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How Some UK Mobile Carriers Are Side-Stepping Apple To Sell The iPhone

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Orange and *Vodafone* may have broken up O2’s exclusive deal to sell the iPhone in the U.K., but now Hutchison’s 3 and T-Mobile — the last carriers left — have found a way to tap into demand for Apple’s best-seller, too. The Telegraph reports that the companies are hunting for contract-free iPhones to resell, in an attempt to keep high-end subscribers that are ready to leave for the carriers that have “legitimate” rights to sell the device.

Of course, the reseller plan isn’t sanctioned by Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), so the rogue carriers run the risk of permanently burning a bridge with the tech company. Still, it seems that the prospect of generating extra revenues this holiday season — not to mention reducing churn from subscribers that just have to have the iPhone — is worth it to T-Mobile and 3.