Tesco will need to strike hard and fast if it is to have any chance of capturing a sizable chunk of the UK iPhone market over the next few month.
The supermarket giant's flagship offer is an unlimited SIM Only tariff that costs £30 per month and give 1080 points (or £41.20 worth of benefits) per annum. Furthermore, it has a one-month commitment only and provides with £500 worth of credits every month.
This amount allows you to make 2500 minutes worth of calls or send 5000 texts or a mixture of both. Tesco Mobile unfortunately charges for Voicemail and to call the customer care.
O2's corresponding Simplicity tariff, which provides with 1200 minutes and 2400 texts, costs £29.38 and comes with a free bolt-on. A 24-month iPhone 3G/3GS contract with 500 texts (rather than 2400) costs £44.05 which means that the price of the phone by itself adds around £15 per month.
Based on the assumption that Tesco would likely offer more for the roughly the same price, one can therefore assume that they will be giving the phone away with an unlimited phone and data package (which they don't currently offer) for £45 (give or take a few pounds) for the iPhone 3GS 16GB.
The problem for Tesco will be to integrate a competitive data scheme for its users, something that is essential if it wants Tesco Mobile customers to adopt smartphones, thereby increasing its ARPU (average revenue per user).
Right now, Tesco is still using the old per MB consumption and only lists GPRS as the technology used to transmit data. This is simply not acceptable if it has to compete with O2 and Orange.