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back to article Orange saves callers pennies with iPhone tariffs

Orange will launch its iPhone offering on 10 November, at a price almost indistinguishable from O2's existing one. Anyone expecting that the end of O2's monopoly would lead to some sort of price war will be disappointed to hear that Orange will be offering the top-end iPhone at exactly the same (two-year) tariff as O2, though …

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FAIL

Competition Commission ?

And where's the competition commission when we need them ?

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Anonymous Coward

Unlimited Internet browsing

But note that Orange's definition of unlimited browsing is "Fair Usage policy of 750MB / month applies."

Surely it's time the consumer protection people stopped this sort of creative copywriting.

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Something smells..........

Hmm "Cartel" anyone?

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Well, are we surprised?

Why on earth would Orange want to enter into a price war - they've seen the evidence that people are prepared to pay the amounts asked by O2 and even switch to a shite network in order to get an iPhone... so why would they charge any less!?

The only think that surprises me is that anyone is in any way, shape or form surprised by this news!

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Competition Commission, nah

Personally I don't think there's any point in whining to the Competition Commission - there's plenty of alternative handsets and contracts out there.

Nobody could reasonably complain that the iPhone is their only choice for a specific task. Unlike, say, Windows price fixing and embedded browser; Windows is still the only choice for business use, so people can quite reasonably complain that they are being held over a barrel.

I'm not saying that the iPhone isn't overpriced, though.

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Coat

Canibalization of customers

personally, I beleive that the chunk of customers (read: cash) that O2 are going to lose due to their awful network will force THEM to start the fight on price.

* mines the one with the the best network/data plan in the pocket.

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Nothing to choose between them?

Nothing to choose between them, except that - in general - Orange can actually operate their network and keep it running. Particularly the data part of things, which works quite nicely (although I only got 1.1Mbit downstream the last time I tried it from deep in the bowels of a building in central Glasgow).

I also still like the fact that you get Network Performance Minutes with Orange, so they actually have a reason to make their network better (reducing refunded call time) instead of just leaving customers with ropey reception.

Anyway, I'm still not touching an iPhone till I can have a bit more say in what runs on it and when. 1 app at a time = unappealling offer.

That said, Orange's insistance on branding their phones is annoying, though I'm hoping that Google Maps with free turn-by-turn directions will convince them that Orange Maps is no longer viable and that will mean there's no need to remove other more useful features from phones to put their crapware on. (e.g. SE Satio: YouTube and iPlayer built-in apps removed, but leaving behind uninstall files so you can't actually install them yourself).

Overall... I'd still take Orange over O2 any day.

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@AC

I totally agree, still fed up with the fact that unlimited = limited in this country.

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Anonymous Coward

Unlimited

Indeed - this "unlimited" thing isn't even misleading - it's a brazen, direct lie. We've all suffered at the hands of this scam during the home broadband boom & I for one am sick of it. We desperately need a new body set up to do the job Ofcom was supposed to do. One more anti-consumer, back-hander driven edict from Ofcom, and I swear I'll turn up at their offices with an anal dilator and all my telecoms equipment wrapped in sandpaper...

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FAIL

Stupid orange

Urgh, how annoying. I was praying for a cheaper iphone so I could finally get one.

Now I look more closely, it seems o2 is the best after all because I don't use them enough to justify 30/month and I hate long contracts - 2 years with the same phone? Unlikely for someone who would purchase an iphone in the first place.

Pay as you go, o2 is much better because of the bonuses you get. Unless I am mistaken, top up 10 quid on o2 and get unlimited free uk texts. Orange, you'd have to top up 30 quid.

If I am mistaken, you can top up 10 quid and get unlimited o2 texts, which is also fine cos most of my mates are on o2... and there's an app for free texting between iphones for anyone that does choose orange.

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This is the first time.....

......I've been able to compare the prices to my current Orange phone\plan - and it's much less expensive than I thought it would be, especially considering that the bulk of my current bill is data.

Definately worth a ponder, come Christmas time............

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Anonymous Coward

No visual voicemail on Orange?

Its not mentioned, not that it works worth a damn if you have no data connection. Will the network coverage be any better, could it be much worse?

