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back to article iPhone 3G S in the UK: what you need to know

Apple’s latest iPhone, the 3G S, is currently the talk of the town. But if you’re a prospective O2 customer itching to buy the latest model, or an existing iPhone users hoping to upgrade, then you’d be wise to read the small print. O2 has already confirmed that the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3G S models will cost pay-as-you-go …

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Tom
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too expensive

I've been on an original iphone for about two years at 35 quid a month. I have recently been waiting to see what the third gen one would offer and cost, but it's £185.

Sod that.

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You must be joking....

...£630 is the minimum to pay for an mp3 player with a dodgy mobile wrapped up.

Any one who is even thinking of getting one of these needs a lobotomy......

P.

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Go

Sorry for the lengthy post...

Here's my workings. The 44.05 deal for 16gb seems best for me........

mins/texts - (monthly price x contract period = total) + phone cost = total cost

18 months:

3GS 16GB

75/125 - (29.38 X 18 = 528.84) + 184.98 = 713.82

600/500 - (34.26 X 18 = 616.68) + 184.98 = 801.66

1200/500 - (44.05 X 18 = 729.90) + 87.11 = 817.01 <--------------- My best deal. £15 extra for double the mins every month. thats £15 extra on the total value, not per month

3000/500 - (73.41 X 18 = 1321.38) + 0 = 1321.38

3GS 32GB

75/125 - (29.38 X 18 = 528.84) + 274.23 = 803.07

600/500 - (34.26 X 18 = 616.68) + 274.23 = 890.91

1200/500 - (44.05 X 18 = 729.90) + 175.19 = 905.09

3000/500 - (73.41 X 18 = 1321.38) + 96.89 = 1418.27

24 Months:

3GS 16GB

600/500 - (34.26 X 24 = 822.24) + 87.11 = 909.35

1200/500 - (44.05 X 24 = 1057.20) + 0 = 1057.20

3000/500 - (73.41 X 24 = 1761.84) + 0 = 1761.84

3GS 32GB

600/500 - (34.26 X 24 = 822.24) + 175.19 = 997.43

1200/500 - (44.05 X 24 = 1057.20) + 96.89 = 1154.09

3000/500 - (73.41 X 24 = 1761.84) + 0 = 1761.84

There seems to be no real reason to go for 24 months which seems odd?

The unlimited text bundle is 132.12 for the 18 months, so add that to whatever figure your interested in if you need it.

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Yikes!

I'm currently on a Vodafone contract with a Blackberry Storm. I got the Storm as there were too many shortcomings on the iPhone. Most of these appear to have been addressed now and I would seriously consider one, but judging by the price I don't think I'll bother now.

I blame the exclusive deal O2 have. They know the phone will sell by the bucket load and they can charge what they want. It's well over priced.

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Paris Hilton

Upgrading

I have the original (ie. not 3G) iPhone on a £35/month contract from O2. I'm out of the initial 18 month contract period, so O2 offered me an upgrade to the 3G iPhone. I did not do so, as I wanted to wait and upgrade to the newer iPhone once it was out.

Now it's out, I'm wondering if O2 will let me upgrade to the 3GS for free, or whether I'll have to shell out the £184.98 charge? (Obviously, I'm going to ask them, I'm not just being lazy - but if anyone has any negotiation tips I'd be glad to hear them!)

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Stop

Tethering

...WILL be available on the existing 3G handsets - it's a feature of the 3.0 OS, not the new hardware.

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Stop

Tethering?

Using an i-phone as a modem (can already do that with my HTC touch pro), will cost an extra £14 a month (costs me bugger all with orange - but its still a waste of time generally).

You are already on an "unlimited" data tariff.

How will they know the difference between i-phone browsing, and using a tethered laptop?, spyware in the phone ?

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Flame

Complete rip-off

Apple announced prices of $199 and $299 max for 16Gb and 32Gb. The same two price points at the two 3G models.

O2 has DOUBLED the cost of it's two price points. This is a complete rip-off compared to comparable products:

HTC Magic on Vodaphone - FREE at £30 per month

HTC Touch FREE on Orange

Acer Aspire netbook FREE with £17.50 data package on 3 (24 months)

iPod Touch 32Gb - £263 (cheaper than iPhone with no contract - so where's the subsidy on the very similar iPhone?)

