O2 said that both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will be enabled to run on its 4G network “within the coming weeks”, but that this depends on “when new settings are ready to be sent by Apple”.
Sources tell the Telegraph that this will not be until November at the earliest.
Customers who buy either device on a 4G tariff before this update happens will get £5 off their bill for one month, according to O2. Until the update, customers can still use all the data that comes with O2’s 4G tariff on its 3G network, and access its O2 Tracks and Priority Sports services.
Industry sources have speculated that the 4G delay is due to a hold-up in Apple’s stringent network vetting process, which prevents operators from offering the new devices on 4G networks until they pass the Californian company’s own independent tests for LTE network performance.
Apple conducted similar tests ahead of the iPhone 5 launch last year, and Swiss telecommunications provider Swisscom had to wait over a month for a software update from Apple before it could offer the iPhone 5 as an LTE device.
This may explain why O2 was not included in Apple’s list of mobile operators that will support 4G LTE on the new iPhone models. The list only mentions EE and Vodafone in the UK.
O2 has also announced pricing for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, which go on sale on Friday 20 September, with the iPhone 5C available to pre-order from Friday 13 September. Both handsets will be offered on O2’s Refresh tariff, which allows customers to upgrade their device at any time.
The 16GB version of the iPhone 5S will cost £37 a month with a £119.99 upfront cost for unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 1GB 3G data, or £47 a month with a £119.99 upfront cost for unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 5GB 4G data.
Meanwhile, 16GB version of the iPhone 5C will cost £32 a month with a £49.99 upfront cost for unlimited texts, 600 minutes and 750MB 3G data, or £42 a month with a £99.99 upfront cost for unlimited texts, unlimited minutes & 5GB 4G data.
Full pricing and other tariffs will be available soon, or when the phones are available to order, according to O2.
Customers can also trade in their old phone when they purchase iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C. Depending on the condition and model of their phone, customers can get up to £280 back to take off the cost of their new phone or to help them pay off their old one, O2 said.
“As the network that first brought iPhone to the UK, we’re proud to continue to innovate with our iPhone offering,” said Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefónica UK. “Customers who purchase their iPhone from us get complete peace of mind that they can always be at the leading edge of technology.”
Read more at Telegraph