At least they make the mobile internet limit explicit rather than hiding it away.

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FAIL

"Nothing between the two operators"

"For first time iPhone customers looking to switch there is nothing between the two operators", said mobile manager James Parker.

No Mr Parker, nothing at all... Other than the 3G coverage offered by the two operators. See the latest Ofcom report (http://bit.ly/cq6Zo) for an obvious benefit in the jump from o2 > Orange.

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WTF?

Exactly what we were expecting wasn't it?

Did anyone really think the price would be dropped?

Surely the whole point of Orange getting the iPhone, and a user wanting to use Orange rather than O2, is because the Orange 3G network is way ahead of O2, and hopefully will give a better user experience. I wouldn't expect to pay less for better service.

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Unlimited Wi/Fi Browsing

Never mind "But note that Orange's definition of unlimited browsing is "Fair Usage policy of 750MB / month applies."

They're also saying that this applies to WiFi as well - Shurley Some Mistake

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Stop

Roll your own!

If you already have a phone you like on a plan that works for you, get the iPod Touch and a Three MiFi adapter that will give you 5GB for 15 quid a month on a one month contract.

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Stu
Badgers

WiFi?

Orange put that little 'Unlimited' notice next to all the WiFi entries, but what does that really mean?

O2 gives you free access to the Cloud and BT hotspots, there's no such mention about what Orange provide.

Orange could very well only mean its free to connect to YOUR OWN wifi access point, work and at home. Well whoop de doo.

Also, no mention of tethering charges, no mention of visual voicemail at all.

C'mon, more details, Yer SunzoBeetches. Though I am just going to assume the service is indeed only a carbon copy of O2s.

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Orange are still shite.

'nuff said.

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Flame

"Apple's monopoly on supply remains in place and thus its ability to set the price"

Bill. I suggest that you, as a journalist that reports on these sorts of things that you do, learn about *what* a monopoly is. Apple are the only company that make the iPhone. That isn't a monopoly. That is the only ones that make that particular device! You are suggesting that Apple fix the contract prices. Whilst it's probably accurate to suggest that Apple set the price of the handset (looking at SFR versus Orange Fr versus Bouygues FR, they don't), I'd argue that contract price fixing is done by the operators (a cartel appears to exist in this area), especially when you look at other territories where there are multiple operators offer the iPhone. Lazy journalism leads to inaccuracies and as a reader, I shouldn't have to do your research for you. But hey, when did facts ever get in the way of El Reg's editorial rhetoric?

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Headmaster

Don't forget the VAT though!

I believe that the o2 prices include VAT whereas Orange's exclude VAT?

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Unhappy

fair use target

+1 on the published 'fair use' limit!

At least you know what your working with. but 750mb seems a little low.

O2 have blocked me twice in the 20 months I've been with them.

the 1st time I hit 2Gb I recieved a warning text message but I kept pushing to find the limit - that turned out to be 3gb (which I though was very fair)

the 2nd was this month when I hit 650 mb!! no warning message just a dead date connection.

All very random and behind the scenes, if they sent out a warning then fair enought but to just wake up on morning with not data connection is pretty annoying. I had to spend a hour talking to the drones before anyone wout tell me what had happened, they kept trying to send my config settings for the phone!!!

Orange here I come!

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Cartel?

"Hmm "Cartel" anyone?"

So one product costs the same at two shops. I guess anytime Hovis bread costs the same at ASDA & Tescos there's a cartel? Anytime a Sony TV costs the same at Argos & Comet there's a cartel? Anytime Heinz beans costs the same at the SPAR and the CO-OP there's a cartel?

How about a bit less hyperbole?

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I'll wait for the next model

I'm still waiting for my O2 contract to expire, by the time it does, there could only be a few more months to the next iPhone model. I think I'm going to wait for that so I'm not held hostage with a 3GS for another 18 months waiting to be able to upgrade.

These 18/24 month contracts are a bit extreme. The first iPhone and the 3G both had the option for a 12 month contract IIRC. It seems they're desperate to keep you locked in for as long as possible now that Apple has locked them out of making money from apps or data transfers.

I think if Orange had been a bit more forward thinking and offered a 12 month contract I might have switched, but for now it's not worth it.

