Will O2's simplified, data-friendly pay monthly tariffs affect the iPhone?

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o2.jpgO2 today announced a new range of pay monthly tariffs for new and existing customers, offering improved data rates and simpler pricing.

We’ve already reported that many Brits only use their mobile for voice calls and texts, with a major reason being confusion over pricing, and O2’s own research backs this up.

“This industry is infamous for confusing consumers with the number and complexity of tariffs,” said Sally Cowdry, Marketing Director, O2 UK. You’re not wrong there.

Rather late to the party, O2 has now introduced a £1-per-day cap for ad-hoc data users, meaning there should be an end to nasty surprises on the bill for occasional mobile web users.

In addition, a £7.50 per month bolt-on allows unlimited data use by any pay monthly customer.

Good news for iPhone users is that their bundles, which had been rather stingy in comparison, will be brought into line with the new tariff structure. Customers on the £35 per month plan will now get three times as many voice minutes, and over double the number of texts.

Those on the £55 plan can now save £10 per month for the same features, or upgrade to the hefty £75 per month plan which offers 3,000 minutes and 500 texts.

The plans also claim to offer reduced roaming fees, though the specific details are bound to be in the fine print.

Given the reported general resurgence in interest in O2, thanks to the iPhone launch, this could be good use for enthusiastic data users using other handsets. It will be interesting to see whether it has any effect on iPhone sales.

O2 says that there is still an advantage for iPhone users, because they’re effectively getting two £7.50 bolt-ons — access to The Cloud’s Wi-Fi network, and unlimited data — for free.

However, with a range of 3G handsets sporting decent web browsers becoming available, many people may now be enticed to cheaper/free phones, safe in the knowledge that data is now a lot cheaper on O2.

Though the iPhone is a great device, there may not be enough to draw any but the Apple faithful towards it, particularly as we believe UK sales are already disappointing.

Time for a iPhone 3G, and pronto?

O2 iPhone tariffs (via iPhonic)

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Andy Merrett