O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile battle for exclusive rights to Apple iPhone in UK

“The big mobile phone operators, including O2, are battling for the exclusive rights to Apple’s new iPhone in the UK. Telefónica, O2’s Spanish owner, is understood to have held preliminary talks with Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, about a potential tie-up in Britain and Europe,” Elizabeth Judge reports for The Times.

“Apple, which launched the iPhone on Tuesday, is expected to offer the revolutionary touchscreen mobile phone exclusively to one network operator when it launches in the UK at the end of the year,” Judge reports. “O2, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile are all contenders for the contract.”

“Apple is understood to be seeking exclusive contracts with mobile operators in order to secure greater control over the product and customer service offering,” Judge reports. “Mobile phone companies might also be prepared to pay a higher price for the rights to have their brand exclusively aligned with the iPhone, which is expected to become a bestseller for Apple.”

Judge reports, “The share prices of rival mobile phone manufacturers slipped yesterday, amid concern that the iPhone launch could damage their sales seriously.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “British Mac Head” for the heads up.]

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Research in Motion downgraded due to Apple iPhone competition – January 23, 2007
RealMoney: Apple just blew up the whole damn mobile-phone supply chain with its new iPhone – January 11, 2007
eWeek: Apple iPhone fallout: ‘They must be crying in Nokia-ville and other telephony towns today’ – January 10, 2007
Jefferies downgrades Motorola on fears of market share loss to Apple iPhone – January 10, 2007
The massive FUD campaign against Apple’s iPhone ramps up – January 10, 2007
Time: ‘iPhone could crush cell phone market pitilessly beneath the weight of its own superiority’ – January 09, 2007
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  1. Apple’s got to time to decide; besides my 1-yr contracts with Vodaphone (in UK) doesn’t run out till Nov. Perfect timing? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Wow–it sure takes the news a while to make it across the “pond.” This article is dated Jan.11! MDN, are you not keeping up on your British news?
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Discount Orange from the list – they have very close ties with Microsoft and Windows Mobile OS. Orange is also owned by France Telecom and knowing how much France hates Apple they havent got a chance.

    So Orange will be cut from the list when SJ finds this out.

    Vodaphone are not an option as they are primarily a corporate carrier, and add to the fact that the 1st generation iPhone is not 3G compatible.

    So Vodaphone is out.

    T-Mobile have shit UK coverage wheras 02 has biggest UK market share.

    Personally I think it will be 02.

  4. Well, I think this is rubbish.

    many people travel a lot in Europe, even live in various places. I have used 2 different SIM cards for the last 6 years, working and living in the UK and in Austria / Germany.

    shame that Apple are not opting for the unlocked phone.

  5. Zune Tung, no funny post today? However, pretty accurate in your summary of the four main UK MNOs in regard to iPhone IMO.

    Although you forgot to mention the fifth network “3” who are obviously ruled out because their network is 3G only. Unless Apple have a 3G version of iPhone available by year end, for use outside USA.

    I hope O2 too, because Orange and T-Mobile don’t work in my house, and I wouldn’t have to change operator and go through the malarky of number portability. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  6. In UK, I believe it’s law that after one year, the provider must provide for unlocking the phone for free, to be used with any other network. There will be a lot of those iPhones on ebay.

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