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wot, no video capture for the 8Gb model?

Funny how Cycorder works perfectly well on the existing 3G hardware yet Apple's home-grown equivalent is unable to.

Seems like another good reason to jailbreak what you have and sod being ripped off by O2's update-before-your-contract-expires-and-lose-an-arm pricing structure.

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Seriously...

...how are people this stupid? I'm not going to comment on the device. It is very nice to use, even if this latest iteration still lags behind other phones in terms of capability. That said, this is an extortionate amount of money.

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Anonymous Coward

International ?

So Apple experts, what's the best option for a regular international traveller who wants a 32GB model and who's currently contracted to Vodafone UK ?

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Stu
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Rip off Britain?

So this is what O2 are saying to Britain now -

"Rip off Britain? No such thing. Here, a premium desirable mobile phone designed by a fashionable US IT firm, have it for a grand plus what with being stuck with it for 18months minimum, and be glad about it. What do you mean you want to use your already paid for 3G connection tethered with your PC? Screw you, 15quid more please. Oh and screw you if you want to buy it on PAYG as you'll miss out on the key new features, you cheapskates!"

Thanks, rip off merchants.

I looked in on the CNET live blog coverage yesterday, they didn't half leave the new iPhone hardware to the last minute, and now we know why. Wheres the OLED screen? For that price I'd expect it. Cowon S9 or Sony Walkman X series anyone? What about all the other bits and pieces it should have had? What about that range of different hardware designs?

Highly HIGHLY disappointed.

Oh but its okay, it can tell me which way I'm facing. Brilliant.

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Nice but..........

I have a iPhone 3G, its jailbroken and I can already do video recording, send MMS, copy and paste. With the added bonus of fully customising the look of the handset and add my own ringtones with out paying apple an extra £1 per song to do so.

The only thing the new handset has which looks good is to voice control the music when I am in the car but it can do that now anyway via a connection..... and why a compass?

Anyways, nice try apple. like the phone but there are cheaper and better alternatives.

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porting over?

Are they planning on "buying out" contracts for those wanting to move over, like they did when the iPhone was first launched?

My old 2G iphone is due for "upgrade" anyway, but I'm wondering about getting a 3Gs for my fiancee, who's got 4 months left on her t-mobile contract.

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They changed their tariffs

Unless this web page on their site is totally outdated, they're charging more up front for the 16Gb version than previously. Am I the only one that cares? It's "only" a £30 increase, but enough to put me off getting one.

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Stop

what about exist iPhone 3G upgrade price

I still can't find any info on upgrade for existing iPhone 3G user who like myself queued up on the 1st day of the launch of the iPhone 3G and now left with about 7 months of the original 18months contract to go. We want an upgrade path for a reasonable price.

Eddie

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Silver badge

8GB

"Internet tethering will not be available to owners of the 8GB iPhone."

Unless the tethering application (there's an app for that..) is 8.1GB in size, I can see no logic to this one.

Mind you, availability doesn't equal take-up. At these crazy prices I'd be surprised if anyone signed up - especially as it makes a mockery of "unlimited data" supposedly already included in an iPhone tarriff.

Methinks we'll see an uprising in jailbreaking to tether for free!

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Bronze badge

more than a little way off...

Iv got till January to think this one over, i've known for a long time that this was coming, and now i have a long time to save up for the new one, or do i just wait till next June for the next incarnation, hmmmmmmm

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Anonymous Coward

Here we go again...

So we came back to square one, same as one year ago. New toy is ridiculously expensive...

Sad part is that iPhone is such a status symbol that many people will buy it anyway, filling coffers of O2/Apple.

Still same question remains: how much does it actually cost to make one of those phones?

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Jobs Horns

A bit of a micky-take.

To put it mildly.

O2 created (rightly or wrongly) an expectation - thanks to their generous offer when the 3G arrived - that being able to upgrade would be possible.

Instead, they've shot themselves in the foot. Who in their right mind, after contracting firstly for the iPhone, then the iPhone 3G, will buy themselves out of their contract, get the new handset, only to be shafted again when the next handset is announced.

