Orange to sell iPhone next week

ORANGE said yesterday that it will start selling the Apple iPhone from 10 November, ending O2&rsquo;s exclusive carriage deal in the UK.<br /><br />But there was no sign of the price war that consumers had anticipated, with France Telecom&rsquo;s Orange setting similar tariffs and contract structures to O2.<br /><br />The network operator will provide the sought-after 3GS iPhone free to customers signing a long-term deal at &pound;45 per month, or &pound;175 to customers signing up for a &pound;34.26 tariff over two year &ndash; an almost identical deal to the one currently offered by O2.<br /><br />However, the older 3G model will be free to customers when they take a two-year contract at &pound;30 a month, &pound;5 cheaper than O2&rsquo;s comparable tariff.<br /><br />Orange said that over a quarter of a million people have already pre-registered their interest in buying the device from them. But the disappointing deals offered yesterday will likely drive many customers to await Vodafone&rsquo;s entry to the market, early next year.<br /><br />A further deterrent is the news that existing Orange customers will be given priority, though it added that it is &ldquo;confident&rdquo; that there will not be a supply issue.