O2 gets exclusive rights to the iPhone in the United Kingdom

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.

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