News that Orange will get the iPhone has sparked frenzied comments across the UK Blogosphere but no one really knows how much the iPhone is going to cost on Orange's network.
Interested parties are only required for now to log their interest on a dedicated iPhone page on Orange. Now there are a few things that need to be sorted out including the tariff grid.
Orange is the only network in the UK to offer a three year contract. Orange 15 costs £14.68 per month and comes with 200 minutes, 1000 texts and a free phone every 18 months.
Now, we wouldn't be surprised if Orange offered a long contract for the Apple iPhone with each customer being offered a free iPhone every year; the contract would have to be expensive enough for it to be "exclusive", say around £35 per month with 700 minutes and 600 texts.
O2's cheapest iPhone offer, the 3G on a 24 month contract, costs £34.26 per month with 600 mins and 500 texts. The closest Orange has is the Dolphin/Racoon/Panther 40 with 1200 any minutes and unlimited texts.
Orange also has inclusive sat nav with Orange maps but only provides with 500MB anytime mobile internet browsing. Therefore, it looks likely that Orange will be introducing a new tariff with slightly less minutes and texts, but more inclusive data, to slightly exceed O2's offerings.
But don't expect O2 to give up the battle without a fight and either increase the text/voice allocations (more likely) or cut prices.
Orange's most expensive package is the Panther 75 which costs only £68.50 on 18 months which essentially opens the door for all mobile phones from Orange. Surprisingly, even the top contract at O2 - which costs £73.41 - doesn't give you the 32GB iPhone 3GS on an 18-month contract. Indeed, you have grab the 24-month one to get it for free; cheeky O2.