updated 09:40 am EDT, Mon July 20, 2009
T-Mobile hunts for iPhones
The UK division of T-Mobile is hunting around Europe for unlocked iPhones, says the Telegraph. Sources inside T-Mobile claim the company is looking to offer the phones to people planning to leave for O2, the UK's largest mobile carrier. T-Mobile is only the region's fourth-largest carrier, and stemming further defections is argued to be worth the expense of buying unlocked devices. At retail, SIM-free iPhones can cost several hundred Euros.
The carrier may be facing pressure from its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, which is considering selling the division. Within the last two months Telekom has had to write down the value of T-Mobile UK by €1.8 billion, and install a new CEO, ex-Orange executive Richard Moat. Officials at T-Mobile have declined to comment on matters.
O2 is currently the only official iPhone carrier in the UK, but the T-Mobile sources contend that neither Apple nor O2 have much recourse if they object to resales. T-Mobile is meanwhile rumored to be negotiating for official iPhone 3G sales, following the end of O2's exclusivity deal. The company has refused to comment officially however, other than to label reports on talks as "merely speculation."