What’s really happening regarding O2’s UK iPhone exclusive? To be honest, we don’t know (if you do, drop us a line). But, after weeks of unsourced speculation that it’s coming to an end, Mobile Entertainment has perhaps the most concrete report yet…
Frankly, it’s still not that convincing. Previous reports have said O2’s exclusive window would run for two years from April 2007 and, whilst ME says O2 has carriage rights through to 2012, it says it has “seen documentation that states (exclusivity) will end officially on October 9“.
But ME also re-treads speculation that, whilst O2 will lose the exclusive on iPhone 3G, it may retain sole carrier status for the new 3GS, freeing other carriers to enter the fray for the older model and bringing Apple’s UK carriage in to line with most other countries, where multiple networks carry iPhone.
Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) has fluttered its eyelashes at Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), saying last month “we would love to have it in the portfolio in more countries”, while Orange and T-Mobile have also been linked.
The Register reports T-Mobile UK is already giving out iPhone 3Gs as retention sweeteners to high spenders threatening to quit their contracts. That sounds naughty, perhaps a contract breacher – and, when asked for clarification, T-Mobile UK didn’t deny it, saying only “no comment”.