Orange UK: the iPhone's latest
Could Orange become the UK's second iPhone carrier?
It’s already been rumoured that the iPhone 3G’s turning red, but fresh speculation has it that the must-have talker will also turn Orange within months.
According to blogger Ernest Doku, a “very, very [the second very was in bold] credible source on the inside” has told him that the iPhone 3G will arrive on Orange's UK network, possibly as soon as this October.
Doku’s blog isn’t suggesting that O2, currently the UK’s sole network carrier for the iPhone, will be forced to stop selling the handset. Instead, it’s suggested that Orange will be taken on as the UK’s second carrier. Orange isn’t new to the iPhone game either. It already sells the Apple handset in France and a number of other countries.
Although the terms of distribution between Apple and O2 in the UK have never been disclosed, various sources have claimed that the network carrier’s exclusivity deal is valid for three years. This is provided O2 meets certain terms and conditions, most of which are thought to be related to handset sales and connections.
If this is the case, then the suggestion is that O2 hasn’t met these T’s and C’s, which may allow Apple to sign-up a second UK carrier.
Orange’s UK iPhone case may be strengthened by recent news from Singapore. Although the country’s largest phone company, Singapore Telecommunications, announced back in May that it had won exclusive rights to distribute the iPhone in the region, two rival operators have also claimed the same.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Singapore’s smallest operator, Mobile One Ltd, has said it will offer the iPhone 3G before the end of 2008. While back in May, rival carrier StarHub Ltd said it also expects to offer the iPhone by Christmas 2008.
Hmm, Nice Girl
I'll believe it when I see it, but here's hoping...
Really? I hope so and believe it when I see it, but the source in the article is a link to a mobile shopping site... would it not be in their interest to get lots of people looking at their site by posting an interesting news story like this?
Second, without pointing the fingers, might it not be in one of the involved parties interests to put this rumour about so that it can keep the other one on their toes?
And following the launch of the iPod touch and being left out of the app store, if o2 are being penalised for not selling enough phones I would feel pretty hard done by: one would assume it was Apple who supplied certain stores with 6 (or something equally ridiculous) on launch day...
However, I could see them being annoyed with the farce the problems with their instore activation system caused (still causing?) on launch - and stores not being able to activate because their macs needed IE6 etc etc...
And now the pricing structure has changed, subsidy, etc, that may have meant a re-negotiation over contracts. And a couple of months exclusivity on the 3G version sounds like a reasonable concession. Though you would've thought that o2 would be hammering the message home at the moment through advertising - but I guess it's hard to advertise something you don't have in stock...
I am all for it - as an Orange customer who's locked in for another 12 months, I want an iPhone now... and I think being on more than one network is good for all as it weakens Apple's strength (the networks can play them off against each other in negotiations now) whilst also expands the reach of the device (and means that there is another player in this area).
Hey, I've had a shit day at work...
Orange have the iPhone from October, true. O2 completely fucked up on their contractual obligations if they wanted to keep their 3 year exclusivity and the move to a subsidised handset was part of the result; Orange is the other part. To be fair to O2 how were they supposed to know they were basically wholesaling iPhones to exporters, unlockers, ebayers etc? well, apart from the fact a goodly proportion of the above are O2 staff, but I digress.
Subsidisation (counter-intuitively) results in a till margin on each iPhone sold of over 5 times what the original gave O2 and Carphone Whorehouse and the lack of a revenue sharing agreement with Apple on the back end (partly due to App Store, partly due to the compromise over missed targets) means that O2 are likely to make around 20x more out of whatever iPhone customers they get before they lose exclusivity than they got out of 1st gen customers, seeing how between 60 and 85% (depending on if you're talking about pre- or post-price drop) of iPhones never turned up on O2 in the first place.
Scott above is correct - orange is already sounding out their bigger corporates about iPhone eval, I guess because they're allowed to under their deal with Cupertino and because the NDA'd team at orange is trying whatever they can to spoil O2's summer. The author of that blog post sure seems confident, no?
Meanwhile, Jobs dives into his vast pile of money and does the backstroke whilst former giants of the telecoms world from Arun Sarin to Finland's only famous entity start to wonder just what fuels his RDF, where he's going next and whether they should adopt-adapt-overcome or simply play the same LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU game they think won the battle against MS, when MS gifted a little unknown concern called HTC with Sendo's SPV designs.