updated 12:00 pm EDT, Thu June 17, 2010
Shorter contracts yield cheaper phones
Long-time UK iPhone carrier O2 has announced its device costs for the iPhone 4 and 8GB iPhone 3GS, both due to launch in the region on June 24th. Unusually, phones are cheaper under the lowest tier when opting for an 18-month contract instead of a two-year one. A 16GB iPhone 4 is £209 with an 18-month term, for instance, while a two-year agreement raises the price to £279. This is offset by monthly fees, which are higher with a shorter contract. A 32GB model is £299 with an 18-month contract and £323 over two years.
A similar arrangement exists with the iPhone 3GS, which has £129 and £185 pricetags respectively. Past the lowest tier though, phone prices are fixed. The 3GS is £95 at the 300-minute tier, and free with any of the more expensive options. A 16GB iPhone 4 starts at £179 for 300 minutes, and shrinks in price until it is free at the unlimited level. There is no free option for the 32GB phone, which ranges between £279 and £29.