Orange release iPhone prices - no savings, and wifi capping too

2 November 2009

Orange have finally released their tariffs for the iPhone, a week before the handset is released by the service provider. And despite promising us that anybody thinking they'd be identical to O2's prices "should think again", nothing of the sort has transpired. In fact, when we first told you that the Carphone Warehouse was advising customers that Orange iphone tariffs were fixed to match O2, we were pretty much on the money. Not only that, Orange have introduced some very interesting restrictions on your data usage.

The only difference of note is that Orange has introduced a new tariff for under £30 on a 24 month contract, and has doubled the minutes and text allowance on the 18 month equivalent tariff, when compared to O2. Otherwise the differences are just a matter of pence:

Bitterwallet - Orange iPhone tariffs

Bitterwallet - O2 iPhone tariffs

What about data? Pay Monthly data usage is capped at 750Mb per month - in a world of unlimited usage, it's quite bold of Orange to state a limit. Although they then makes themselves look like prize dicks by still stating usage is unlimited, and then stating the limit alongside:

Bitterwallet - limited unlimited data from Orange

On Pay As You Go, Orange have capped data usage per month to 250 Mb - that's compared to O2's unlimited-but-fair-use policy, which in our experience doesn't seem to bottom out at 250Mb. Throw in some YouTube action and apps usage, and it's pretty easy to bust that limit in a month.

The more eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed another curious clause - on both Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go, Orange are capping wi-fi allowance at 750 MB per month. Wi-fi? Presumably they're referring to hotspots with which Orange partner, but stating such tightly defined data limits is a massive shift in service provider policy.

Bitterwallet - Orange limit wifi usage?

Orange partners with the likes of BTOpenzone in the UK; presumably it's access through these wi-fi hotspots Orange are looking to restrict. The same hotspots can be accessed through the iPhone on O2... for free. Um.

Our verdict? There's no doubt Orange seem to offer more thorough 3G coverage, but all the feedback from our readers suggests O2 will offer better customer service everytime. There's also this question of data allowance, on both 3G and wi-fi; this may inevitiably be a road that all service providers are forced to walk as demands for data outstrip forecasts, but it's bizarre that Orange have decided to draw the line in the sand with the iPhone.

