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Network failure hits Apple iPhone owners

Irish owners of the new Apple 3G iPhone were fuming yesterday over an O2 network failure and fresh evidence they are paying more for the gadget than many people worldwide.

Less than 48 hours after the much hyped launch of Apple's latest model which promises faster downloads and internet browsing, owners of all phones on the O2 network discovered they could not cyber surf at all.

An O2 spokeswoman confirmed that the first complaint calls were received at about 10.30am yesterday and that the issue was not fully resolved until almost 6pm.

She said the disruption was not caused by a network problem but by a "technical fault". She could not yet confirm how many O2 subscribers were affected.

Meanwhile, a survey in Canada clearly identified the differences in quality and cost of the various packages available to 3G iPhone owners around the world.

Out of 21 countries surveyed, Irish phone users have to pay a larger up-front fee and face higher monthly charges than iPhone owners in 14 other countries.