updated 09:45 am EDT, Mon September 17, 2007
European iPhone confirmed?
Several reports appear to solidify details for the European launch of the iPhone. British newspaper The Guardian indicates that the press event scheduled for September 18th will make O2 the official UK carrier of the iPhone, while T-Mobile will be linked to Germany on Wednesday, and Orange will take France on Thursday. The UK deal is said to be complicated; aside from Apple and O2, independent distributor Carphone Warehouse will be allowed to sell iPhones, receiving both commissions and revenue sharing from O2. Simply in dealing with Apple, O2 is expected to give the former 40 percent of iPhone revenue, plus another percentage of the sale price.
The arrangement is said to have been a "last minute" deal by O2, who may otherwise have had to share the UK with Orange. The sheer expense of the agreement is described by another cellphone operator as "madly money-losing." The Guardian believes that Apple may have deliberately played UK carriers (including T-Mobile and Vodafone) against each other, leading each to think it had reached an exclusive deal. Vodafone however is said to have left mainly because it had been hoping for a Europe-wide contract.
The Financial Times, meanwhile, reports that T-Mobile will not only serve Germany, but also Austria, Croatia, Hungary and the Netherlands, at a much less severe cost of 10 percent of iPhone income.
Two anonymous sources have told a French website that not only is Orange the exclusive iPhone carrier for the country, it will start selling the product on November 29th, at a price of €300 ($415). Contrary to The Guardian, the site says this will be announced at the Paris Apple Expo on September 24th. As proof the site has posted French-language images of the iPhone, though the carrier is identified on-screen as T-Mobile.