Report: Apple iPhones being cleared off European shelves ahead of next-gen iPhone debut in June

“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.]

37 Comments

  1. I call TOTAL CROCK on this one. I do believe that the lower sales price comes with service type requirements. Its just the telco providers trying to get better locking. At least that is my take on it. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  2. MDN’ers,
    Cubert is rejoining the world of the employed! (why DO I refer to myself in the third person?)

    I am joining a group of federally funded free clinics here in Philadelphia. I will be seeing patients, running their medical student and resident rotations, and ultimately, prepping to take over as medical director for one of their four clinic sites in the next year.

    Yes, the Porn Wars are over!

    And, my 6 month vacation is coming to an end. (no pun intended; or did I?)

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. i hope they get their terms right in round 2 here in europe. i know at least 5 people who considered an iphone but ruled against it, because 30 cents a minute in the 50 euros contract are 3 times the average minute price people are used to nowadays. how can they expect that ourageous service rates and 35% higher prices (than in the us) for the handset itself will be accepted. give us decent service rates and a 250 euros handset and i will buy one.

  4. Congrats Cubert…welcome back to the ranks of us common income tax paying slobs.

    6 mths vacation….geez I am jealous…I have that much carried over but I rarely get to use it. Maybe when I am dead….

  5. oh yeah, and it irritates the crap out of me that some people will be getting yet another revision of the phone and we in Canada have SFA.
    My wife’s Treo is on its deathbed and she will have to buy an unlocked.

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