TechRadar made the point eloquently:

"The second reason the lack of upgrades is a bad idea is that by January, it'll only be five months before the next iPhone is due. Savvy iPhone fans aren't going to commit to an 18-month or 24-month lock-in if they think the 3GS is about to be replaced - and unless they're demented, they're not going to upgrade now if they need to pay a big whack for the phone, pay several hundred quid to escape their current contract and commit to a contract that promises the same expense next summer."

I'm especially disappointed: I wanted to replace my cracked, bruised and battered 3G with the new handset - and would have gladly paid for the new unit.

Buying out the contract, however? Pfft.

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Will make a lovely shiney Welsh Bookend in my cottage

Totally Overpriced here in the UK, a piece of technology reliant on 3G that disappoints in the implementation. In Wales there is one 3G transmitter in Carmathen the next is two hours north in Aberystwyth. This 'no mans land' is probably the reason you have a backup compass app built in.

I just hope people ignore it when its released to show them how wrong they have got the pricing.

Anyone yet invented a Wind Farm / 3G transmitter combination, because we have plenty of the former and none of the latter.

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Solution for existing iPhone 3G users...

OK, so I'm not rushing out to by it on contract next week while my current contract doesn't end till Jan 2010.

But what if I just paid £538 for the PAYG 32Gb 3GS, sold my current 3G on eBay, they are currently going for around £300-£350, carried on using my contract until Jan 2010, then switch to the 30 day contract tarriff of £20 per month with 600 mins and 1200 texts?

I would even be free in Jan 2010 to unlock it and use it on Orange instead, plus by then, the tethering would be cracked.

I work it out to cost approx £1100 over the 18 months if bought the 32Gb 3GS next week and paid off the remaining 6 months of the contract.

And £688, if I sell my 3G for conservative £300, continue for 6 months on £35 and then change to £20 month contract for another 12 months.

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Anonymous Coward

Come on Nokia...

Where's that damn N97!

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Happy

Almost there...

...with the hardware spec. A better camera would me nice though.

But at £800+ over 18 months on the cheapest tariff, it's fecking expensive.

Plus my family is on Vodafone so we can take advantage of the free calls package so I'd want it on Vodafone too.

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Unhappy

Upgrading early

According to O2's web site they're only offering upgrades to existing iPhone 3G customers if you're within the last month of your contract. No mention at all of upgrading before hand with a premium added on top. Guess that means I'll have to wait till December.

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Stop

Rage, Anger, Disapointment, O2 are really taking the piss.

What a bunch of bar stewards.

Monthly tariff iphone = supposedly 'unlimited' data access which is really only 250mb when you take into account the 'unfair usage' policy.

Now they want people to pony up another £15 quid to bolt on 3Gb of data onto an 'unlimited' data tariff..... FFS It's the same damn data over the same damn infrastructure using the same damn technology.

It's about bloody time someone took ALL mobile networks and ISP's to court over the term 'unlimited' I'm bloody sick of it - any judge worth his salt would come to the conclusion that 'unlimited' marketing spiel of pure bollox regardless of any 'unfair usage policy' .

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Beautiful, and stupidly expensive

If the camera takes decent snaps and video (cos lets face it, the fact it isn't an 8MP device like top-end smartphones is a shame, but it's irrelevant to the actual quality) then the whole Apple lock-in thing is the only real downer remaining. If only they'd half the price, I'd snap one up in an instant.

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Nice, but not enough to upgrade

I bought my 16Gb iPhone in January this year with the £35 tariff and I have no complaints with it whatsoever. I don't make a huge amount of phone calls and so the free minutes and texts is ideal for me. I do access the web and check email on the move a lot though (despite there being no decent 3G 'oop North) so the unlimited data is a massive bonus.

Although I would like a better camera, with video recording, and 32Gb of storage, I don't think I'll be upgrading to a 3GS until my contract renewal is up. I'm an amateur photographer and I use a Canon EOS for photography; I've never been a huge fan of phone cameras. Everything else I need my mobile device to be is accommodated by the App Store.

