O2 UK to Officially Unlock iPhones Following Competitor Launch

o2-logoO2 just announced what seems like a fairly magnanimous gesture on its part today, in preparation for the launch of the iPhone on other UK carriers and the end of iPhone exclusivity in that country. That should mean that O2 customers who want to take their business elsewhere can have their phones unlocked as early as tomorrow, since Nov. 10 is the stated launch date for Orange UK’s iPhone offerings.

The news, which comes via The iPhone Blog, is a promising sign for all iPhone users. If Apple (s aapl) is at all a party to the decision to allow unlocking of its devices in countries where the iPhone is available on multiple networks, then hope exists for countries like Canada, too, where the iPhone recently became available on Bell and Telus, as well as Rogers, the original carrier. Read More about O2 UK to Officially Unlock iPhones Following Competitor Launch

Orange UK Unlimited Plan for iPhone Seems to Prohibit Almost Everything

orange-logo

The BBC noticed something a little off when it investigated the new pricing structure and terms of use for the iPhone deals Orange is about to begin offering on Nov. 10. First, it turns out that far from sparking a price war, Orange has basically adopted the same deal that O2 currently offers, with some minor changes meant to sway customers its way.

Secondly, and this is the real kicker, Orange’s “unlimited” apparently means up to a maximum of 750MB per month, if you look at the fine print. When asked to clarify, Orange stated that the cap was for its 3G network, and that another 750MB cap existed for use at the hotspots of its Wi-Fi partner BT Openzone. Finally, another clause in the Orange Terms and Conditions states that data is…

Not to be used for other activities (e.g., using your handset as a modem, non-Orange Internet-based streaming services, voice or video over the internet, instant messaging, peer-to-peer file sharing, non-Orange Internet-based video). Should such use be detected notice may be given and network protection controls applied to all services which Orange does not believe constitutes mobile browsing.

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Today in Connected Consumer

If you saw 60 Minutes last night, you saw a bunch of MPAA folks complaining that piracy is destroying the movie business. What you didn’t see was a lot of empirical evidence to connect proposition A to proposition B, a common failing of many anti-piracy plaints. A new survey by IPSOS in UK, conducted as the British government debates a France-like three-strikes law, shows that “illegal” downloaders actually spend far more on legitimate music than non-downloaders. That doesn’t disprove a connection between piracy and falling CD sales but it certainly makes it murkier. Meanwhile, the studios want to make ISPs Down Under take more responsibility for file-sharing.

iPhone 3GS Bound for Orange on Nov. 10

orangeUK folks interested in the iPhone 3GS only have mere weeks to wait before they can shop around and escape the tyranny of O2, according to a report from The Guardian this past weekend. In fact, in only two short weeks, Orange will begin offering the coveted Apple (s aapl) handheld, on Nov. 10.

That’s the day following the end of O2’s exclusivity contract with Apple, so it literally couldn’t begin offering it any earlier. No word yet on when specifically Vodafone will begin offering the device, though it will eventually join its two rivals in selling the 3GS sometime in the new year. Read More about iPhone 3GS Bound for Orange on Nov. 10

Lots of Nearly Live TV Now Available Free to UK iPhone Users

tvcatchup_logoTV on the iPhone isn’t anything new, but a new web site makes it much easier, more direct, and less expensive for iPhone users in the UK. Just by visiting the site and logging into the new beta web app from TV Catchup, you can access 11 slightly delayed British TV channels, streamed directly to your iPhone.

As long as you live somewhere within the UK, pointing your iPhone’s Safari browser at the TV Catchup optimized site will allow you access to Britain’s five main networks, including BBC 1 and 2, ITV and Channel 4, as well as six additional channels, including BBC 3 and 4 Music. Read More about Lots of Nearly Live TV Now Available Free to UK iPhone Users

Vodafone Getting in on UK iPhone Party

Vodafone_epsVodafone announced today that it will begin selling the iPhone in the UK beginning in 2010, according to Reuters. The news comes on the heels of an announcement from France Telecom’s Orange yesterday that it would also start selling the popular smartphone, following the end of O2’s exclusivity deal this month. Orange will reportedly be offering the device for sale in three weeks.

Vodafone also will be selling the device in Ireland. It will begin selling the phone in both places at the end of this year. Analysts see the move as a huge boon for Vodafone’s business, which had been suffering in the British market because of O2’s exclusivity deal. If you’re not keen on waiting, you can already pre-register online for iPhone updates through Vodafone’s web site. Read More about Vodafone Getting in on UK iPhone Party