Well, it looks like the Apple Press Event in London was exactly what we expected – that is to say, Apple has just announced their European partners for iPhone distribution. This would have been a huge announcement had we not been expecting both O2’s partnership with Apple and Apple’s official announcement at the London press event. We now have official confirmation from Cupertino (by way of London) that Apple has tipped their hat to O2 for exclusive rights to distribute the iPhone to the UK.
Apple says that the Brits can look for O2 to drop the iPhone on Friday, November 9, 2007 – with 1,300 Carphone Warehouse retail locations helping out the launch logistics. All those eager iPhone hopefuls in the UK have a couple months (if they don’t already have an unlocked iPhone, that is) to save up the 269 pounds (including VAT) to get their hands on an 8GB iPhone – which includes unlimited data in exchange for an 18-month service contract.
Sadly, Brit techies will have to deal with all that unlimited data being delivered solely through EDGE – no 3G for the UK. Of course, there will still be the WiFi option for surfing the net at blazing speeds. But, even with lowly EDGE speeds, O2 will be upgrading their network to give iPhone users the best possible EDGE-surfing experience. The Times Online is reporting that O2 will be investing “in the millions” of pounds to upgrade their EDGE network for 30% coverage.
According to NewsFactor.com, Apple is only getting a 10% kickback from usage revenue, a stark difference from the incredible 40% revenue sharing scheme that was speculated by other publications.
Congrats, you Brits! Welcome to the love-hate relationship that is iPhone ownership. Just watch out for a $200 price cut in a couple months.