So in all the excitement over the iPhone 5 and the fact that it'll be offered on EE's newly announced 4G LTE network, it's easy to overlook a simple point: that 4G network doesn't actually exist yet.
As a workaround, EE says if you sign up with Orange or T-Mobile in the meantime it'll bump you up to 4G when its high-speed service is fully up and running. The downside is your iPhone could be two generations out of date by the time your contract runs out.
The prospect of the iPhone 5 on 4G is sure to be a massive draw for EE – especially with biggest rivals O2 and Vodafone locked out of the 4G promised land for the time being. What it doesn't want, though, is potential customers signing up elsewhere while its 4G infrastructure is still being finalised.
Its solution? Anyone who signs up for the iPhone 5 on a 3G contract through Orange and T-Mobile in the meantime will be allowed to break their contract without penalty once the EE 4G network is up and running.
However, the 4G contract must be of equivalent value and duration and – here's the kicker – starts afresh from day one. So if you sign up for an iPhone 5 on a placeholder 24-month deal on launch day next Friday, and it takes another two months for EE to get its ducks in a row, you're effectively looking at 26 months on the same contract, and with the same phone.
By the end of it you're likely to have seen not one but two newer generations of iPhone launched while you plod on with Old Faithful – unless you buy out your contract or trade in for an upgrade.
It's less of an issue should you go for a 18-month deal up front of course, but still, working on the assumption that you'd happily go for a 4G deal from the start if one was available, would it be that big a deal to subtract the time you spend stuck on 3G from the duration of your 4G contract?