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European Bastards to Get Free iPhone and Great Monthly Plans

Illustration for article titled European Bastards to Get Free iPhone iand/i Great Monthly Plans

It's official: O2 and Telefonica users in the UK and Spain will get the iPhone absolutely free if they sign up for a 18-month plan with a $88 monthly cost. But how "free" is free? Is this really a better deal than AT&T's $1,975 24-month plan price? The answer is yes, absofrakinlutely. Those countries got really good deals, enough to convince me to buy the new version:

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The total cost for the O2 18-month plan is $1,591, which every month gets you:

• 1,200 minutes of voice calls.

• 500 text messages.

• Unlimited data transfer in both 3G and Wi-Fi networks (at The Cloud and BT OpenZone Wi-Fi spots.)

• Reduced roaming rates.

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Sure, having 24 months will get your total price to $2,121. But the fact is that, after 18 months, you are free to get elsewhere, and you are getting almost three times the voice call minutes, and 2.5 times the amount of text messages.

Compare that to the $1,975 iPhone 3G plan in AT&T:

• 450 minutes.

• 200 messages.

• Unlimited data transfer in 3G networks.

Illustration for article titled European Bastards to Get Free iPhone iand/i Great Monthly Plans

[O2 and Telefonica press release]

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DISCUSSION

I was told that there would not be any math involved in my iPhone plan pricing calculations.

Why can't Apple just sell the phone for what they want to sell it for, and the carriers charge what they are going to charge to activate it - and be done with this convoluted 'what you pay over X months' nonsense?

It is a rhetorical question, of course. I know why they do it, but I just don't know why they do it.