TOPICS:   Mobile   Technology


  • WD
    Thanks for the summary Paul, IMO its quite a poor offering from Orange, they are not going to win any customers from O2, although I suspect that might be due to an unofficial handshake between Orange, O2 and Apple. Despite the prices Orange are going to make a killing out of the I phone! Good Luck to them... I'll be on O2.
  • MrRobin
    £34.26 = £35.00 when the VAT returns to 17.5%
  • Matt B.
    Alas, I won't be switching sides. That's disappointing to say the least.
  • Chris
    How can they state unlimited and then give a hard figure, that's taking the piss!
  • Hilly
    I was hoping for something more. I'll be staying with O2.
  • Nobby
    BW should have a fair use policy of only 3 articles about iphones per month.
  • David F.
    Im on Vodafone 100 minutes any network with 50 texts and "unlimited" internet access. This rolls-over month by month. I pay £15 for this, i'm sure you could get a better deal, I'll bet you could. Tarrif wise, I dont need any more than this, I want an iPhone but there is no chance in hell i'm paying £30+ just to have an iPhone. Waits to see what Vodafone have to say about this...
  • Pizza_D_Action
    Orange in "Balls up iPhone launch" shocker..... Now there's a surprise.
  • GAC
    I'll be sticking with O2 when I upgrade to a 3GS in December. I've been on Orange before and despite what the monthly plan said it would cost it never did despite me knowing I had not incurred extra costs. The capped internet and wi-fi concerns me - another excuse for Orange to start sending inflated bills out. In the 16 months so far I've been with O2 the bill has been bang on the £35 p/month.
  • David F.
    where is there Orange chargeable Wifi? Surely Wifi is either free or prepay with BT Openzone etc. I've never come across Orange Wifi on my travels, im always looking for free Wifi on my iPod Touch,
  • Paul S.
    Orange partner with the likes of BTOpenzone: O2 customers can use their iPhone for free at BTOpenzone hotspots. Um.
  • Jack
    Fairly poor
  • James
    It really pisses me off that companies can still get away with advertising "unlimited" data/texts/whatever and, in reality, have an ambiguous cap hidden away somewhere in the T&Cs. I could have sworn OFCOM were going to do something about it? This image sums my feelings up pretty well
  • Tom
    Fair Usage policy does not mean a charge will incur if you go over the limit. It simply means that if you are seen to be abusing the unlimited policy your account may be monitored and they might send you a letter telling you to ease off the data rape!
  • all e.
    Orange are sh*t, as is the iPhone. Essentially this is a deal for emo-fashion-victims who crave terrible customer service. If they're daft enough to opt for either Orange or iPhones they deserve to pay twice as much .... call it "idiot tax" if you will.
  • Christoph
    Very happy about this - just before the Orange announcement a few months ago I signed on to a 24 month o2 contract, and i've been worried that I was gonna be majorly overpaying if Orange started driving the prices down!
  • Hi O.
    Not one for me, I'm afraid. After that debacle where Orange tried to change their terms and conditions to our detriment, and refused to offer to cancel our contract as it clearly stated in their own terms and conditions, I can hardly wait to be rid of them when my contract ends; they are without honour and I have lost all faith in that mobile phone company. As for the Jesus Phone...pffffft! I lost all interest in that as soon as I found out it you had to send it in to Apple to get the ruddy battery changed....!
  • SJT
    I'm with Orange now, and hate them - with deals like this there's no chance I'll be signing back up with them.... They had an opportunity, but screwed up....
  • D&G
    Orange can suck my ballz, where's the news of iphone going PAYG?
  • barry
    Awful awful tariffs. I thought O2's were bad! Buying one on PAYG and using a simplicity sim is surely the way forward?
  • Bob
    Two weeks ago I just bought an iPhone 3GS 16gb for £440 PAYG and have put an O2 Simplicity sim in it. Best way to own and run an iPhone. I knew Orange would not offer anything better - and I was right.
  • Tiny S.
    "Posted by Tom | November 2nd, 2009 at 12:18 pm Fair Usage policy does not mean a charge will incur if you go over the limit. It simply means that if you are seen to be abusing the unlimited policy your account may be monitored and they might send you a letter telling you to ease off the data rape!" We really need to take back the English language from the morons who write these T&Cs, after all - if something is unlimited then according to the dictionary there are no limits. How can you then have a fair usage policy to apply to it. Surely you should sell either a fair usage policy or an unlimited policy (or both as separate items). All these operators and broadband suppliers are just a bunch of twats!
  • cheap t.
    Orange the are the worst network out there. At least O2 have decent service and they don't brand their phones with ugly logos. Stick to O2 or better still.... get a HTC Hero.
  • Gurty
    I can't believe the negativity on here. Orange are fantastic and now they even have the long awaited iphone - what more do you want? Yes tariffs are very simular to O2's but think of the coverage difference!! I have just ordered my iphone with Orange getting the 16GB 3GS for FREE paying ONLY £44.04 a month are you insane people! What did you expect something for nothing!!
  • Hilly
    @ Gurty I expected something a little more radical - not stupid contracts like £20 a month, but something more competitive than O2. With this announcement it comes down to 2 factors: Better 3G Coverage with Orange Vs. Unlimited Browsing with O2
  • Jbizzle
    Is it possible to upgrade to an iphone if I am in an Orange contract currently? I dont mind paying for it but have heard I would have to pay up my current contract and start a new one.
  • Smarky
    Hmm all orange have done is copy o2, what happened to the "adding value' I was at least expecting unlimited texts on the £35 a month contract, restricting to only 500 on such a plan is crazy.
  • Tom
    I believe any Orange customer looking to upgrade will be able to get the iphone providing you go on the specific iphone tariffs, that's not confirmed yet though!
  • A P.
    I have a normal Sony Ericsson telephone on o2's Simplicity. I'll probably stay with it until the telephone breaks or until I can find a cheaper monthly tariff.
  • Rick
    Have been on the phone today to orange upgrade department in regards to 750MB internet allowance? They told me that if i was to go over the limit then a charge of £3.00 would occur per MB! That has kind of put me off buying this phone on orange.
  • me
    Waiting for Vodafone. If too expensive will go to O2 after all. Would never go back to Orange as they were crap, my local mast was forever out and most of the time had no service. Customer service was non existent. Off line and simplicity is a good deal too, at least when bored or want an upgrade, just sell iphone on ebay and buy the later one. No 2 year contracts milking you dry!
