O2 Introduces SIM-Only iPhone Tariffs To Woo Users

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

Competition in the iPhone space is heating up after O2 revamped its iPhone tariffs in an effort to stop out-of-contract users from jumping ship to a rival network

Mobile operator O2 has launched a new ‘SIM-only’ tariff for iPhone users, in an effort to hold onto its existing iPhone customer base and stop them from moving to a rival network.

O2 is facing stiff competition from rival operators over the iPhone after it lost its two-year ‘exclusivity deal’ for the iconic Apple device back in November last year. Orange became the second mobile operator in the UK to stock the Apple handset, quickly followed by Tesco.

Vodafone also began selling the device in January and, despite arriving late to the iPhone party, it managed to shift 100,000 Apple handsets in its first week of sales. To make matters worse, Vodafone announced last month a SIM-only tariff for out-of-contract iPhone users on other networks.

The Vodafone move was a clear attempt to lure out-of-contract iPhone users on the O2 network, as once their O2 contract expired, they could simply ask O2 to unlock their iPhone handset, and then move across with their iPhone handset to Vodafone’s network.

Vodafone has been heavily promoting the quality of its mobile network, after O2 suffered a number of embarrassing network failures in London last year, which led to a public apology from the operator.

But with the move to offer a new range of budget-minded SIM-only tariffs, O2 is seeking to retain its iPhone customer base.

“Customers who already have an iPhone or are just happy with their existing Smartphone can choose from a range of sim only tariffs starting at just £15 per month for 300 minutes, unlimited UK texts, data & Wi-Fi on a 12-month sim only contract, or from £20 per month on a 30-day rolling contract,” said the operator.

“Those customers who don’t ever want to worry about how many minutes or texts or how much data they have used, O2 introduces a set of tariffs offering unlimited UK calls, texts and data from just £45 a month.