updated 04:45 pm EDT, Thu March 12, 2009
O2 planning May price cut?
UK phone carrier O2 is poised to drop prices on the iPhone 3G come May, claims a regional magazine. Mobile cites exclusive information, pointing to the device becoming free with £35 or £45 per month subscriptions. The 8GB iPhone is currently free with £45 and £75 plans, while the 16GB model is free only at the £75 level. Practical costs of iPhone ownership can rise as high as £159 a month.
The purpose of the bargain is thought to be aimed at clearing inventory in advance of a new iPhone, generally expected to be released in June or July in the same manner as first- and second-generation hardware. Mobile sources also claim that Apple is in negotiations with O2 rival Orange, which may finally result in a second official carrier for the UK. The region is currently one of the few worldwide -- including the US -- to be limited by exclusive iPhone arrangements.
More information on the new iPhone is expected on March 17th, when Apple will preview its v3.0 firmware at a press event in Cupertino. Potential features may include true background processes, vector-based GPS positioning, and possibly tethering or MMS messaging. In terms of hardware, some analysts and sources have speculated that Apple may intend to release a cheaper companion iPhone, serving a role similar to the iPod nano in comparison to the iPod classic.