  • Capn W.
    why would they launch the phone with prices and tariffs so dissimilar to O2's, the phone has obviously been incredibly popular on O2 with their current tariffs, and Orange know for a fact that customers will buy it from them irrelevant of the prices, its mostly the apple brand people want and dont give a toot about the value.
  • veedubjai
    At the end of the day, you pay for what you get. All pay monthly contracts are heavily subsidising the cost of the handsets in the first place. Do you think Apple are making iPhone handsets for peanuts? Going the O2 Simplicity with Unlimited Web Bolt On [excessive usage policy applies] route via O2 network has always been the cheapest option if you can afford to buy the iPhone outright in the first place. This is very similar to buying through a shopping catalogue in credit except you don't pay for interest or admin fees. How is O2 network expects to generate funds for expansion & development. If customers start paying peanuts then expect to get monkeys for service. It has been known for long time that the O2 network has offered good customer service. Stop been a cheapskate & if you want an Apple iPhone then you are paying for the name. Apple iPhone is like the Porsche of mobile handsets. If you can't afford it then don't buy it & stop been greedy. O2 network will monitor & warned you if you regularly exceed & abuse the unlimited monthly data allowance before you are barred/banned with letter for confirmation after several attempts. O2 reserves the legal right to remove services, impose service charges, impose network protection controls which may reduce your speed of transmission that some selfish users are hogging the data bandwidth for themselves. They are around 20 million customers on O2 network you know & O2 don't like any small minority hogging up the bandwidth that can jeopodise in a way that adversely impacts the service to other O2 customers or customers of The Cloud network. Check your iPhone services T&C's.
  • veedubjai
    veedubjai, the iPhone is coming to Vodafone - more info...‏ Hello veedubjai, your iPhone is fast approaching. Use the iPhone to its full potential. We're really excited about bringing you the best iPhone experience. We want to make sure you can use your favourite apps and services when it suits you. Whether you're after music, news, maps or train times you want to be sure that they're all available at your fingertips. In recent tests the Vodafone network provided connection to the internet 99% of the time*. And, Vodafone can give your home a great 3G signal on the iPhone with the fantastic Vodafone Access Gateway¹. You can also feel safe in the knowledge that we've been voted the best consumer mobile broadband by the UK internet industry. Take a look at for more information. iPhone surprises at Vodafone We'll be emailing you some iPhone surprises over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for our essential iPhone guide, which will be helping you unlock the full potential of your iPhone on the Vodafone network. You're probably keen to find out when you'll be able to get your iPhone on Vodafone and what offers will be available. By being registered you'll be one of the first to find out the latest information as and when it's available. Look out for more updates in your inbox soon. We'll be in touch Vodafone
  • D&G
  • Crisko
    I think that Vodafone will release extremely similar, if not precisely the same tariffs that 02 and Orange offer. You notice how Orange are bigging up their superior 3G coverage on their iPhone page and Vodafone are bigging up their superior connection reliability within their coverage zones? That's all they've got to market with. Someone mentioned it further up the page but there's no doubt there's a secret handshake behind the scenes with Apple and the 3 big networks. Orange have been OK to me over the last 18 months but I was seriously peeved off when in Amsterdam on a business trip (insert innuendo joke here) my phone refused to work. I only found out when I came back that Orange require you to state where you're going 30 days in advance!!! Not great when my company sends us out with a couple of days notice! For that reason I'm very keen to see what Vodafone can offer but I'm not holding my breath on anything spectacular in the tariffs. What pisses me off is these unlimited* data rate claims! On O2's Irish site it simply states "1Gb". Thanks! Just be honest...that's all we're asking. *Fuck all, mate
  • john
    The orange fair usage is 750mb. 02 was 1 gig but recently reduce to 200mb as their network could not handle the data usage so orange tariff all the way! also 02 max 3g speed is around 1.5 meg where orange is 3.6
  • Andy
    Guess it's time to wait and see what Vodaphone have to offer... See: I'll stick with the Nokia brick and might get an iPod touch till then....
  • iPhone B.
    [...] than exploiting the product’s brand. When Orange released details of the prices on Monday, near-identical tariffs to those established by O2 and bizarre data restrictions on wifi connectivity didn’t draw kind comments, and two days later Orange have lifted the restrictions on wifi [...]
  • Bitterwallet’s B.
    [...] their customer services, their bundles allow for MMS messaging and texts sent from abroad, they haven’t got shirty about data allowances but then their 3G coverage both sucks and blows. In the orange corner… Orange. They managed [...]
  • Manderake
    You have to remember the other party in all this Apple, they have a very large say in the pricing structure. Simples do as we say or you can't have it that is Apple motto. So Voda will p be the same as Orange and O2 and will not have any choice in the matter. It will all be down to personal choice of network. Just look at other Apple products and see how little difference there is is in price structure between the companies that supply the items to the public.
  • squareeyes
    I've been with Orange 15 years. I rang them today and was told that I could not use an iPhone on a SIM only 18 month contract with 500mb mobile internet. When I asked the person where it said that on the website/contract they became very irate. They suggested that i would go over my data allowance and that it would end up costing me £600 a month then he hung up accusing me of shouting at him. I rang Customer Services who despite agreeing that I could use whatever phone I wanted they then went on to say I couldn't. I referred her to the terms of the contract, Trading Standards and mentioned mis-selling. I supposedly have a manager from Customer Services ringing me back, no sign of them yet, nor do I expect any. Orange have become under hand and below par in the way you do business. You do not serve your customers you just manage a bunch of masts as far as I am concerned. I am switching.
  • Sarah B.
    orange is awful awful awful. Don't ever get orange. Ever

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