Vodafone has confirmed that it will launch the iPhone to businesses and consumers on 14 January, but has done little to generate competition in the market with its pricing plans.
The company has detailed a raft of tariffs for businesses ranging from £30 to £50 a month on a 24-month contract, excluding VAT.
All tariffs offer unlimited Wi-Fi and calls to landlines, and 250 text messages per month as standard. The only key difference is the number of minutes offered, which ranges from 600 on the £30 tariff to 2,000 on the £50 tariff.
The business and consumer contracts come with a 1GB data download limit on BT's Openzone network, underlining the growing importance users place on mobile data.
Jeni Mundy, chief technology officer at Vodafone, explained that the company is not trying to offer the cheapest iPhone but is more concerned with making sure that it offers the best service.
"We worked closely with Apple and talked to other mobile operators around the world about their experiences with the iPhone to make sure we can meet the demands of users on our network when we launch the product," she said.
Mundy also suggested that many businesses are starting to look at the iPhone as a serious consideration for staff, both in small firms and large enterprises, and that this is something Apple is keen to push as well.
"For sales, delivery and logistics staff, for example, the iPhone can help provide applications that enable access to real-time data that can prove invaluable, and many enterprises are interested in the iPhone for these reasons," she said.
Vodafone is also allowing customers to use the iPhone as a modem for £5 for 500MB, £10 for 1.5GB or £15 for 3GB.
Price comparison service Moneysupermarket.com said in a statement that Vodafone's offering did not differ greatly from other operators', and had failed to ignite the hoped for competition in the market.
Nevertheless, Moneysupermarket.com said that it is likely that the iPhone will quickly become one of Vodafone's most popular handsets, particularly as many users will be looking for a new device in the new year.
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