This was kinda the event that never was, despite some hype that in fact we might be in for major price changes with the iPhone…
Tesco (a HUGE supermarket chain in the UK) went live with their iPhone sales yesterday, and despite mutterings that we might see a cheaper price for the iPhone range (iPhone 3G 8GB, iPhone 3GS 16GB, iPhone 3GS 32GB), in fact it was all eerily similar to when Orange launched – that is, device prices remained pretty much in line across all the operators.
Where Tesco has tried to differentiate itself is in the pricing structure of it’s tariffs – on PAYG it is doing a ‘triple your credit’ option, and then on contract there are just two tariffs – the first is £20/month (with £60 worth of calls and texts), and the other is £60/month (with unlimited calls and texts). All of the options contain unlimited Mobile Internet and WiFi.
As mentioned above, it’s not a huge surprise – Tesco piggybacks on the O2 network for it’s coverage, so there was always going to be a tight link – quite apart from the fact that Apple seems to be specifying almost to the penny what prices its devices should be sold at. Clearly there’s some flexibility in mobile network charges, but it’s not mindblowing.
So it’s now just left to Vodafone, who are launching the iPhone in January, to shake things up – if indeed they are able to. Time will tell!