T-Mobile UK Bulk Buying iPhones Across Europe?

There are reports that Mobile phone operator T-Mobile is stepping up efforts to buy large quantities of SIM free iPhones across Europe to convince customers who threaten to leave for O2 to stay.

The Telegraph wrote on Sunday that the company was resorting to this rather desperate attempt to lock many of its British customers flocking to the company's rival phone network.

T-Mobile expects Apple to stay put as the contract the Cupertino-based company has with O2 doesn't contain a clause preventing other companies from importing SIM-free iPhones from other territories where they are legally on sale.

Play.com currently sells the unlocked 32GB iPhone 3GS for a rather steep £900 including VAT and free delivery although you can get the old 16GB version for as little as £570 from the same retailer and the 8GB version for £440.42 from Unlockedmobiles.com.

This means that T-Mobile is therefore likely to stomp a not-so-insignificant amount of money and will certainly seek to tie up these customers on a two year contract costing above £40 per month.

Last week, there were about discussions held by T-Mobile and Orange to break O2's stranglehold on the iPhone 3G.

Both companies are apparently looking to secure an exclusive UK distribution agreement on the older iPhone 3G model which O2 is still selling. But T-Mobile rapidly dismissed the rumours.

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Our Comments

We don't know exactly how many of T-Mobile customers those leaving were actually going to O2. What can be sure however, is that T-Mobile user base is shrinking while O2's is increasing. And thinks could get a lot worse when O2 starts shipping the Palm Pre, the Samsung i7500 and the TG01 later this year.

Related Links

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