I am very excited though at the prospect of having TomTom working on my iPhone with the v3.0 update. I've been considering buying a SatNav for some time but have been holding out for it being available for my iPhone. This now looks like a reality and I see no reason to get rid of something that is fast becoming a perfect all-in-one mobile device.

And yes, I'm an Apple 'fanboi'; so what.

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Pricey

I was looking forward to this, thinking we'd get the same deal as the US - i.e. a 32GB phone for the same price as the old 16GB one.

But do we get that? Do we f**k. We even have to pay MORE for the new 16GB than the old one whereas the lucky Yanks get it for far less.

Now I'm reconsidering whether I should get one or not... well done, Apple. You could've made this the most popular thing in the country if you'd bought the US pricing over here... instead you're turning away countless people.

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Stop

How much?

£73.41 for 18 months?

So - that's:

£73.41x18=£1321.38

£1321.38. For a phone. A freaking phone.

Someone obviously needs their head examined. And if anyone is interested in this, I'm sure I can find a cheap bridge/opera house to sell them.

Cheers,

Mike

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Unhappy

WTF?!

$10 will buy you 99% of these upgrades. What's the point of shelling out nearly £538, in the current economic climate, for such a pitiful upgrade??

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My Calculations...

...indicate that the best deal is the 32GB model on a 24 month contract at £34.26/pcm. Total monthly cost would be £41.55/pcm. Expensive, certainly, but this is a premium product.

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Paris Hilton

After hearing about the tethering...

I was tempted to replace my LG Viewty that I currently tether my NC10 to with a shiny new iPhone GS.

After seeing the obscene bolt on pricing to the already crap contracts I'm wondering what's stopping me buying a PAYG version and putting my current Sim in it to tether for free?

How will they know what phone I'm tethering from?

Paris, cause only she can afford one.

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I'll tell you what I think ...

They are absolutely taking the piss. Simple as that.

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@Peter Gunn

The compass isn't really about having a nice compass app which most people won't use. Working out the orientation of the iphone in 3D space accurately is impossible without it. The compass can tell about rotation about the axis coming straight out of the screen when the phone is heald flat, which is necassary for gps navigation if you are stationary and great for doing augmented reality apps using the video camera.

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Hmmm

I was quite looking forward to this announcement, but i'm not sure about it now. I love my iPhone, its a pleasure to use (just like my iMac!) but i don't think i can justify spending all this money on a bloody phone anymore... Sorry Apple

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Dyslexic maths

@mark - £44.05 * 18 months is £792.90, not £729.90. Which might make it a less good deal.

Oliver.

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MGJ
Unhappy

Specs

can't see anywhere if it supports bluetooth keyboards properly, stereo headphones, standard 3.5mm jack etc. Need to upgrade from a 2 year old N95 with GPS; does the iPhone have that? All the comments are about tethering; how would they tell?

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Stop

16GB 3G S

The pricing for the 16GB 3G S is about the 16GB 3G was. Cheapest way to upgrade from a 16GB 3G, if you have suitable insurance, is probably to wait until there is definately no remaining stock for of the 16GB 3G and then have an 'accident'.

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@ Paul Naylor

The TomTom app on the iPhone won't be a satnav. It only uses triangulation of phone transmitters which is slower and less accurate and you could be in big trouble in 'the sticks' if you are out of range of a transmitter. My car came with a TomTom built-in. It will pair but it will not communicate with my G3 iPhone over BlueTooth to do anything useful at all.

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Happy

Rodders

Excellent, thank you O2/Apple, you've helped me make what was becoming a difficult decision.

I was stuck between an iPhone, Palm Pre and a HTC Diamond.

With those steep pricing packages on the iPhone (not to mention the BS way you are treating current customers with a complete lack of support for current loyal users), I’d say it’s a safe bet O2 will try to implement the same level of extortion on the Palm Pre. I’m now free to haggle a good deal on the HTC Diamond (or suitable other) on my Orange contract in Sept.

Wow that was close… I was about to buy into my first apple product… Thanks for making me think straight again,

/me wipes sweat from brow

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It's a bargain, but not for the user

Wow, what a great deal - for O2.

A phone which crys for data bits, has a dreadful inclusive voice and data tariff.

