Vodafone in iPhone war with O2

Steve Dinneen
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VODAFONE has stepped up its rivalry with O2 to become the UK’s biggest iPhone retailer.

Analysts say a new £25-a-month deal sold without a handset is aimed at O2 customers whose iPhone contracts are up. Customers can request O2 unlock their phones, meaning Vodafone can poach customers without giving away handsets.

Vodafone is keen to continue the early success it has seen with the iPhone, after shifting 100,000 units in its first week.

The new deal offers 900 minutes of talk time, unlimited texts, 1GB of mobile data monthly and unlimited Wi-Fi access via BT Premium Openzone on a 12-month deal.

The offer could be the start of an ongoing battle between Vodafone and O2, whose exclusive deal to stock the iPhone expired last year.

Vodafone says its future lies with smartphones after total data revenue surpassed the £1bn mark for the first time.

Its percentage of sales that are smartphones increased five per cent to 25 per cent. Next year it hopes to boost this to 40 per cent.