Earlier in the year, Orange’s iPhone exclusivity in France was forced to an end by a court decision from the Competition Council following a complaint filed by Bouygues Telecom. This decision and its re-affirmation by the higher courts has opened the floodgates for the iPhone to conquer France with the handset making its appearance on Bouygues Telecom and SFR in addition to Orange. Competition leads to increased sales, increased sales leads to price wars and significant price slashing has hit the iPhone in France. Orange has cut its price on the 16GB iPhone 3GS to a lowly €59 ($48USD) from its original sticker of €149 ($213USD), the iPhone 3G 8GB has fallen to a mere €19 ($27USD), while the iPhone 3GS 32GB retails for€169 ($242USD). Strings are attached as customers must sign up for an Origami Star contract, starting a €40.90 ($48USD) per month. Priced slightly higher is SFR which offers the iPhone 3G 8GB for €29 ($42USD), the iPhone 3GS 16GB for €99 ($ 141USD) and the 3GS 32GB for €199 ($284USD). Not wanting to feel left behind, expect other telecoms in France and perhaps even the surrounding markets to follow suit.
Already available from O2, Orange and even Tesco Mobile, the UK’s third largest carrier, Vodafone, finally announced this morning that it will begin selling the ubiquitous Apple smartphone on January 14th. Vodafone subs will be able to snag either the iPhone 3G or the iPhone 3GS for free on all tariffs over £35 and £45 respectively. Both of these prices assume a 24-month contract, but an extra £5 will shave off 6 months. Anyone interested in tethering should pencil an extra £5 into their monthly budget as that’s what Vodafone says will buy you the right to 500MB of data for tethering. One must pay to play, we suppose. More →
According to a Taiwanese market research firm, shipments of Taiwan’s smartphone integrated circuits are exploding due to an unexpected increase in iPhone 3GS sales. Based upon supply chain analysis, Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute predicts that Apple will sell a record-breaking 10 million iPhones in this current quarter alone, a modest increase over the record 7.4 million units sold in the previous quarter. With global sales of the iPhone continuing to increase, this tiara-wearing, digitally clueless beauty queen and its parent company are laughing all the way to the bank.
Disclosure: I own and use a Motorola DROID More →
After years of wrangling with privacy concerns over the iPhone’s location-based services, the Apple iPhone is now finally available in South Korea. Hundreds of people, hoping to be the first on their block to rock the iPhone, lined up overnight outside Olympic stadium in Seoul. Those not willing to brave the elements turned to pre-orders, with nearly 65,000 customers reserving an iPhone in the weeks leading up to the launch. The iPhone is being sold by #2 cellular provider KT Corp and has been priced competitively with a 32GB iPhone 3GS retailing for 396,000 won ($338USD) with a monthly plan of 45,000 won ($38 USD) and 264,000 won ($225 USD) with a monthly fee of 65,000 won ($55 USD). Samsung and LG, two homegrown manufacturers that currently dominate the South Korean market, are supposedly already feeling the pressure as they’ve started to lower handset prices across the board in South Korea. More →
Every year countless gifts are given during the holidays. Some of them are great, and some of them… well, you can’t win ’em all. We’ve never done a Gift Guide before but with countless new products popping up almost weekly, we’re surprised those of you who aren’t glued to BGR are able to pick out a gift at all. Sorting everything by price point didn’t make much sense as the average price of what’s listed is around $199 after rebate, so we sorted it by lust-factor. We’re working on a couple other Gift Guides but in the meantime, here’s our cell phone one. More →
The iPhone went a little bit more mainstream today as Tesco, the UK’s version of Walmart, announced that it will be adding both the iPhone 3G and the 3GS to its mobile phone lineup. Both versions of the iPhone will be available for purchase in Tesco’s in-store mobile phone shops and online through Tesco Direct. Similar to Tesco’s other mobile offerings, the iPhone will run on O2’s cellular network and will presumably be sold with Tesco’s cut-throat pricing plans. Holiday shoppers can rejoice as the popular Apple smartphone is expected to be available just in time for the holiday shopping season. More →
