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O2 to sell Apple iPhone in the UK

9 July, 2007

O2, a leading mobile phone supplier, has won the rights to sell the Apple's iPhone in the United Kingdom. This deal is the biggest in O2's history in the past several years. The final contract between the two parties, Apple and O2, is expected to be signed in the coming days.

The UK is supposed to be one of the fiercest market in the European Union in the mobile phone segment. The O2 - Apple deal is expected to give O2 the much needed grip that it wanted for a long time. The iPhone will be available in the UK by Christmas, the peak season for purchases, and will surely prove an important weapon in O2's arsenal.

It is also learnt that Apple is in negotiations with other retailers such as Carphone Warehouse to sell the iPhone through their stores once the exclusivity period with O2 ends. Till now, Vodafone was expected to be the frontrunner for the deal with Apple.

Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin had been pushing hard for a deal between Apple and Vodafone, but he withdrew from the race at some point of time, since he thought the terms of the deal were not viable.

Also, the agreement between O2 and Apple 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. Just the Apple brand name is expected to rake in customers for Apple's service provider.

The first week of sales in the United States saw a whopping 500,000 iPhones being sold out. AT&T, the exclusive American network, claimed to have sold out the iPhone in most of its 1,800 stores within 24 hours.

Seeing the stupendous success of the iPhone, several mobile phone service operators are frantically trying to secure the rights of the phone in their particular countries. T-Mobile is understood to have secured an agreement to provide the phone in Germany, its home market. Orange is tipped as the likely front-runner in France.





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