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Multi-carrier iPhone in France doubles sales

updated 06:30 pm EST, Fri November 20, 2009

iPhone non-exclusive helps Apple, hurts RIM

The elimination of the iPhone's exclusivity to Orange in France has resulted in "more than double" the sales of the device and dealt a blow to the BlackBerry, according to research notes issued recently. Estimates from Bernstein, Strategy Analytics and others report twice as many iPhones being shipped in the summer quarter as in the spring due specifically to Apple's handset being readily available at Bouygues Telecom as well as SFR. That added exposure is thought to have directly impacted RIM as customers at the new carriers had a new, major alternative to the BlackBerry line.

Absolute market share has reportedly borne this out as a Morgan Stanley note claims that Apple's influence grew 17 percent between the two seasons. Gartner believes that as many as 600,000 iPhones sold in France during the quarter, making it the single largest market for iPhones in all of Europe.

While the iPhone 3GS had its first full quarter of sales in the period and likely spurred on at least some of the gain, a non-exclusive deal is considered important as, like the UK, the French market is relatively fragmented and doesn't leave any one carrier with a commanding influence. Adding extra carriers as a result may translate directly to more exposure and more sales.

France's precedent has potentially mirrored itself in the recent end to O2's exclusivity in the UK, as Orange recorded breakthrough first-day sales and has strong expectations for the future that may be helped by T-Mobile UK's tentative merger with Orange. Vodafone UK plans to carry the iPhone in early 2010 and, at that point, should put the majority of British cellular subscribers on a network that offers the iPhone.

Canada has also recently ended exclusivity, albeit through the addition of new networks rather than contracts or legal action. AT&T's exclusivity is rumored to end in mid-2010 but has never been confirmed.

RIM's advantage over Apple in smartphones risks being canceled out by the iPhone's expansion. Recent strong BlackBerry sales have been helped primarily by the sheer number of carriers that use its devices, as all major North American carriers, many European carriers and others abroad all carry at least some of its lineup.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    Blackberry Phones

    RIM has to give away extra phones to impress with its sales figures. No one sees AT&T or Apple having to give away extra phones to get sales.

  1. dagamer34

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007



    So what you're telling me is... if you offer a phone on more networks, you get more sales? Shocking!

    In all seriousness, this points to the obvious that AT&T won't have the iPhone exclusively forever. I've already ditched AT&T for a Motorola Droid, more because I got sick of the carrier than the phone. I'll wait patiently for them to come to Verizon where it belongs.

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    Yep, shocking

    What do you bet that if the iPhone were on more U.S. carriers, Apple would sell more iPhones? I just got my 3GS iPhone, so I cannot dump carriers, but to be truthful I see AT&T similar to Sprint...I pay the bill and use the phone and hopefully never have to step foot in their stores again.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008



    Apple had better be selling a heck of a lot of iPhones to beat expectations because the stock is looking sort of shaky right now. They'd better sell about 10 to 11 million iPhones or else Apple shares are gonna slide below $200 all over again. If only the ChiPhone would have been of interest to the Chinese. No such luck.

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001


    Three things...

    1. Verizon didn't want the iPhone. In fact, nobody really "wanted" the iPhone initially. Now everybody does.

    2. Apple (Steve) made a mistake when it (he) worked out an exclusive deal with at&t. But at&t wouldn't take the risk with the huge subsidy unless it had exclusivity. Dance with the devil, for now, I guess Steve thought. Now that the iPhone is huge Steve has powerful leverage when he talks with other carriers in the U.S.

    3. Apple makes its money with high end products, value, customer service, and margins other companies would kill for. Don't expect Apple to get into a price war with other smartphones. They didn't with the Mac. They didn't with the iPod. They won't with the iPhone either. It's who they (Steve) are/is. They don't want the "bag of hurt" you wind up with when chasing market share specifically.

    Just my opinion of course

  1. macnixer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006


    OMG OMG OMG ...

    I never knew that opening upto new networks will increase your sales. This is absolutely new economic theory and the author of this article deserves a Nobel Prize for economics - not that Nobel matters any more (they give away prizes even when one hasn't done anything, like the Peace prize to the president of a country).

    Come on now, slow day huh... I had a slow day and therefore read this econocrapic story.

  1. icewing

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2008


    Hope Apple learns something from this...

    I've had great service with AT&T - but the monthly rates suck compared to some other carriers. I'd love to be able to switch to one with more reasonable rates.

  1. jessdnld


    Joined: Nov 2009


    its not surprising news

    Its not surprising news for me,Multi Carrier iPhones is one the best iPhones in the world.its features and compatibility to network is amazing.i also like this iPhone.

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