According to a report in the Financial Times and repeated elsewhere, O2 is close to inking an exclusive deal with Apple for launching the iPhone in the U.K., while T-Mobile reportedly has it in the bag for Germany. Neither carrier has confirmed the rumored deals, but the prospect of signing on separate carriers across Europe comes as a surprise for many in the industry. Recently, many analysts pointed to Vodafone as the likely partner for Apple's iPhone launch overseas, given its reach across Europe. Interestingly, the reports claim the iPhone will not run on 3G in Europe either, even though such networks are more prevalent there. Instead, the phone would run on 2.5G networks like EDGE, but only Orange has an EDGE network rolled out in the U.K. O2 and others are expected to roll theirs out by year's end.
The reports claim that O2 will pay Apple a continuing share of the revenue it generates from the phone, which it will sell for about £300. Spain's Telefonica owns O2. Reports out of Germany, meanwhile, claim that T-Mobile has scooped up the iPhone contract for that country. The phone will launch on the first of November, according to sources, and with a price tag of about €450 without a contract.
For more on the European launch of the iPhone:
- check out this article from vnunet