst it’s inhabitants, is Rip-Off Britain, indeed there is even an entire website devoted to the subject. Whilst there are loads of things that cost more in this country, hence why we quite often go shopping when we visit Canada, it is not everything that is cheaper abroad.
Thanks to the massive competition in our domestic mobile phone market, the deal we are being offered on the 3G iPhone seems to be one of the best around, indeed it seems positively generous compared to the deals in in Canada where there is no competition at all in the market, and New Zealand where there are only two players.
In the UK, on the higher cost plans we’re getting the phone for free, down in New Zealand users of every plan have to cough up for the phone. Both the operators in Canada and New Zealand are applying hard limits to data – over here we have unlimited data usage.
Not surprisingly it doesn’t take much to find potential purchasers in the two countries who are less than happy. About the only complaint I’ve heard over here is that users are tied to O2…
Last week I was speculating over whether I could use the new iPod Touch as a PDA. Unfortunately, having read the Ars Technica review it seems not – although it regards the browsing support as better than the Nokia N800 it confirmed that the calendar function on the iPod Touch has been crippled, giving it the read only functionality available elsewhere in the iPod line, rather than the full read/write calendar available on the iPhone. I assume this is in part to try and protect the iPhone market, but then as a result I’ll probably not buy either, so there are some customers that they’ve lost through this. Bizarrely it is only the calendar application that is crippled – contacts does allow you to edit records.
Anyway, hype is building up in anticipation of the expected iPhone launch tomorrow in London. The Guardian today reports that O2 have got the UK rights, with Orange and T-Mobile getting rights in other European markets.
Interestingly it seems that Apple played off the four major networks in the UK against each other, so that at certain points all of them thought they had an exclusive deal. Vodafone walked away when they realised that they couldn’t get a Europe wide deal.
Interestingly Carphone Warehouse is on board to sell the iPhone through it’s stores, so perhaps Apple aren’t as confident in the O2 retail network. There is also a good deal of speculation as to quite how O2 hope to make any money out of the deal at all since Apple have retained the same stringent controls over pricing, and also upgrading their network to support EDGE – unless of course the other big announcement tomorrow will be a 3G iPhone… Now if I were an American early adopter and they did that I’d be really annoyed!