T-Mobile of Germany, Orange of France and O2 in the UK will each give up 10 percent of their revenue from calls and data transfers to secure exclusive rights to sell the Apple iPhone in their respective countries. The operators are set to officially announce the partnerships at the IFA trade fair in Berlin commencing August 31st.
Apple’s success in securing such a deal is unprecedented – industry experts expect other handset manufacturers to begin pushing the same boundaries – a bargaining platform strongly resisted by operators in the past.
But all is not one-way traffic – mobile business chiefs are said to have petitioned for talks with Steve Jobs to discuss the contracts
hoping for a significant boost in their image from the exclusive deal with Apple, as well as a pool of attractive customers with high rates of spending on calls and data transfers
In addition to brand association, Apple has also lured the mobile operators with the prospect of a financially risk-free business. Most mobile phones are sold by operators to subscribers at a highly subsidised rate, but [to-date] Apple have refused to allow subsidies on the sale of its handsets.
Apple will continue the roll-out of the iPhone elsewhere in Europe next year, when it will also launch in Asia.