Here’s a bit of an odd one. The iPhone has been on sale in the UK since November 2007 when O2 began exclusively offering the original iPhone. But it was only today the record for single day sales for a sole handset was shattered as Orange began selling the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The specific number sold has yet to come out as the day is not yet done, but as of 4pm local time, nationwide sales surpassed 30,000 units. Why is this? Orange thinks it is all to do with its network which it says offers far greater coverage and reach than its competitors and is the focus of a new multi-million pound ad campaign entitled “You’re Covered,” as well as its Orange Wednesdays app which offers perks like 2-for-1 movie coupons. Of course we’re still waiting for Vodafone to start selling the iPhone as it announced it would in September, so we’re quite interested to see how long this record last. One more thing for UK iPhone users. As of today, O2 will legitimately unlock your phone provided that you adhere to the following conditions: Pay Monthly users can unlock at any time but must continue to pay until O2 for services until their term is up while Pay Go subs must have had their iPhone for 12 months and pay a £15 fee. If anyone is interested in this, just visit http://shop.o2.co.uk/update/unlockmyiphone.html to get this process started. More →
We all knew that the iPhone was going to start hitting more third-party retailers at some point, but we just didn’t think it would be this soon. RadioShack, or The Shack, has announced that it will be carrying the iPhone 3G and 3GS in select stores in Dallas-Fort Worth and New York City at the end of this month. The company expects to have the iPhone available nationwide in 2010. So, for now, you’ll have to settle with Apple Stores, AT&T retail locations, Wal-Mart or Best Buy if you want to nab one. Come to think of it, there really is no shortage of suppliers so if you’re finally going to be eligible to upgrade or you want to pick one up on a whim, you can add another to the list of iPhone retailers to choose from. But just remember where all this Shack nonsense started, ok?
We don’t think we need to go over what an insanely huge day today is for Canada, but in case anyone is feeling particularly thick, we’re going to spell it out plan and simple — Rogers is no longer the only HSPA game in Canada. Bell’s 21Mbps HSPA network has at long last gone live. As with any network launch, a few awesome handsets, data cards and a few Canadian-style rip-off plans have come along for the ride. So hit the jump and check out what’s new.
We just got an an email from one of our connects and we’ve got some great new for all you iPhone-lovers. We’ve been told in just a couple hours, Canada’s TELUS will officially announce that its nation-wide HSPA network will go live on November 5th. Not only that, but on that very date, TELUS will start selling the Apple iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The iPhone pricing structure for TELUS will be the same as it is for Rogers (and Bell, for that matter) with the 3G going for $99.99/$599.99 and the 16 and 32GB 3GS going for $199.99/$699.99 and $299.99/$799.99. Beyond that, TELUS doesn’t appear to be in any rush to come forward with specifics on its plan pricing and other handsets. All the presses hints at is “TELUS will offer a number of exciting new devices from HTC, Huawei, LG, Nokia, RIM, Samsung, and Sierra Wireless in time for the holidays, including some on an exclusive basis.” That’s more or less in line with the line-up we’ve already told you.
We just got a heads up from one of our Northern connects that has to do with Bell, and let’s just say we think Bell subscribers are going to be thrilled with what we have to report. How does Bell’s entire lineup of devices for their HSPA network launch sound? We also grabbed pricing for y’all, too! The following prices are prices with 36 month contracts following by full retail pricing.
In case you thought you were imagining things before, Bell Canada will definitely be adding the iPhone to its lineup following on the heels of the Palm Pre and BlackBerry Bold. Canada’s largest network has a splash page in place but no release dates have been leaked just yet. Where are our Canadian connects at? We’ll keep you updated as usual when there’s more to report.
Following up on the success of purplera1n, iPhone hacker extraordinaire geohot has released a jailbreak solution for OS 3.1.2 dubbed blackra1n. Currently only being offered to Windows users, blackra1n works on all generations of the iPhone and iPod touch, although the 3rd gen iPod touch needs to be tethered. The installation method for blackra1n is unchanged from that of its predecessor meaning that all you really have to do is download and install the app to your PC, plug in your device and make it ra1n. Good luck!