Free iPhones! Getcher free iPhones! O2 is now giving iPhones away free on certain tariffs, if you're willing to sign away two years of your life.
From 3 April you'l be able to get an 8GB iPhone 3G on the £34.26 monthly tariff without paying extra for the handset. That's right, for a mere thirty-five quid a month you too can be as cool as those other iPhone owners you've seen on the train.
There's a catch, though -- there's always a catch -- as you have to sign up to a two-year contract, up from the 18-month contracts previously imposed. That's a total of £822 across two years. If you're not willing to sign up for the two years, you can stick with the existing 18-month contracts but you'll have to pay £96 or £155 for the 8GB or 16GB handsets.
For your money, you get 600 minutes talky-chat and 500 texty-messages each month. On the £44 contract you can also get a free 16GB iPhone 3G handset, which previously cost just shy of a ton on the £34.26 monthly contract and £58 on the £44.05 monthly contract. You can buy an iPhone from O2 or through Carphone Warehouse.
Alright, let's don our thinking caps and do some maths. Presently, getting an iPhone for free on a higher tariff works out cheaper in the long run than starting on the lower tariff and paying for your handset, thanks to a loophole that lets you drop to a lower tariff halfway through your contract term. Clear? We've contacted O2 to check whether this will still be the case.
Update: We've spoken to O2, and you can still change tariffs after nine months, but the availability of free handsets seems to have closed the loophole. If you do sign on the £44 tariff for 24 months, you can get yourself a free 16GB iPhone and with a switch down to the £34 tariff after nine months you'll pay a total of £910.35. Paying for the handset and signing up for the cheaper tariff will set you back just £879.98 in total. Right, we're going to stop doing maths now, our heads are hurty.