Feeds

T-Mobile UK starts shifting iPhones on the quiet

Exclusive, what exclusive?

High performance access to file storage

T-Mobile UK has started supplying iPhone 3G handsets to selected customers, while O2 UK continues to believe it has a UK exclusive on Apple's last-generation handset.

Apple's 3G handset won't be available to just any T-Mobile customer - only high spenders who threaten to leave need apply, and only 150 of those a week will be lucky enough to get their hands on an officially-supported T-Mobile iPhone, though even that risks annoying Apple and will certainly have O2 up in arms.

We previously reported rumours that T-Mobile, and possibly Orange, would be getting the iPhone 3G later in the year as O2's exclusivity period ended. But when we spoke to O2 this morning, the operator assured us that its exclusive deal included the iPhone 3G, and was still firmly in place.

So T-Mobile has imported an unknown number of iPhone 3G handsets from a European distributor, which it will be supplying to customers paying more than £75 a month if they threaten to leave - the latter clause enforced by allocating the handsets through 50 agents in the retentions department, and limiting those agents to three a week each.

Despite this apparent coup, T-Mobile won't be crowing from the rooftops: there are a very limited number of handsets and the company can't risk its own exclusive deal with Apple in Germany, and upsetting the lads in Cupertino could seriously damage long-term relations. So it's last year's iPhone, to a small number of customers, without attendant PR. You might be forgiven for asking why T-Mobile UK would even bother.

The answer to which is that T-Mobile is on the forecourt marked "For Sale", and just like any Arthur Daley the owners are applying a bit of spit and polish to make the company seem more attractive. That includes cutting down on goodwill payments, which topped more than a million quid last year, and reducing the options and hours in the cafeterias: small things that reduce operational expenditure and give the company a better bottom line even if they're not sustainable.

Anyone interested in making an offer on T-Mobile UK can now see a company offering the latest handsets with low opex: something worth having even if an iPhone 3G on T-Mobile UK isn't. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect: Pocket Android desktop
Ultrathin client with a lot of baggage. The upside? It's a rogue sysadmin's delight
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.