I bought my most recent iPhone (a white 3G) back in August 2008.Â On an 18 month contract, that means I’ve fulfilled my commitment but O2 is quite happy to keep on taking the Â£35 a month which partially subsidises the handset cost!
I’ve been thinking about switching back to Vodafone and an HTC HD2 on Windows Mobile but, in the absense of a clear statement that says I’ll be able to upgrade that device for Windows Mobile 7 (in fact, I’ve seen an APC article that suggestsÂ IÂ won’t be able toÂ as well as a plea from Engadget for Microsoft to get off the fence), I’ll be staying put for a while.
In the meantime, @jonhoneyball mentioned some Simplicity deals from O2 for iPhone users.Â There is an IT Pro article which suggests that O2 are pushing these deals to out-of-contract iPhone users but I’ve seen nothing to indicate this – although when I called O2 they knew about the tariffs and were happy to help me switch (although I did have to tell the upgrades department to stop trying to upsell me and to just do as I asked).
I’ve elected to reduce my Â£35 monthly payment to Â£20 on a rolling 30-day contract, halving my minutes from 600 to 300 but keeping unlimited texts, data, and Wi-Fi.Â Alternatively I could have had a 12-month contract on the same terms for Â£15, or 600 minutes a month for Â£25 (900 for Â£30, etc.).Â There are some gotchas though (O2 did let me know about these): the account defaults to online billing (no problem); picture messages are 20p (not 4 texts from normal allowance); SMS from abroad is also chargable; and voicemail is now taken from the inclusive minutes.Â Even so, I should still be well within my limits.Â After the initial 30-day period I can switch to another O2 tariff at any time, or give 30-days notice if I decide to terminate the contract.
Vodafone has similar SIM-only deals but there are caps on data usage – I don’t use much iPhone data but others might be concerned by them (My iPhone was unlocked a few months ago when other UK carriers started stocking iPhones – iPhone unlocking is free of charge for O2’s pay-monthly customers and Â£15 for pay as you go (PAYG) customers).
So, that should allow me to sit tight until either the next iPhone or a tasty Windows Mobile 7 device becomes available. And the Â£15/month saving will go some way towards the cost of my next partially-subsidised handset…