O2 loses exclusivity deal
Orange has signed a deal with Apple to sell the popular iPhone smartphone in the UK. Orange will begin selling the device later this year.
The deal means O2 loses its exclusivity rights to sell the iPhone in the UK, which has been in place since the phone’s launch in 2007. In February this year O2 announced that it had sold over one million iPhones.
Orange said in a statement: “Orange UK and Apple have reached an agreement to bring iPhone 3G and 3GS to Orange UK customers later this year. Orange, which has the largest 3G network covering more people in the UK than any other operator, will sell iPhone in all Orange direct channels including Orange shops, the Orange webshop and Orange telesales channels, as well as selected high street partners.”
The company has also set up a registration page on its website where potential customers can register their interest.
The iPhone received a revamp earlier in the summer with the release of the iPhone 3GS. The new device proved extremely popular with many stores struggling to keep up with demand.
We’re proud that we’ve been able to offer an exclusive iPhone deal to our 20 million customers for the last two years. We always knew that iPhone exclusivity was for a limited period of time, but our relationship with Apple continues and will be an ongoing success. We have over 1million iPhone customers and they remain very important to us, O2 said in a statement.
Orange has not revealed when it will start shipping the iPhone or how much it will cost.
The company recently announced it is merging its UK operations with T-Mobile, in a move that will create the UK’s biggest mobile operator. The joint venture will claim 28 million customers and 37% market share.