O2 gives iPhone away on 24 month contract

In the UK, iPhone carrier O2 has made the gadget more affordable to cash strapped consumers by launching a 24 month contract option, which will allow customers to get the handset for free in return for signing two years of their life away to O2. On the 24 month tariff the 8GB iPhone 3G weighs in at £34.26 per month and the 16GB device costs £44.05 per month.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, AT&T, which is the exclusive iPhone partner in the US, is gearing up to sell the device without a contract. The catch is that it will still be locked to AT&T’s network though, and it will cost a whopping $599 for the 8GB version and $699 for the 15GB version.

Earlier this week the Californian kit vendor showed off its shiny new iPhone OS version 3.0, releasing a beta version of the software to registered developers.

Under the hood of the forthcoming release are over 1,000 new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), giving developers better tools to access the features of the iconic device. These include In-App Purchases; Peer-to-Peer connections; an app interface for accessories; access to the iPod music library; a new Maps API and Push Notifications.

Apple also announced over 100 new features that will be available to iPhone and iPod touch users this summer including cut, copy and paste; MMS; landscape view for Mail, Text and Notes; stereo Bluetooth; syncing Notes to the Mac and PC; shake to shuffle; parental controls for TV shows, movies and apps from the App Store; and automatic login at wifi hot spots. The OS 3.0 beta release will also include a Voice Memo app and expanded search capability for all key iPhone apps, as well as Spotlight search.

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