O2 Wins rights to Apple’s iPhone for the U.K
5 July 2007 by axxxr
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.Shares of O2 ’s owner, Telefónica, of Spain, are expected to surge today on the back of the news.
The deal will come as a bitter disappointment to Vodafone, which had been tipped as the front-runner for the deal. Arun Sarin, Vodafone’s chief executive, had been pushing hard to secure a deal for the iPhone, which has been at the centre of one of the most fiercely contested mobile battles since the £22.5 billion auction of 3G rights. However, as negotiations reached a climax, he is thought to have decided that the commercial terms on offer were not viable.
Apple’s agreement with O2 is thought to include a continuing share of the revenues generated by each iPhone customer. O2 ’s network will also have to be specially configured to accommodate the Apple handset. The lure of the Apple brand is expected to lead thousands of UK mobile customers to ditch their existing contracts and switch to the iPhone provider. source:timesonline