For further proof that Americans are getting screwed by lack of competition in the mobile devices market, look no further than British carrier Orange Mobile. The wireless phone provider is now offering both an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2 for £99 ($162) at £65 ($106) per month.
There are a few caveats: you must be an existing Orange UK customer and sign a 2 year agreement with direct debit and non-itemized billing. The Connected plan offers 600 minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited BT Openzone WiFi access and a 2GB shared data allowance across both devices on one convenient bill.
The UK has 5 major carriers – T-Mobile, Orange, O2, Vodafone and 3 – to keep competition healthy. Meanwhile, Ireland has Vodafone, O2, 3 and Meteor, where 3 is currently offering the iPhone 4 for free with a €40 ($57) monthly plan. On the other hand, the state of US carriers is decidedly anti-competitive.
AT&T and Verizon, the American duopoly, offer the iPhone for $199 with $65 and $75 monthly plans (respectively) for comparable data/minutes. Also, did I mention in Europe the receiver does not use allotted minutes when answering a call? It’s just the opposite in the States. Want unlimited text messaging in the US? Tack on another $20 monthly for that privilege. Here’s hoping the rumored Twitter integration in iOS 5 is true so we can all dump the grossly-overpriced SMS scam.
What’s the best deal in your country for an iPhone?