updated 02:55 pm EDT, Mon July 13, 2009
UK iPhone exclusive ending
O2's UK exclusivity deal for the iPhone may be coming to an end within the next few months, T-Mobile suggests. The latter company says that it is already in talks with Apple, and could begin carrying the iPhone 3G within a matter of months. The iPhone 3GS has not been mentioned by T-Mobile so far, nor is it said to have been brought up by Orange, also rumored to be pushing for UK sales.
Like the United States the UK has had only one official iPhone carrier since 2007, in spite of an increasing number of foreign countries hosting multiple carriers. The existence of competitive iPhone providers is thought to be beneficial to both Apple and the public, driving down prices and forcing carriers to bend to Apple's restrictions. For carriers however the open market can hurt profit margins, and invalidate millions in currency paid to secure exclusive rights.
Multiple US carriers may not arrive until at least 2011, when LTE (4G) networks are slated to go live through AT&T and Verizon.