updated 09:30 am EDT, Wed August 5, 2009
O2's UK iPhone deadline
O2's exclusive hold on UK iPhone sales should end October 9th, says Mobile Entertainment. The magazine claims to have seen documentation revealing the deadline, the earliest possible date that rivals such as Orange and T-Mobile could begin selling iPhones. O2 has been the only official carrier in the region since 2007; while it is thought that the company should have general rights until 2012, overriding exclusivity will have to end before 2010.
Sources for ME indicate that O2 could continue to hold onto rights for the iPhone 3GS, leaving only the iPhone 3G available to competitors. The claim would be consistent with other reports, saying that T-Mobile and Orange are both in negotiations for the 3G only. T-Mobile has reportedly begun giving unlocked iPhone 3Gs to some customers, specifically high-paying subscribers threatening to switch to a competitor.
An O2 spokesman has refused to confirm or deny the October 9th boundary. "All I can say is that O2 has a multi-year exclusive on iPhone -- and that this remains in place," he states.