Only a complete chump would go PAYG with these rates.

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Jobs Horns

I'll tell you what else I think ....

@ Steve Kelly

... And the shops will be sold out in the first half a day.

Apple ARE taking the piss, absolutely, but what do they care when fanbois will be rocking up anyway.

Suckers!!!

Mmmwaahhh, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

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hmmm (2)

Quite interesting really the reaction. On a personal level, I have had a iphone 3g for about 8 months (review device they forgot about), and was absolutely 100% definitely going to get one as soon as it was announced.

Now I'm not so sure. The pricing is nothing short of scandalous.

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old one £57 quid on £34pcm

I've got an old PAYG phone and am looking at the old iphones - is it still worth getting one? The 8gb is free (according to 02) and, I'm not sure I'm bothered about voice dialing and all that gubbins. I just want a phone I can check the net on, and possibly getting an app or 2 (logmein etc). Would it be worth getting an older iPhone? Do you think the developers will only develop apps for the new hardware?

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@joey

"The TomTom app on the iPhone won't be a satnav. It only uses triangulation of phone transmitters which is slower and less accurate"

The iPhone has had GPS since the 3G came out last July - where've you been? :)

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Let's have a look at the pricing...

Well, for me, an 18 month contract is plenty long enough, as is 600 mins.

A 32GB 3GS would cost me £274.23 plus 18x 34.26. TCO: £890.91.

Now, what if I wanted to say 'sod you O2', but still wanted an iPod Touch. Well, a 32GB Touch costs £283 from the Apple Store.

Obviously you'll still need a mobe... Having a look at Vodafone to see what you can get in terms of a basic but functional phone, I found a Nokia 6210 for free. It has a 3.2MPx camera, and takes video, has MMS and GPS. So, bases covered, I think. 18 month contract with 600 mins is £32.50. TCO: £868

So, over 18 months, I save a grand total of £22.91. I think I can afford that for the benefits of full integration of phone and iPod. In fact, it seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Now, if you're happy to buy a cheap phone and a few micro SD cards for your music, then good luck to you. This isn't for you. But I want an iPod. And If I'm having an iPod, it might as well be a Touch. And 32GB at that.

In which case, as the above shows, I pretty much get the phone thrown in for free by O2. At least compared to Voda's plan.

There are some other minor differences, but nothing that affects me (unlimited SMS vs 1200 SMS on O2 -- both are effectively unlimited for me -- only send a 100 or so each month!).

Still seems a rip off compared to the states though. Has anyone looked at the price of AT&T plans to compare the TCO yet? Does it even things up a bit, or are we being royally shafted compared to our louder speaking brethren again?

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Arghhhh

It will only cost me £771.89 to get the same plan but with 24 months to run and thats if O2 charge me full amount for the buy out. for the 32gb model

The question is If I was stupid enough to buy out my contract and pay the full amount. do i then take 02 to court for not allowing me to still use the min text i have paid for? as that would be around 180000 mins left lol for the 15 months i have left.

Anyways only want tomtom on it, so would not really miss the other stuff.

As I use a Canon camera that is small and decent pictures to

Plus I have pay as you go 02 dongle i use my iphone o2 sim in and so far they not charged me extra lol.....

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Anonymous Coward

sorry, you what?

I can accept that the (insane) sticker price is O2 trying to squeeze out some tasty profit margin... but the tethering charge should be criminal, it's completely ludicrous.

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O2 should be ashamed of this

This has all made me pretty furious, I can't believe the cheek of these pricing schemes, it's a clear abuse of a monopoly. O2 should be referred to the monopolies & mergers committee.

And to try and charge me for Internet tethering as an EXTRA?! I've ALREADY PAID for that 'unlimited' data! I already tether for free with an iPhone app (jailbroken) - and as I only really need to use this feature half a dozen times per year, there is absolutely no way on God's EARTH I'm going to pay £270 (£15x18months) for this 'privilege'! I mean, why would I?! The most frustrating thing is that, on the very rare occasions I need to tether my phone (e.g. on the train) it's incredibly useful to be able to do so, making this extra annoying if I upgrade to 3.0 and lose the tethering ability.

O2, you should be ASHAMED of yourselves.

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