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Orange Disappoints With "Underwhelming" iPhone Tariff

Orange has managed to outgun O2 when it comes to iPhone Tariffs but only just, as the France-Telecom owned company builds up momentum for the release date of the iPhone scheduled for the 10th of November, the day after the iPhone exclusivity period with O2 expires.

As predicted, the arrival of one new competitor to O2 did not cause prices to bulge significantly. O2 loses the battle of the cheapest overall 24-month contract, more popular than the 18-month one, to Orange thanks to a "super light" one that costs only £29.36 per month.

Prospective users will get only 150 minutes and 250 texts with a beefier 600 minutes and 500 texts costing £34.26 per month, the same as on O2. That said, one can expect O2 to launch a tariff that matches (or slightly undercut) Orange's; as it stands the sub-£30 offer from the Telefonica owned company comes only with 75 minutes and 125 texts.

This means that the cheapest cost of contract over 24 months for the 3G falls down to £704.64 compared to £822.24. For the shorter 18-month contracts, the cost of the iPhone starts from £96.50 and becomes free only when customers spend £44.04 per month.

In total, there are nine options available for three mobile phones (3G, 3GS 16GB and 32GB) and importantly, Orange should have the phones in stock at the time of release and the fact that its prices overall match O2 means that it will be able to stem the flow of users leaving the network for O2.

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All monthly packages also offer 750MB mobile internet browsing, unlimited WiFi and tethering for as little as £4.89 per month. In comparison, O2's £14.68 for 3GB.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.