OK, so we now know the iPhone exists. But when will UK punters be able to buy it. It ships in the US in June, but sadly we won’t be able to buy it until Q4 in the UK.
That gives Apple a long time to work on a partner for the handset for Europe.
The big market this summer will be eBay – just imagine how many Europeans will want to import one from the US.
Then Apple may sell a Sim-free version on its UK website and through its retailers. But if it does partner with a UK network here’s the runners and riders.
Vodafone – (Maybe) Although Voda has close links with Verizon, Cingular’s big US rival network, it needs a big hit and there’s no denying that the iPhone will be huge. However I think it will be put off by the fact that the phone is not 3G and not compatible with its music download offering.
Orange – (possible) Has Euro-wide distribution say can offer Jobs and co a lot of potential punters. But see statement below – doesn’t sound good. Has also invested a lot in its music download service and might see the iPhone as muddying the waters.
T-Mobile (The best bet) Again a big Euro-wide network so lots of distribution. Likes to get in quick with high profile phones too. Less concerned about music downloads. So in our book the frontrunner.
O2 (unlikely) I can’t see it, even though it is owned by monster Spanish network Telefonica it probably doesn’t have the reach.
3 (mmm) Wouldn’t have thought so. The iPhone isn’t 3G for starters.
Orange has just issued this statement… Doesn’t sound like it is going to be first in the queue for the phone does it?
“Today’s launch of Apple’s iPhone is another example of how the world of entertainment technology is converging. It reinforces our belief here at Orange that we shall see many more similar moves in the future. We have already seen our own Music Player service grow rapidly in the last year to average 100,000 single downloads per month, with over 500,000 tracks to choose from currently. Apple’s entry into the market will no doubt stimulate even further interest in mobile music services.
“Europe is undergoing a digital revolution and Orange , Apple and other key companies are at the forefront of that. As the technology and entertainment industries merge over the next few years, consumers will be able to do things they previously only ever dreamt of and will be able to access all the services they need from a single provider”