updated 10:35 am EDT, Wed July 4, 2007
Vodaphone iPhone deal?
The worldwide cellular carrier Vodafone may be about to announce a European hosting deal for the iPhone, say sources close to one website. newswireless reports that the company is merely waiting for American sales of one million units to be achieved, at which point it hopes to announce Vodafone, T-Mobile and Carphone Warehouse as distribution channels. With the record sales of the iPhone, this may be achieved as soon as Thursday; legal wrangling may yet cause a delay however, since one source notes that a contract drafted in Germany did not meet the approval of Vodafone's English lawyers.
Also threatening plans is the dwindling availability of the iPhone, since while Apple's inventory locator showed 100 percent availability on Saturday, this figure has fallen to 42 percent, and could sink further. Should a delay happen, Vodafone may have to announce a deal next week, or go ahead this week while using a different publicity hook, somehow exploiting the number of iPhones ordered.
The possibility of the announcement is buoyed by positive statements from Vodafone's German chief, Friedrich Joussen, and the identification of T-Mobile Germany as a candidate by the Rheinische Post. The paper is suggesting a November 1st launch for the European iPhone.