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