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Silver badge

Another head in the trough...

No shock...

When you've seen the brick of St Jobs shifting for silly money, why ruin the illusion for the mases by setting a sensible price.

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Grenade

Price Fixing

In any other markets the competition authorities would be all over this like a rash, if every operator charges the same amount for the same minutes texts and internet, then they must surely have to act, it is in no ones interest to allow this sort of anti competative thing to take place, I bet they dont in france

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Jobs Halo

@Chris 251

Are you sure the no warning cut off wasn't just another of O2's many data outages?

Personally, I'm just going to get an iPhone off eBay and stick whatever SIM only deal offers best value (not O2, obviously, I want the 3G to actually work). I just have to wait for my wife to let me buy one!

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Coat

Tethering

Also appears that the tethering charges are pretty much the same as well, although Orange does offer a lower volume usage rate for it business customers.

I'll just wrap my 3G in cotton wool, roll over my O2 contract in Dec and wait for the new 4GSX iPhone in June 2010. That way I don't lock myself into a good, but already ageing, 3GS for 24 months, or to put it another way, two iPhone updates.

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Happy

Orange Data

Orange already offer 500mb data for £5 a month anyway...

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FAIL

why no 12 month contract again?

WTF is wrong with these companies? 18 months is just too to long be locked in with a device whose battery will be really starting to loose it's charge after 12 months.

Also, I want to upgrade to the new iphone when it comes out. For example, the iphone 3GS would have been a really useful upgrade for me so I wouldn't have to re-encode a lot of my videos to iphone format for watching while I travel as it can support high quality encodes. I would have happily paid a bit more for a 12 month contract, but they don't even give you the option. Total idiots, these companies want to show the world how they've changed, how progressive they are (with stupid crap like O2 Litmus) yet time and time again they treat their customers with contempt. No wonder everyone just wants them to be stupid interweb pipes and they can't generate new sources of revenue. Apple and google will probably render them irrelevant in the next decade with their extra added services. These operators will be nothing more than cell mast maintenance companies and orange wednesdays will just be cinema wednesdays again.

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Grenade

save on the movies too

dont forget Orange wednesday though - if you go to see a movie each week that could save you a small fortune over the 2 year contract period.

of course..if you dont want to pay the price you could get a better phone from a better network operator and pay less 8-)

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Alert

Terms and Conditions

Check out these ridiculous terms and conditions:

"4. Inclusive Mobile Internet. Mobile internet browsing is for use within the UK only. Any use outside the UK will be charged at the relevant international rates. Mobile Internet browsing does not include event charges such as for ringtones or games (transport costs for these events are included). Fair Usage policy of 750MB applies. Usage above this amount will constitute abuse and Orange may monitor usage, apply Network protection controls which may result in reduced speed of transmission and/or withdraw the Offer from your account if the fair usage policy is abused. Not to be used for other activities (e.g. using your handset as a modem, non-Orange internet based streaming services, voice or video over the internet, instant messaging, peer to peer file sharing, non-Orange internet based video). Should such use be detected notice may be given and Network protection controls applied to all services which Orange does not believe constitutes mobile browsing. This may result in reduced speed of transmission, suspension of data browsing services and/or suspension of your account.

5. Inclusive WiFi - use of BT Openzone hotspots in the UK only. Fair Usage policy of 750MB applies. Usage above 750MB per month may result in suspension of Wifi services and/or suspension of your account."

O2 offer unlimited Openzone and Cloud access.

The terms and conditions pretty clearly rule out the use of MSN and other IM apps as well as the BUNDLED YouTube app. I wonder if the "non-Orange internet based streaming services" clause will apply to streaming of track previews in iTunes?

I know that my 11p is going to be well spent with O2! Orange's deal is utter bollocks.

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FAIL

Re: Anonymous Coward @ Monday 2nd November 2009 17:50 GMT

Alternatively, you could pop an Orange PAYG SIM into an old phone and still get Orange Wednesdays...

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Hold your horses.

Orange did the deal with Apple a year ago. Part of the deal was pretty clearly that Orange would be the only new player with the iPhone going into Christmas 2009. There are clearly some people who want an iPhone and are not terribly price conscious, but who do not wish to go to O2. Coverage is one reason, and there will be others here and there. Obviously Orange will not compete hard on price before Christmas, because competition is still limited and they want the segment of the market they can pick up paying a high price to do so.

