A number of Orange retail store staff, including managers, claim to have now been told the Apple iPhone 3G and 3G S handset will be available from November 10, finally breaking O2’s exclusive hold.
Orange retail staff claim managers were informed via their area managers through conference calls this week.
Orange retail staff were told last week at an Orange Q4 conference, attended by Orange retail director Sian Doyle, the Apple handset and tariff pricing will not be announced until November 4.
However Orange did inform staff that existing Orange customers looking to upgrade to the iPhone will be offered the same deal as new customers regarding costs on tariffs and any additional fee required for the phone.
Normal upgrading measures are expected to apply and will not allow customers to upgrade mid terms as used with O2 on its original 2G launch.
Orange is also expected to sell specific Orange iPhone tariffs to include unlimited data usage and access to Wi-Fi hot spots across the UK staff claim.
In addition, all Orange stores are to celebrate with an in store launch party and are expected to employ a number of additional temporary staff to entertain customers and manage expected queues in larger stores.
Stores will operate extended opening hours for the launch by opening early and closing late where able.
An Orange staffer said: “It’s going to be a big launch and is going to turn many heads on the high street. I have worked for Orange for five years and this will be the biggest product launch we have had. It’s pretty exciting.”
An Orange spokesperson said: “While we haven’t yet announced a launch date, we have announced that iPhone will be available from Orange before Christmas. We look forward to announcing a launch date and pricing plans in the coming weeks.”