The United Kingdom will soon have access to Apple's new
iPhone. According to the Times Online,
the iPhone will be tied
exclusively to O2.
Vodafone, Europe's largest mobile phone carrier, had been
the early favorite for an iPhone contract. Although the exact details of the
deal haven't been disclosed, it is thought that O2 will share a portion of
revenues generated from each iPhone customer with Apple.
Thousands of customers ditched their mobile phone providers
in the United States to hop on the iPhone/AT&T bandwagon. O2 expects to see
the same fortunes when the iPhone is released in the UK. However, what’s good
for O2 likely won’t be good for potential buyers currently on competing
networks. Early disconnect fees are likely to add even more to the initial
purchase cost of the iPhone (just as they do across the pond).
While O2 is tipped as being the sole provider of iPhone
service in the UK, T-Mobile is expected to get sole rights to the iPhone in
Germany and Orange is favored in France.
The iPhone launch in the United States was quite successful
for both Apple and AT&T. Apple
sold over 500,000 iPhones during the first three days of availability at a
price of $499 (4GB) and $599 (8GB). For its part, AT&T lured
customers in with rate plans of $59.99, $79.99 and $99.99 respectively plus
a one-time activation fee of $36.