Speculation has intensified that Apple will break its iPhone exclusivity
with O2 and is in talks with at least one rival operator for sale of the device
O2’s agreement with Apple includes a two year break clause – the operator
started selling the device exclusively in November 2007.
The Financial Times reported yesterday (6 August) that no final
decisions had been taken, but at least one of O2’s rivals has been in
discussions with Apple about the possibility of selling the iPhone this autumn.
O2 would continue to sell the iPhone, but on a non-exclusive basis.
However, the newspaper said O2 may yet confound its rivals and extend its
iPhone arrangements with Apple
Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s chief
executive, admitted last month that the company’s UK business was being hurt because
it did not sell the iPhone.
Meanwhile, last month Vodafone’s, chief financial office, Andy Halford
told reportersat a briefing on its quarterly
results, that Vodafone was keen to supply the device in more of its markets.
O2 responded to reports by saying only: ‘We have a multi-year exclusive
deal with Apple which remains in place and both parties are very happy with
and Apple declined to comment.