Vodafone Tempts iPhone Users With SIM-Only Tarriff

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Vodafone is looking to tempt out-of-contract iPhone users on rival networks, to switch to its service, after announcing a SIM-only iPhone deal

Could this be the beginning of the iPhone price war? Vodafone has announced a SIM-only tariff for out-of-contract iPhone users on other networks.

It is clear that Vodafone’s idea is to target out-of-contract iPhone users on the O2 network. Once their contract has expired, they can ask O2 to unlock their iPhone handset, and then can switch across to Vodafone’s network.

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Vodafone’s SIM-only iPhone tarriff runs for 12 months and costs £25 per month, for 900 minutes, unlimited texts, and 1GB of mobile Internet and unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot access. Vodafone also offers cheaper SIM-only tarriffs, although it is unclear at this time whether these extend to the iPhone. Vodafone UK did not respond to eWEEK Europe at the time of writing.

The operator will no doubt be hoping that O2 users will be attracted to Vodafone’s network capabilities, as there is little doubt that the rising demand for mobile broadband has placed increasing strain on mobile networks.

Last year O2 suffered a number of embarrassing network failures in London, and at Christmas the boss of O2 publicly apologised for the failures, blaming the bandwidth strain from the increasing use of smartphones.

The apology came after O2 had already decided to overhaul its mobile network, promising to spend millions in order to give it “significant headroom for mobile data”.

However, there are reports that O2 could be trying to retain its out-of-contract iPhone users, with a special iPhone tariff available only from O2’s cancellation team.