Switching iPhone contracts
I came across this video when trawling across web, researching which provider I wanted to leave O2's woeful reception for with my iphone contract, and while sadly it's not far from the current experience of using my iPhone now that I've upgraded to the new iPhone OS, it is funny enough to raise a smile whenever my phone locks up when I do something really computationally expensive on the phone, like open up iTunes:
It does feel at first like an extremely cynical move from Apple, degrading the user experience of an existing handset this dramatically around the same time as launching a another shiny new expensive handset with four times the memory - but truth be told this is nothing new with Apple - if you own a mac, you'll be aware of their 6 month product cycle already, so seeing this happen with the iPhone is hardly earth shattering. Lame yes, but not shocking. The main saving grace is that there is still a downgrade path back to iOS 3 if Apple can't release a new update in the coming few weeks that sorts out the performance issues.
In the meantime, there's a few steps here you can take to minimise the ridiculous slowness, listed on lifehacker - there's no guarantee they'll work, but there seems to be at least some kind of placebo effect in place, since I switched off spotlight indexing when I tried a few of them just now.
If the slowness of the new OS hasn't put you off of staying with your existing iPhone
As I mentioned before, I took out a contract with 02 a little less than than two years ago now, and if like me you're looking for a sim only tariff, Orange and Vodafone both offer extremely similar deals, though it looks like Vodafone just about edge out Orange. Both offer tethering at a surprisingly reasonable rates.
You can pay a fiver for half a gig of tethered connectivity if need be, and 15 quid for 3Gb of data, which is the same as what they charge for internet access using their 3G dongles normally, but Vodafone's data cap is slightly higher at 1Gb per month instead of 750mb, and their network is generally seen as the most reliable in the UK .
If you want to lock yourself into a twelve month contract, you can get the sim only deal from Vodafone for a fiver less too, at £20 per month, which is about as reasonable as we're gonna see iPhone sim-only pricing get, while still providing some decent coverage.
Goodbye O2 - it's been a fun 4 or so years, but your network is just too flaky to see myself using in the near future. Lets talk again when you have reception again near Shad Thames.
_Update - I want with Vodafone in the end, and bought it through their website. I don't know why I waited so long until I did this to be honest...