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3 and T-Mobile running backdoor UK iPhone distribution?

updated 03:25 pm EDT, Tue October 13, 2009

Region may see intense iPhone competition

T-Mobile is not the only UK carrier distributing iPhones unofficially, a report claims. The Telegraph says it has learned that 3 is also engaged in giving iPhones to its most lucrative customers, though 3's involvement in the strategy is thought to be recent, having only begun in recent weeks. T-Mobile has allegedly been giving away iPhones since the summer.

Both carriers are said to be hunting Europe for unlocked iPhones, then buying them and offering them to high-paying customers threatening to leave. The approach could potentially backfire if Apple decides to more strictly enforce its distribution deals. Orange is set to carry the iPhone by the end of 2009 however, followed by Vodafone in early 2010; it may thus only be a matter of time before 3 and T-Mobile have their own Apple agreements.

Even without them, analysts suggest that increased UK competition may cut monthly subscription costs by at least 5. Prices may fall further after Vodafone enters the iPhone market.

by MacNN Staff





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