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iPhone in Europe!

iphone.jpgSaul Hansell suggests that the iPhone is headed to Europe. If true, that's good news for my European friends who have been waiting to get their hands on an iPhone.

Carrier choice is unconfirmed, though reports suggest O2 in the UK, T-Mobile in Germany and Orange in France.

When I saw this quote from the Guardian article, I had to chuckle:

Throughout discussions over marketing the iPhone in Europe, Apple has played off the UK’s four main networks - O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone - against each other. All of them, at one stage, believed they had an exclusive deal for the British market.

As a result, many mobile phone company executives are unimpressed with the way the Californian computer group has conducted businesses this side of the Atlantic, although similar tactics were used in the US.

I find it hard to believe that the network execs would be surprised by a "play them against each other" tactic, especially since the same approach was used in the US — before the iPhone's launch and wild success.

Isn't this negotiation strategy 101?

And what does "believed" mean here? Are they suggesting Apple tricked them? Or some operators "believed" they had the deal locked up and didn't count on a more aggressive operator like O2 going even farther to win the deal?

I'm curious to see how the iPhone is received in Europe, where SMS and texting are more common. Will the touch screen be a liability, or will Europeans adapt to it?

Should be very interesting to watch! :-)

Update 2007-09-18
It's official: Apple chooses O2 for exclusive carrier in the UK:

iPhone is scheduled to go on sale on November 9 and will be sold exclusively in the UK through Apple’s retail and online stores, O2 and The Carphone Warehouse's retail and online stores.

iPhone will be available in an 8GB model for £269 (inc VAT) and will work with either a PC or Mac. Three new great value iPhone tariffs will be available from O2 starting at £35, which all include unlimited anytime, anywhere mobile data usage and, in a market first, free unlimited use of the UK’s largest single public Wi-Fi network, covering over 7,500 cafes, restaurants, airport lounges, pubs and other locations across the UK.

Nice touch to offer the WiFi coverage. Wonder how long until the software developers manage to unlock the phone for other UK carriers?

(via Daring Fireball)

Reader Comments (5)

I definitely want an iPhone, although I've never had a mobile phone with a contract before (I'm on Pay-As-You-Go here in the UK). The problem is...when to buy? I'd hate to get one over the Christmas period only for the next generation to be announced at MacWorld in January. But then again, I wouldn't want to buy an early revision of the next version, so that's already halfway through next year before I can buy one!
September 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Topley
Certainly Christmas is not the moment to buy. I'm sure the device will experience a price reduction inmediately after the buy-everything-no-matter-what campaign. But I really hope the iPhone will land hand by hand with Vodafone: dont like Movistar much myself (hello Timofonica).
September 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos
I don't think I'll be bothering to get an iPhone, at least for a while yet. I can't justify spending nearly nine hundred pounds on a mobile phone!
September 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Topley
Yay, roll on November 9th I say.I've been on a Treo 650 for 2 years now (my best device yet), tried a Nokia E61 (not bad but rubbish calendar) and an HTC TyTN (powerful machine but I just can't spend the time maintaining WM, 5 or 6!).iPhone is not perfect either but comes closest to it in terms of a mobile communicator for my needs, but best of all it's a genuine component of my Mac universe. Goodbye Hotsync, goodbye Missing Sync, goodbye NVFS, goodbye WM registry hacks.

As they say in Cupertino, 'Hello' again.
September 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDavy McDonald
John and Carlos, I recommend waiting. We'll see how long it takes for the community to unlock the phone.

I'd love an iPod Touch, however the iPhone has a few nice features that might make it more suited to my needs as a PDA, especially if I could get away without any carrier activation.

Davy, sounds like you're ready to go now. Are you on O2 already or would you need to switch carriers?
September 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde

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