O2: We have exclusive rights to iPhone

O2 claims exclusive rights over iPhone
O2 claims exclusive rights over iPhone

O2 has said that it, along with Apple and the Carphone Warehouse, has the exclusive rights to distribute the iPhone in the UK, after Play.com announced it is stocking an unlocked iPhone on its site for up to £600.

TechRadar spoke to O2, which confirmed that it offers the cheapest handset around, although declined to comment on whether it will be taking any action on the Play.com decision.

"O2, Apple and Carphone Warehouse have exclusive rights to distribute the iPhone in the UK. The iPhone 3G is available from O2 on Pay&Go from £342.33 and from free on Pay Monthly with an 18 month or longer minimum term contract," a spokesperson told TechRadar.

"O2 offers iPhone customers a full service which includes unlimited UK data downloads and unlimited Wi-Fi access, visual voicemail, and a range of other benefits, which you may not get from an unlocked handset."

We also spoke to Apple, but the company lived up to their usual policy of giving no comment on the situation.

We're doing nothing wrong!

The folks over at T3 managed to bag a response from Play.com too, which is defending its position, stating the unlocked iPhone, which isn't locked to a network, 'is available due to EU legislation ensuring the sale of sim-free mobile phones' and '...comes with a full manufacturer warranty.'

We'll keep you posted over any changes to the story, but it appears that those of you desperate to have an iPhone on Vodafone will be able to do so... for £150 more.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.