T-Mobile offers Europeans discounted iPhone for pricey plans

Editor’s Note: This story is excerpted from Computerworld. For more Mac coverage, visit Computerworld’s Macintosh Knowledge Center.

T-Mobile Monday announced it will sell the iPhone 3G for as little as €1 next month to German, Dutch and Austrian customers who sign up for one of its more expensive service plans.

People who sign a 24-month contract and opt for one of T-Mobile’s two priciest plans can have Apple's 8GB iPhone 3G for just €1, approximately $1.55 at Monday’s exchange rate, according to information released by the German telecommunications company Monday.

The €1 price must be combined with either a €69 or €89 monthly plan ($107 and $138, respectively in U.S. dollars).

The brawnier 16GB iPhone 3G will also be available at reduced prices for customers who select the more expensive plans. That model will cost €39.95 ($62) or €19.95 ($31) when paired with the €69 and €89 plans, respectively.

People inking lower-priced contracts may also be eligible for iPhone 3G discounts, said T-Mobile. Although the 8GB iPhone will cost €169.95 ($263) when the buyer signs up for the lowest-priced €29 ($45) plan, the price for the phone falls to €59.95 ($93) if it’s linked to a €49 ($76) monthly plan.

T-Mobile, the wireless arm of Deutsche Telekom AG, is not the first mobile service provider to spell out a sliding scale for the iPhone 3G. O2, the carrier that has exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in the U.K., posted its prices last week. Consumers who sign an 18-month contract and choose either the £45 or £75 monthly plans ($86 or $148, respectively) will receive an 8GB iPhone 3G free of charge. Users who agree to the lower-priced £30 or £35 plans ($59 or $69), on the other hand, will be charged £99 ($195) for the same model.

In the U.S., where AT&T has a lock on selling iPhone service, all customers, no matter which voice plan they select, will pay the same $199 for the 8GB iPhone 3G.

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 3G last week, it said the new faster phone would be available July 11 in 22 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.

However, Orange, the mobile division of France Telecom, has posted a notice on its Web site that it will begin selling the iPhone 3G on July 17.

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