Rory Cellan-Jones has done a useful investigation into whether iPhone users on the Orange network can expect a better deal than they’d get from O2. Conclusion: don’t bet on it. He concludes with this para which, in a way, tells you everything you need to know about the iPhone:
The problem for the operators is that users no longer see the iPhone and similar devices as phones but as small computers. And who wants to be told 25 days into each month that they must now stop playing around with their computer and just use it to make calls?
It’s also pretty clear from his account that the deal Apple has extracted from Orange leaves that unfortunate network with very little wriggle room for undercutting O2.
UPDATE: Email from my colleague Michael Dales, who has a long memory:
This has always been the way with Apple – if you look at how much Apple charges for computers, and how much resellers charge, the prices hardly change at all. Apple seem to police the prices – you will charge our RRP or forget it.
On the original iMac I remember there was a fuss where Tesco managed to get a job lot cheap from somewhere or another and were selling them a great discount, and I think Apple tried to stop them.
Welcome to the world of Jobs :)