Sharp End: Orange and Apple

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Orange – no Care

From July 1, Orange will no longer be offering Orange Care free to business customers. This ends its free insurance for businesses, a service that has been unique to Orange since launch and is yet another ‘USP’ to be abandoned by Orange.

Orange Care for business will still be available but chargeable at £6 per month per phone. All business plans from this point will include 24-hour replacement service for faulty handsets only instead.

Orange will revamp other business tariff options from July including offering more inclusive minutes on Solo plans and a  wider choice of additional benefits including unlimited Orange to Orange calls, unlimited UK landline calls, unlimited texts, unlimited email or 500MB data bundle.

New Business SIM-only tariffs will offer more plan choices. All plans will include unlimited on-network calls and unlimited calls to five landline numbers.

Its Business Sense tariffs will also be improved by offering unlimited calls to 10 nominated landline numbers for customers choosing 24-month tariffs.

Tariff enhancements are always welcome. But it is a shame Orange has decided to withdraw the free Orange Care insurance. This was a major selling point and in many cases helped secure the deal by giving customers peace of mind that all eventualities were covered.

iPhone rip off

I have to repeat other comments that have been made by others in this magazine, and express how disappointed I was with the launch of the ‘new’ iPhone 3G S (pictured). Apart from a faster processor and improved camera that now includes video recording, the new 3G S iPhone is a major disappointment.

I was expecting so much more. It would seem Apple is going down the route of Motorola with the V3 Razr by continually enhancing, rather than evolving, its product line.

The 3G S is still only where other phones were 18 months ago. Even Apple’s renowned user interface seems outdated.

When I slated Apple for the iPhone, people said I was simply “out of touch” and had “obviously never used an iPhone”. In fact I am an Apple fan to the core. I use its desktops, laptops, original 2G iPhone and even the 3G iPhone. But the new 3G S is disappointing. The cost of the O2 tariffs for the new iPhone are appalling.

Yet the new iPhone 3G S will no doubt sell loads as the hype and marketing surrounding all things iPhone continues. Reportedly Apple has sold over one million iPhone 3G S handset in the weekend of its launch. Give it a few months. There are going to be many many users who will feel “conned” by the iPhone.

I do congratulate Apple for making its OS 3.0 available to all iPhone users. But the update simply brings features to the iPhone that were missing at launch over 18 months ago. And there is still no Automatic Answer function

Full article in Mobile News issue 442 (June 29, 2009).

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