O2 will be losing the exclusivity on the iPhone in the UK to Orange and T-Mobile as early as September 2009 although it looks like only the older version of the iPhone will be initially freed.
Both Orange and T-Mobile have been selling the iPhone 3G in a numbers of territories worldwide and Mobile Today understands that Apple is keen to boost sales significantly. Orange should be the logical choice since it is significantly larger than the Deutsch-Telekom owned mobile network.
Sources close to O2 say that the senior management at the network are apparently furious at the news and concerned that whoever picks up the iPhone 3G will end up forcing O2 to slash the contract price of the old iPhone 3G.
This of course could prove catastrophic as punters decide to stick to the older iPhone 3G and ignore the newer and faster iPhone 3GS. This is especially true if (a) the recession goes on for another year (b) if the gap between the two is significant.
The cheapest iPhone 3G contract will cost you £34.26 per month on a two year contract. It is likely that the competition shaves another £5 from the cost and brings it to less than £30.
The lack of competition on the UK market has convinced many to import legally unlocked iPhone 3G from other markets like France or Italy where mobile network operators are selling them.
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O2's decision to bring inhouse the likes of the Palm Pre, the Samsung i7500 and the Toshiba TG01 could only mean one thing; the loss of the iPhone exclusivity. Apple however won't allow others to sell the latest 3GS version it seems, at least not for now.
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