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Phones

iPhone 4 early upgrade offer from O2: Pay off your contract for £20 a month

Do you need a new iPhone 4 like a drowning man needs air? Like England needs a second centre forward? O2 is letting you buy out your contract for £20 a month

Do you need a new iPhone 4 like a drowning man needs air? Like England needs a second centre forward? Like Russell Brand needs a good ticking-off from his mum? Smashing news from O2! You can buy your way out of your existing contract for a discount and get your hungry hands on the gadgety goodness quick smart.

O2 is letting you pay £20 for every month left on your contract -- there's a tool on its Web site where you put in your renewal date (ie, when your existing deal runs out) and it calculates how much you pay. So if your deal is set to run out on 10 October 2010, you'll be paying £60.

If you've signed a contract to pay a network a certain amount of money every month for a set period, you have to honour it, and phone companies aren't in the habit of doling out new phones for nothing. So it's reasonable to expect you to pay up if you want a new phone right now, at the subsidised contract rate.

Having paid your early upgrade fee, you have to pay for the new phone as well, start a new 18- or 24-month contract, and waive your usual right to a 'change of mind' period. Sure, it's money down the drain, but no one ever said being an early adopter was cheap.

O2 has also announced the range of contracts on which the iPhone 4 will be available -- they're the same as the iPhone 3GS. It hasn't said how much it will cost upfront, however. We've nicked helpfully reproduced O2's table below:

O2 iPhone 4 tariffs