Today, the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) train made a stop in Berlin, where CEO Steve Jobs and T-Mobile executives officially announced what everyone had already expected: T-Mobile will be the exclusive distributor for the iPhone in Germany. As with the UK, the phone will come out on November 9 and run over an Edge network; it will be priced at 399 euros. Taking today’s exchange rates, in dollars this works out to $557, even more expensive than the UK price of 269 pounds ($536).
– Deal covers Germany only. There had been reports that T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT), would distribute the iPhone in four other markets in its 11-country footprint: Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Hungary. This was not confirmed or denied today. “Right now we are only talking about Germany,” said T-Mobile chief executive Hamid Akhavan (quoted by Reuters).
– Worldwide sales forecasts. Steve Jobs today said Apple wants to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. T-Mobile has some 34 million customers in its domestic market and the sales target leads one to think the distribution deals will come at an increasing pace now. But there is some skepticism about how Apple will fare in Europe, where a number of other strong handset brands are launching their newest devices: Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) will be bringing out the newest editions of its Walkman phone, the W910 and W960. Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is releasing its upgrade to the N95 with 8 gigabytes of storage (same as the iPhone). And LG (SEO: 066570) will continue to ramp up promotion of its Prada touch-screen handset. Wing-Yen Choi, an Amsterdam-based analyst at Theodoor Gilissen, speaking to Bloomberg: “IPhone is coming up against some strong European brands. Whether iPhone will succeed or not will depend a lot on how it’s doing in Europe. I don’t see Europeans sleeping in the streets to queue up for the phone.”
– Orange announcement expected tomorrow. If the speculators get their hat trick right, Thursday will have an announcement from Orange and Apple covering distribution in France.
– Reuters is quoting The Street that Apple is preparing to nearly double its production for next quarter: “The plan calls for making 2.7 million iPhones next quarter, up from the 1.54 million originally targeted, the report said. Apple’s plans now call for 4.8 million iPhones to be produced this year, up from the 3.6 million previously targeted”.