updated 12:55 pm EDT, Thu September 27, 2007
Report: Orange iPhone deal
Apple's deal with France Telecom to distribute the iPhone in that region in time for Christmas could be in jeopardy, according to one report from Reuters. France Telecom, which commonly trades under the name "Orange," is disputing the proposed percentage of service revenues due to Apple as part of the deal between the two companies. The French carrier announced on September 20th that it holds exclusive rights to distribute Apple's iPhone in France, and promised to bring iPhones to French consumers before Christmas and as early as November. Conflict between the two firms could mean delays on iPhone distribution, cutting into profits during the busy holiday shopping season for both parties and denying French consumers from acquiring the cellular handset within the promised timeframe.
Apple is widely expected to beat its own expectations as well as those of Wall Street investors with the help of its iPhone when the company reports its fourth quarter earnings later this month, despite potential softness in U.S. consumer spending. Apple has repeatedly delivered earnings above investor expectations in recent quarters, and may well reveal increased holiday earnings bolstered by heightened Mac sales with more revenue coming from its cellular phone sales alongside a cut from AT&T's service plans.
iPhones stand to make up a formidable portion of Apple's profit in the coming months, and overseas sales -- especially during the busy holiday shopping season -- will prove vital to the company's unit sales as iPhones appear on store shelves in countries other than the U.S.