iPhone: O2 exclusivity ends in October, as T-Mobile UK uses iPhone as retention tool

Having been rumoured for some months, O2 UK looks set to lose iPhone exclusivity despite statements that it has a multi-year agreement with Apple. According to those close to the situation, documents have been leaked which state explicitly that the arrangement will end on October 9th, with Orange and T-Mobile the apparent favourites to start marketing the 3G version of the iPhone. O2 will retain exclusive rights to sell the new 3G S for an undisclosed period.

Seemingly, Vodafone remains off the iPhone list, although only a few months ago the company worked hard on reshaping its portal to be iPhone compatible--but at the time refused to acknowledge that there was any subterfuge behind this move.

To complicate the matter, T-Mobile UK has been importing as many iPhones as it can purchase in Europe and offering them to discontented subscribers on the verge of churning. However, the company has made a muddle of its iPhone tariffs with the result that its offer compares poorly with O2's--and T-Mobile's package doesn't include the latest 3G S iPhone. Orange is also said to be offering high-spending subscribers the iPhone as part of its customer retention programme.

What is apparent from this iPhone distribution model is the growing likelihood of consumer confusion and disillusionment.

For more on this story:
T3
, Mobile News and ITProPortal

Related stories:
iPhone continues to boost O2 results, and looks to Palm Pre to do same
Rumour mill: O2 to lose iPhone exclusivity, but win Palm Pre deal
O2 doubles price of new iPhone, blames lower subsidies
Rumour mill: T-Mobile Germany to lose iPhone exclusive

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