T-Mobile UK's turn-around strategy - sell iPhones

As speculation continues to swirl around who will acquire T-Mobile UK, the newly appointed MD, Richard Moat, is reported to be ready to announce his plans to revive the fortunes of the company based around gaining the marketing rights to the iPhone.

While hoping to revitalise the company based upon a single handset, T-Mobile UK has long been hampered by its lack of attractive mobile phones, and the iPhone might be what's needed - just. However, if T-Mobile is able to convince Apple to provide it with the iPhone then it will not have the marketing rights to the latest iPhone 3G S product line, which will stay with O2. Orange UK is also thought to be in discussions with Apple to have access to the iPhone 3G handset.

If either of these companies is able to convince Apple, they could face pricing issues, given that O2 UK is offering an 8Gb iPhone 3G for free on many of its 18 and 24 month contracts, with tariffs ranging between €40 and €85.

Speculation that Apple wants to end its exclusive deals with European operators has moved more towards reality in the past weeks. While this might boost sales, it would also mark a significant shift in Apple's marketing strategy for the iPhone, which had previously relied on subsidies from operators to keep a low price point.

By increasing the marketing channel Apple could also confuse consumers as to from where the 3G and 3G S versions of the iPhone are available.

For more on this story:
The Guardian and Brand Republic

Related stories:
Rumour mill: T-Mobile Germany to lose iPhone exclusive
The uptake of mobile data and the 3G iPhone
Data revenues point to iPhone success for O2
Orange France slashes iPhone price
O2 doubles price of new iPhone, blames lower subsidies

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