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Carphone bets on iPhone peripherals and free laptops

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Carphone's Q3 07 results show a steady growth in both mobile and fixed-line customers, according to a trading statement issued by the firm.

Carphone added 89,000 broadband customers, taking its total to 2.5 million, though less than 500,000 of those are unbundled. Over the last three months another 500 exchanges have been unbundled, taking the total to 2,212, which should increase that proportion.

Mobile's up to 2.8 million punters, with 1.6 million of those pre-pay, a rise of 19.2 per cent on last year. Considering the fiercely competitive UK market, it's impressive enough to be increasing the customer base, even if the bulk of that is (lower profit) pre-pay connections.

The company has managed to increase both its broadband and mobile subscriptions, though not as quickly as it had hoped. The rate of expansion is down on last year as the telecommunications market has got more competitive, but while most operators are focusing on making more money on the subscribers they have, Carphone Warehouse is still adding to those numbers.

The free laptop offer, available to customers taking out a long-term broadband subscription on AOL, is expected to add another 250,000 customers by year end, based on figures since the promotion was launched in September.

On the iPhone, which the company will start selling for O2 on 9 November, Carphone's CFO Roger Taylor admitted it's not making the margin it'd like, but intends to make money on the peripherals.

The firm is also hoping that those seeking an iPhone might be tempted into other purchases. ®

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