We’ve just had reports that T-Mobile have got the first iPhone contract – for Germany- , with O2 being announced as the surprise winner over both Vodafone & T-Mobile for the UK
The Times has just reported that O2 has beaten its rivals to win the exclusive UK rights to offer Apple’s iPhone.
The tie-up, the mobile phone industry’s most sought-after deal in years, is expected to be announced shortly and marks a major coup for the 18 million-customer group.
The phone, which should be on sale in time for Christmas, is expected to prove a key weapon in enabling O2 to win and retain customers in one of Europe’s fiercest mobile markets.
It is understood that negotiations are continuing with mobile phone retailers including Carphone Warehouse over an agreement to sell the iPhone in their stores after a period of exclusivity with O2.
Vodafone had previously been considered the front runner to get the UK contract.
News just in from a German regional newspaper confirms that T-Mobile has indeed got the German contract
Initial reports suggest that it has definitely agreed terms for Germany and that the iPhone will be sold exclusively through them at around £300.
Although Vodafone had been rumoured to be getting the UK contract to sell the iPhone several sources have indicated that the announcement was due on Monday and negotiations had stalled over contractual issues.
These issues range from switching the contract from German to UK law, Vodafone arguing that they’ll need to subsidise the handset to meet volume targets and Apple requesting Vodafone take delivery of over 1,000,000 units.
It is thought that Voda have um’d and er’d over volume targets whilst sitting on the fence as to whether the iPhone will be a phenomenal success or a tremendous flop, looking over the pond for initial trends before putting pen to paper.
This stall in signing the contract has cost them dearly as it is thought that sales/connections will reach the 1m mark by tomorrow (Thursday) in the US, T-Mobile has already agreed terms for Germany and O2 was pitching hard for the deal.
There were some frantic negotiations going on behind the scenes between the Apple/Voda/T-Mobile love triangle – with Vodafone desperate to keep the 2.5 per cent rise in share price it received when the iPhone rumour hit the markets; confirmation of this deal would have papered over the recent news that they have been bolstering their connection figures to appease shareholders.
O2 should release the iPhone to the UK 1st November 2007.
A spokesperson for T-Mobile denied any knowledge of the iPhone deal, Vodafone were unavailable for comment and O2 were partying too hard to care.