The UK iPhone 3GS buying guide – where and how much

Since its launch this summer the upgraded iPhone 3GS has become one of the most popular mobile phones in the UK market delivering thousands upon thousands of customers to O2, and soon also to Orange and Vodafone following their deals with Apple to sell the iPhone 3G and 3GS in the UK.

Apple iPhone 3GS

This fall has seen a lot of positive developments in terms of getting rid of the exclusive deal between Apple and O2 for the rights to sell the iPhone 3GS in the UK, with Apple signing deals for the iPhone on Orange and the iPhone on Vodafone by the end of the year and early 2010. This is a move that will definitely increase the market penetration for the iPhone 3GS in the UK, an important step to take advantage of market conditions that are increasingly getting tougher with more quality smartphones coming on the market to challenge the Apple iPhone.

The opening of the UK market for the iPhone should lead to better deals for us users as competition should bring prices down, even if it is just a few £’s. The longer term effect of the iPhone deals should however lead to better service and available functionality and network speeds for all iPhone users as the providers will fight to get the competitive advantage without cutting prices too much, competing on network quality instead.

At the moment you will have to go through O2 as a mobile operator to buy the iPhone 3GS in the UK, but this will change towards end of 2009, so expect this iPhone buyers guide to change with time. Here are however the current deals and prices in the UK market:

iPhone 3GS 24 month contract

Tariff Network Minutes/texts Data 16gb iPhone 32gb iPhone
£29.36 Orange 150/250 Unlimited* £125 £225
£34.26 O2 600/500 Unlimited £87 £175
£34.26 Orange 600/500 Unlimited* £87 £175
£44.04 Orange 1200/500 Unlimited* Free £96.50
£44.05 O2 1200/500 Unlimited Free £97
£73.40 Orange 3000/500 Unlimited* Free Free
£73.41 O2 3000/500 Unlimited Free Free
£122.34 Orange Unlimited Unlimited* Free Free

iPhone 3GS 18 month contract

Tariff Network Minutes/texts Data 16gb iPhone 32gb iPhone
£29.36 Orange 150/250 Unlimited* £184.50 £274
£29.38 O2 75/125 Unlimited £185 £275
£34.26 Orange 600/500 Unlimited* £184.50 £274
£34.26 O2 600/500 Unlimited £185 £275
£44.04 Orange 1200/500 Unlimited* £87 £175
£44.05 O2 1200/500 Unlimited £87 £175
£73.40 Orange 3000/500 Unlimited* Free £96.50

You can buy the iPhone 3GS on Orange and O2 through the following retailers (click on the logo to visit respective website):

At the moment Vodafone has not released their price plans for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in the UK, but you can go to pre-register your interest in the iPhone 3GS on their website:

Pre-register for iPhone 3GS on Vodafone >>

If it is the new 32gb iPhone 3GS you are after, then our friends over at Pocket-lint have done some analysis as to what price package gives you best value for money. Their conclusion is that in the long term the cheapest option is to get the 32gb iPhone 3GS on the lowest 18 month contract at about £30 a month, paying £275 up front for the iPhone. Of course if you are a big talker then it could be cheaper to go up to a higher monthly cost on the contract, allowing you to pay less up front for the 23gb iPhone 3GS. We will update this once the prices have been announced by Orange and Vodafone as well.

One of the new features of the iPhone is tethering, which allows you to use the iPhone 3GS as a modem for your computer, thereby sharing the internet connection from the iPhone across to other devices as well. Since this is a new feature O2 has decided to charge an additional £15 for access to this service, obviously fearing that more people will use the internet connection on the iPhone 3GS more across several devices, perhaps on the expense of a normal home broadband connect.

Some of you might not want to pay the high monthly fees to get the iPhone 3GS for free or pay so much up front for the iPhone 3GS. An alternative is to buy the older iPhone 3G which you can now get at reduced monthly price plans for free. You can use the same links as for the iPhone 3GS above to also check prices from the different suppliers on the iPhone 3G.


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6 Responses to "The UK iPhone 3GS buying guide – where and how much"

  1. Dainius says:

    Hello how much without contract?

  2. Dainius says:

    And how i can buy it ?

  3. admin says:

    On Pay as you GO with O2 in the UK you are looking at £440.40 and £538.30 for the two models respectively.

  4. admin says:

    The information is now updated with the Orange iPhone 3GS price plans and tariffs. Sad to see that Orange did not challenge O2 more in terms of lowering the monthly price plans or the price of the handset itself. Keeping hope up that Vodafone will be more aggressive when they launch in early 2010.

  5. iPhone 3GS says:

    Thanks for the useful Tips! I have last week picked up an iPhone 3GS.

  6. Ezine says:

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on.You have done a marvellous job!

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