Steve Jobs took centre stage at the Apple Store on Regent Street in London this morning to reveal the release date and pricing of the iPhone in the UK. As reported earlier, the 8GB handset will be available on November 9 for £269 from O2.
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. (See the full details here).
Jobs rarely makes public appearances in the UK. He has never appeared at a UK Mac show, for example, but is a regular at Apple Expo Paris. The only time he has spoken at a UK Apple event was the introduction of the European iTunes music stores in June 2004 - 20 years after the launch of the Macintosh computer.
So his unannounced appearance at the London Apple Store to unveil plans for the company's iPhone in the UK is noteworthy.
Just the jobs
Rumours of Steve Jobs' attendance at the event meant Apple was sure to pull the crowds in. He remains the figurehead for Mac and iPod die-hards and now hopes his company will become a worldwide leader in the mobile phone market too.
Caught on camera
Where Jobs goes, the cameras follow. Widespread rumours that today would be the day Apple revealed the UK release date for the iPhone made the Apple Store the place to be for various media outlets, from specialist technology magazines to national TV stations.
The release date is set
Will the iPhone be top of your Christmas wish list this year? Jobs hopes so, with the November 9 release date giving Apple plenty of time to make the iPod/mobile phone hybrid the gadget to buy during the traditionally strong end-of-year period.
1 million up
The iPhone was released in the US on June 29, and if initial sales are any indication, it's sure to be a winner in Europe. Apple said 1 million iPhones were sold in just 74 days in the US.
O2 finally confirmed as UK partner
Jobs said this morning that Apple "dated lots of other carriers" in its quest to find the perfect partner for the iPhone in the UK. But it's been no secret that O2 was its prefered choice. Today, the speculation finally came to an end with O2 winning the UK exclusive.
Images courtesy of Scott Tayor (www.scottiet.com)