iPhone Europe and future generations

Rumors that exclusive iPhone deals went to O2 in the U.K. and T-Mobile in Germany are back in the spotlight. The German carrier posted an iPhone product page on its website and Thomson Financial claimed that O2 has sealed the deal, too. O2 reportedly committed £178 million to the iPhone launch. Rumors that Vodafone had balked at Apple's terms for an exclusive iPhone distribution deal surfaced last week. The device is set to launch in the U.K., Germany and France in the fall, according to reports.

In other iPhone-related news: A patent request uncovered by AppleInsider suggests that subsequent generations of Apple's iPhone and iPod portable media devices may employ wireless networks to receive automated software updates and interact with other Apple devices within close range. "In one embodiment, one mobile device discovers another mobile device within its vicinity," the filing states. "The mobile devices can then wirelessly transmit data from one mobile device to the other. Typically, the mobile devices are associated with persons (users). The mobile devices, or their users, can control, request or influence the particular data content being delivered."

"Users of data devices can also create and distribute content through data sharing," Apple writes. "The streaming can be limited so as to restrict the number of data devices simultaneously receiving the data. On the other hand, if the users of the data devices are subscribers to the streaming content (i.e., have a subscription), then the streaming can be unlimited as to subscribers."

For more on the Apple patent filing:
- read this AppleInsider article

For more on the rumored European iPhone deals:
- read this blog on O2
- check out this article from The Inquirer