How times have changed. When the iPhone first launched in the UK, it was O2 thumbing its nose to every other network in the country courtesy of its cushy exclusivity deal with Apple.
But with the announcement of the iPhone 5 this week, the tables have turned and it's O2 and Vodafone left out in the cold, peddling their old-school 3G in a shiny new 4G world. Might as well change their name to Nothing Nowhere.
That may be overstating things a bit, but there's no question that if EE's 4G rollout was looking like a big advantage for the Orange-T-Mobile mashup before yesterday's iPhone 5 announcement in San Francisco, it's an even bigger plus now.
It means four of the biggest hitting smartphones around – the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S III, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC One XL – will all be tempting consumers with the promise of 4G in the lead-up to Christmas, a promise only EE and in due course Three (having nabbed some of EE's 4G spectrum) will be able to fulfil.
Unsurprisingly, O2 isn't taking the current situation lying down, and is pushing hard to bring forward the expected July 2013 switch-on of its own 4G service. “We are pushing hard on behalf of our customers,” a spokesperson told the BBC. “We are hopeful we can come to some agreement to bring the current timeline forward.”
In the meantime, O2 is promising iPhone 5 customers an early upgrade to the LTE-enabled version as soon as its 4G service is online. Until then, though, 3G will just have to do.