O2 Offering iPhone 3G Contract Signups Prior to July 11th?
Apple is set to launch the iPhone 3G on July 11th in 20 countries. Reports of the mandatory contract agreements at the time of iPhone 3G purchase have many worried about the logistics of executing this plan on launch day. When the original iPhone was launched, users were allowed to activate their phone and choose a rate plan at home.
At least one O2 rep has been telling customers that they will be able to sign up for contracts and rate plans ahead of the 3G launch to help expedite sales on launch day.
The main point he told me was this, From July 1st All O2 stores in the UK will offer pre registration Credit checks, You can come in store, have your contract setup for you, and a unique registration code given to you. The contract will simply be "paused" and wont be activated. No details are taken about which model phone you are going to be purchasing.
You can then turn up on July 11th and quote the registration code and then make a standard purchase of the phone and then the contract will become activated.
Unfortunately, mobile phone reps have been notoriously inaccurate with respect to pre-release iPhone information, but such a procedure would help alleviate long delays on launch day. If true, we would expect Apple to adopt a similar strategy in the U.S.