O2 has announced that the 16GB and 32GB versions of the new iPhone 3GS, which Apple unveiled yesterday, will be available in its UK stores from 19 June. But the mobile operator will not be subsidising the cost of upgrading this time round.
As with the existing iPhone 3G, the new devices will be free on the highest O2 consumer and business tariffs, but those opting for the 18-month £29.38 contract will have to pay £184.98 for the 16GB model and £274.23 for the 32GB model.
Those not wanting to tie themselves into a 24-month or 36-month contract can opt for pay-as-you-go versions at £440.40 and £538.30 respectively.
In a move that has angered many customers, O2 subscribers will not be able to upgrade to the new phone simply by resetting their contract. Unlike when the iPhone 3G replaced the original iPhone, customers will have to pay to terminate their existing contract early in order to start a new subscription with the iPhone 3GS.
A number of online petitions have already been created to protest against the decision, and social networking sites such as Twitter became inundated with people voicing their anger. The Twitter hashtag #o2fail was quickly being adopted to help users jointly express their disapproval.
Furthermore, customers wishing to make use of the new tethering feature in iPhone OS 3.0, which allows the iPhone to be used as a 3G data modem for a notebook, will have to purchase an additional Internet Tethering Bolt On, which costs £15 a month with a 3GB cap or £29.36 with a 10GB cap.
O2 confirmed that the third iteration of the iPhone operating system will be available as a free download to iPhone owners through iTunes from 17 June.
The operator has updated its dedicated iPhone site with all the pricing details for the new iPhone 3GS, as well as information on the new OS 3.0 features.
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