updated 07:35 pm EST, Fri November 18, 2011
Czech carrier not averse to future iPhone deal
Telefonica Czech Republic in an interview on Friday said it was open to the prospect of a future Apple deal after dropping iPhone sales. Representative Hany Farghali told Bloomberg that the carrier's current rejection "doesn’t mean that Telefonica won’t sell Apple products in the future." While not saying how amenable Telefonica might be, the representative noted it was "purely a business decision" and wasn't permanent.
The Czech branch of the European carrier not only backed off from selling the iPhone 4S but from all earlier iPhones. At the time, it wasn't specific on the causes but is presumed to have balked at the heavy subsidies Apple wanted on each iPhone. Its requests are typically higher than with companies like HTC or Samsung.
Most of the popular phones on Telefonica are budget devices from companies that have long served Europe, such as Nokia's C5 or Samsung's Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Mini. About 63 percent of the carrier's phones cost the equivalent of $265 or less off-contract, while an iPhone 4S starts at $769 off-contract and unlocked from Apple's own site. iPhones are only 1.9 percent of Telefonica's current user base, a far lower number than in the US or in large parts of Western Europe.
The absence of Telefonica won't have the greatest impact. Along with direct Apple sales, customers can get one on contract either through T-Mobile or Vodafone.