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£269 Apple iPhone to hit UK on 9th November

Apple announces European iPhone availabilitty

Apple's iPhone will finally become available in the UK on 9 November for £269, the company announced at a special event in London this morning.

In a similar deal to that offered to US consumers, the iPhone won't be available under any subsidy and the 8GB handset will cost consumers £269 inc VAT. Apple has opted against including 3G support with the UK iPhone, with Jobs saying the high-speed wireless technology would dramatically reduce battery life. Apple is already working on the next-generation iPhone, though, and Jobs said 3G could be included in about a year, at which time iPhone battery life would be in the six- to eight-hour range.

(See the PCA forums for more UK iPhone analysis)

Jobs also confirmed 02 as Apple's official UK partner for the handset. "We are coming to the UK and wanted to pick the best carrier and that is O2," said Jobs. "We wanted to know a few partners and find the one most compatible with us, so we dated lots of other carriers, but decided to marry O2, there's a few upset girlfriends out there."

Apple isn't discussing the revenue split between itself and O2, following yesterday's reports of its aggressive demands. Various reports suggested Apple is demanding 40 percent of UK iPhone revenues.

Apple and O2 have also revealed the monthly subscription cost for the iPhone: UK users can choose various tariffs, including £35, £45 and £55 per month. All three plans offer free data traffic, users pay for the device, their calls and messages and they'll also get free access to a UK network of 7,500 WiFi HotSpots via The Cloud.

O2 says 80 percent of its "high-value" subscribers in the UK are keen to get their hands on an iPhone, while its research suggests 40 percent of subscribers to other networks are willing to switch to O2 as a result of the iPhone deal.

When asked whether the new iPod touch would eat into revenues for the iPhone, Jobs said the new iPod could actually encourage users to make the switch to its mobile phone in the long run. He described the iPod touch as a "training wheel" which would help users get used to the innovative touchscreen interface before convincing them to upgrade to the iPhone at a later date.

More to follow.

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See also:

Apple iPhone: much to love, a lot to lament

How to unlock an Apple iPhone for free

O2's UK iPhone sacrifices revealed

Top 25 requests for the UK Apple iPhone

Apple iPhone: the definitive review

The 10 most ridiculous iPhone stories so far

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