Reports are circulating that Apple's iBookstore model may not be entirely legal in the European continent because the company has too much control over the products being sold and distributed through the digital store.
The BBC reported today that the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (they have one of those?) has blocked an iPhone commercial from appearing on the air to keep it from misleading consumers about the capabilities of the device.
Not to be outdone by AT&T’s rumored 8AM iPhone 3G launch in the US, the UK’s O2 is now reportedly set to open their stores at 7AM, an hour earlier than usual, on July 11 to eager customers. This rumor comes second hand from a poster in the Mac Rumors forum who claims to have received the information from an O2 employee. According to the employee, O2 will be signing up customers for iPhone 3G service starting July 1. By July 11, the credit check and service contract would be in place so users can waltz into their local O2 store and pick up their new iPhone. The source also claims that O2 stores will be receiving shipments of 5,000 iPhone 3G’s per location. That’s a mighty number, causing some to question the validity of the source. Although the employee also states that O2 stores received the same number for the original iPhone launch in November. If the winners in this picture are O2 customers, then the losers are the UK Apple stores. Because there is no O2 account activation system and a lack of proper training for employees, Apple may be forced to sell only pre-paid iPhones in their stores. Via AppleInsider
The Times Online warns UK iPhone users of the high price of downloading data outside of the country. Apple’s UK partner, service provider O2, allows unlimited downloads within the country, but once abroad downloading fees are applied. Charges range from £3 (roughly $6) per MB on data downloaded in the EU to £6 in the rest of the world.
According to O2, consumer interest in the iPhone 3G in the UK has eclipsed interest in the current by an unprecedented rate. Well, maybe not unprecedented when you realize that the iPhone 3G can be had for free in the UK on the O2 mobile network. More than 130,000 people have pre-registered their interest in the new iPhone. Compared to the 35,000 people who pre-registered for the original iPhone and it seems the iPhone 3G could be a huge hit in the UK. The iPhone 3G will hit the British Isle on July 11.