O2 takes on iPhone rivals with new SIM-only deals

iPhone in business

O2 has targeted iPhone owners on other networks by launching new SIM-only tariffs as part of a wider reshuffle to its pay-monthly phone and mobile broadband deals.

The 15-per-month SIM-only deal provides 300 minutes of talk time as well as unlimited UK texts, Visual Voicemail and data and Wi-Fi over 12 months. Alternatively, a 30-day rolling contract offering the same terms is available for 20.

With O2 having been the UK's sole provider of the iPhone until late last year, its SIM-only iPhone package will likely initially be aimed at stopping its own iPhone subscribers from defecting to other networks at the end of their contracts, rather than persuading users to come the other way.

Network rival Vodafone clearly had O2 iPhone owners in mind when it launched its own data-inclusive SIM-only package last month. But while Vodafone offers 900 minutes of calls for 25 per month, O2's deal provides just a third of the talk time but for 40 per cent less.

At the other end of the spectrum is O2's flagship unlimited-everything package, giving you uncapped talktime, texts and data starting from 45 per month effectively slashing the price of the most expensive contract by 15 per month.

Those wishing to use their iPhone as an Internet Tethering Bolt On, meanwhile, can do so for a limit of 2 per day.

While these data-heavy tariffs are designed for smartphone owners, O2 has its cheaper phones covered too thanks to deals starting at 10 per month for 100 minutes of calls and unlimited texts over a 30-day contract.

"Customers' habits are changing, with more texts being sent and data being used than ever before. We have listened to our customers and introduced a range of new tariffs with unlimited calls, texts and data offering real value for money," said O2's marketing director Sally Cowdry, in a statement.

"We have also introduced a new 2 per day Internet Tethering Bolt On as we know our iPhone customers want to snack when they are using their iPhone as a modem. We have always been the home for texts and now want to extend that to being home for data." Cowdry added.

O2 has also introduced two new mobile broadband deals offering 1GB of data per month and unlimited Wi-Fi over either 30 days for 10 per month, or 18 months for 15 per month.