After Christmas, we more or less have open slather, and we will have the iPhone on at least four networks. If we are going to get competition on price, that is when it will come, particularly when Three gets the iPhone. The iPhone is still not going to be cheap - Apple charges a lot - but it may well be better.

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WTF?

Statement of the bleeding obvious

"Apple's monopoly on supply remains in place"

A bit like Ford's monopoly on supplying a Mondeo?

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Check the handset

Regardless of the price differences, be sure to check that the provider you of choice hasn't broken the handset! Orange disabled Wifi for everything but making phone calls at home, in their version of the HTC Touch 3G. I'm pretty sure Apple prevent such changes to the iPhone, but check with the provider that they haven't broken the handset with their own firmware before signing up!

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iPhone on Orange

Hopefully the 3G coverage will be better with Orange than O2!

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Flame

Cartels are ilegal

[Unless its a brand name of course!]

Agreeing to have all competitors selling at the same price is just wrong. Enforcement (by contract) of lowest retail pricing should be ilegal as it destroys a free market. Those signing the contracts are agreeing to fix the price and shopuld be held responsible.

Apple can sell the iphone for whatever price they want, but a retailer should be allowed to discount as they choose, if they want a loss leader they should be allowed to do so.

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Paris Hilton

Orange Contract

Having a look at them there T&C, you can get the iPhone 3GS (not that anyone would want to, I own an iPhone and never use it because its rubbish) and constantly go over your download limit of 750Mb per month which after repeatedly "abusing" the network like that Orange will suspend your account / terminate your account so you get to keep the mobile phone and are only in a contract for a few months!

Paris, cause I'd like to be in her for a few months ;)

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Anonymous Coward

@ Robert E A Harvey

WTF?

"Apple's monopoly on supply remains in place"

A bit like Ford's monopoly on supplying a Mondeo?

Fair point, this isnt a monopoly, this is a cartel.

Just like the car dealerships and manufacturers operate :)

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FAIL

O2 still cheaper overall!

I can't help thinking that Orange have missed a MAJOR opportunity to kick O2 with this one. If you look at all the little extras O2 give that Orange don't then the Orange tariffs can work out quite a bit more expensive.

For example..

Picture Messaging - O2 = 4 out of your inclusive texts - Orange = aprox 30p each unless you buy an additional photography bundle.

International calling - If you are on a 600mins+ package on O2 you get their International Traveller Service included free of charge which gives reduced rates - Orange don't provide this so if you were in the USA for example, O2 would charge you 90p/min to call out and 18p/min to receive compared to £1.10/min and 70p/min on Orange. In Europe O2 could be 35p/min out and 18p/min in on O2, while Orange would be 37.2p/min out and 18.6p/min in - not as much of a difference as in the USA but it still can mount up. The biggest difference is text messaging while abroad. O2 take 4 texts out of your inclusive bundle for texts sent whilst overseas, making them free if you within your bundle, while Orange charge you 40p per text in the USA and 10.8p per text in Europe! a BIG difference!!! Both operators let you receive texts for free.

I realise that not everyone uses their phones abroad but the cost of a few texts per day while on your hols can soon rack up!

Add to that Visual Voicemail which is a nice toy when you get used to it, access to The Cloud as well as BT Openzone and a MUCH higher "fair use policy" it is time to seriously think whether Orange is the saviour of the iPhone after all! Whats the point of getting a high end data device on a network with greater 3G coverage if there are restrictions in place to stop you using the features you would want the faster speeds for!

Madness n Orange's part!!

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Black Helicopters

@ Robert E A Harvey

"Apple's monopoly on supply remains in place"

A bit like Ford's monopoly on supplying a Mondeo?

....Err No. You can only buy a New Ford Car through a (franchised) Ford Dealership, so the RRP price is fixed, but the dealers still compete on price (I got £7K off an S-MAX) and Ford does not stop supply because they choose to lower their margins.

iPhone you can get from Apple and dealer channels, but all charge the same price as their supplies dry up if they undercut another channel.

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