“Mobile operators with exclusive contracts to sell Apple’s iPhone are bracing themselves for significant losses on unsold stock as they clear the shelves to make way for a new, faster version expected this summer,” Jonathan Richards reports for The Times Online.
“O2, which sells the phone in the UK, and T-Mobile, the German distributor, are said to have… had to take steps to shift stock on which they would now make a loss in order to clear the shelves for the new 3G iPhone, which is expected to be in greater demand in Europe than in the US because of the more advanced phone networks,” Richards reports.
On Tuesday O2 announced it was cutting the price of the iPhone by more than a third — from £269 to £169 — and two weeks ago T-Mobile made an even more drastic cut, from €399 (£319) to €99,” Richards reports. “An O2 spokeswoman said the price cut was ‘not a reactive move but part of a well thought out strategy of maximising the success of the iPhone in the UK.’ T-Mobile was not immediately available for comment.”
“With Orange, which won the contract in France, the three sold 330,000 units to the end of December, but industry sources say that European sales of the iPhone were forecast to be between 500,000 and 600,000,” Richards reports. “Orange has yet to cut the price.”
“Apple is expected to launch its new phone in June,” Richards reports. “Times Online understands that Apple has placed an order with its Asian suppliers to produce 200,000 of the new 3G iPhones by the end of May, rising to 2 million – 500,000 per week – in June.”
“With a four week lead time between production and placement, that would leave Mr Jobs free to launch the device during an annual developers conference at which he usually speaks,” Richards reports. “Kathryn Huberty, an analyst at Morgan Stanley specialising in Apple, suggested that Apple will eventually break with its policy of favouring one network to be the exclusive distributor of the iPhone in a given territory — possibly as early as next year.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mikal” for the heads up.]