Theis finally over--Apple has officially unveiled the U.K. iPhone, which will be available to buy from November 9. Steve Jobs himself made the announcement from the Apple store in London, to which we were this morning. As expected, it's on the O2 network and we won't be getting the 4GB version, we'll only get the 8GB one, which will set you back 269 pounds (about $537) including VAT.
In terms of the monthly contract you'll have to pay 35, 45 or 55 pounds per month over an 18-month contract. That's a whopping 899 to 1,259 pounds in total--now that's a nerd tax. It's very pricey compared to getting a free phone, but you will get unlimited data--which is actually limited to 1,400 Web pages a day "as part of the fair usage agreement."
The O2 store has more details of the tariffs: 35 pounds a month buys you 200 minutes, 200 texts, unlimited data and Wi-Fi and free voicemail. 45 pounds upgrades that to 600 minutes and 500 texts, while the top-end 55-pound contract gets 1,200 minutes and 500 texts. Hardly generous, we have to say.
If you were waiting for a, unfortunately you're going to have to keep on waiting--Jobs says we'll see it "later next year." On a positive note, though, O2 has upgraded its network to support EDGE, which will at least deliver faster download speeds than GPRS. Visual voicemail will also be enabled, as in the U.S. And O2 has promised that 7,500 Wi-Fi hot spots (from the The Cloud) will be free for iPhone users to use.
O2 has partnered with Carphone Warehouse for distribution--you can buy it in an Apple store too, of course--and has promised 1,000 customer service agents will be dedicated to iPhone customers.
We'll also be putting up a video later on in the day on the Crave UK homepage. In the meantime, you can read our full review of the iPhone, which will be updated soon with any U.K.-specific details. Click for more photos from the event.