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Vodafone to sell Apple's iPhone in UK, too

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Vodafone has reached an agreement to sell the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in the U.K. and Ireland, an announcement that came just a day after Orange revealed it would also sell the handset.

Vodafone's new deal begins in early 2010, the company said Tuesday.

"Beginning today, Vodafone UK and Vodafone Ireland customers can register their interest in iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS at www.vodafone.co.uk/iphone and www.vodafone.ie/iphone respectively. Pricing, tariffs and availability information will be announced locally in the future."

The international carrier now offers Apple's handset through 13 companies, including operators in Australia, Greece, India, Portgual and South Africa. The company based in Newbury, England, is said to be the most profitable wireless provider in the world.

Monday, competitor Orange also announced it had reached an agreement to sell the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. But the Orange U.K. sales will begin this year, by the end of 2009, the company said. Orange is owned by France Telecom, which offers the iPhone in 28 countries and territories, including the corporation's home country of France.

For the last two years since the iPhone debuted, the handset has been exclusive to Telefonica's O2. With this week's two deals, though, it would appear that the flood gates have opened in the U.K.

Left out so far is British T-Mobile which, earlier this year, was rumored to be in negotiations with Apple. More recently, though, there was word of a possible merger between the company and Orange.

As the iPhone platform continues to mature and the device's popularity grows, exclusive contracts for the handset appear to be going away. In August, Apple reached a three-year deal with China Unicom to sell the iPhone in the nation of over one billion. But that non-exclusive agreement has also left the door open for Apple to come to an agreement with China Mobile, the world's largest cellular provider.
post #2 of 33
I remember a Vodafone rep trying to convince me to stay with them when I told them I was leaving for O2 and the iPhone. He said that the iPhone wasn't that great and that they could offer me a Nokia N95 for free!
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post #3 of 33
O2 haven't had the bad press of AT&T, but more flexibility will sell more iPhones I'm sure.

Also Vodafone have such coverage across Europe, there could be some synergies there.

A while back I heard that the EU had forbidden Vodafone from reducing their roaming charges in Europe, as there were no other players that could compete across multiple EU countries. I wonder what happened to that. We definitely need a more USofE singularity of service in Europe. I was in Andorra last winter and my phone would switch between three countries within five minutes. </rambling>

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post #4 of 33
The competition promises to be interesting. All three have the experience in selling iPhones. The UK market is traditionally more liberal, than, say, French one.
It's definitely for the better, that Orange's decided to fatten a bit.

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post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

...We definitely need a more USofE singularity of service in Europe. I was in Andorra last winter and my phone would switch between three countries within five minutes. </rambling>

Surely you could've just chosen your service manually? Andorra isn't in the EU btw, so not the best example to use!
post #6 of 33
Ireland is not in the UK - just so you know. Not that I've anything against the UK, they are just like everyone else.
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post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by G.O.A.T View Post

I remember a Vodafone rep trying to convince me to stay with them when I told them I was leaving for O2 and the iPhone. He said that the iPhone wasn't that great and that they could offer me a Nokia N95 for free!

How do you define "that great"? And how does he know what you're looking for. He could personally prefer the N95, people do. I'm sure he was just doing his job.
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post #8 of 33
All I know is, down with Lisbon!
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post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

All I know is, down with Lisbon!

It may well be all you know; but I've no idea what you mean?
post #10 of 33
That will be a real bonus in Ireland as O2 have put limits on downloads to the iPhone, and their tariff has been high compared to that of the UK.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpw View Post

It may well be all you know; but I've no idea what you mean?

Here. Check out the green map down on the right. Our people voted no, but our government didn't like the answer they got. Our leader has a 15% approval rating, so I'm hoping we say no again. I'm definitely saying no. I find it hard to swallow even having to vote again. So much for democracy.
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post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallymcgoo View Post

That will be a real bonus in Ireland as O2 have put limits on downloads to the iPhone, and their tariff has been high compared to that of the UK.

Yeah, competition in general too.
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post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

How do you define "that great"? And how does he know what you're looking for. He could personally prefer the N95, people do. I'm sure he was just doing his job.

Those were his words and I wasn't looking for anything from them other than my PAC number as I was leaving. He could have personally preferred the N95, but I doubt it as Vodafone at that time appeared to be pushing it quite extensively. He was doing his job, but I didn't appreciate his derisory tone when he realised I had already bought the iPhone and there was nothing he could do to get me to stay with Vodafone. Maybe he'd had a day full of customers leaving to join O2.
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post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Here. Check out the green map down on the right. Our people voted no, but our government didn't like the answer they got. Our leader has a 15% approval rating, so I'm hoping we say no again. I'm definitely saying no. I find it hard to swallow even having to vote again. So much for democracy.

Right; I was thrown as I was expecting your comment to be in some way related to the topic being discussed!
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpw View Post

Right; I was thrown as I was expecting your comment to be in some way related to the topic being discussed!

It is, the topic contains the word Ireland!

The last thing I want is a United States of Europe. Next thing we know there will be only one phone company.
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post #16 of 33
What's next - Asda Mobile?
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Ireland is not in the UK - just so you know. Not that I've anything against the UK, they are just like everyone else.

But Northern Ireland is
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by star-fish View Post

But Northern Ireland is

True.
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post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by star-fish View Post

But Northern Ireland is

Them thar are warrin' words ya friggin' Yank!
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post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It is, the topic contains the word Ireland!

The last thing I want is a United States of Europe. Next thing we know there will be only one phone company.

Politically, I would agree with you but from a services point of view, it's crap having to pay roaming when we are so many small countries so close together and increasingly part of a single market. I implement ERP software and on a project we might do a tour of the EU to rollout localisations. We end up with little bags full of pay-as-you-go sim cards.

I'd like iPhone to support those international calling cards, so you enter your card number as a prefix and iPhone selects whether to use it based on where you are and where you are calling. The phone carriers would go mad tho.

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post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

All I know is, down with Lisbon!

Hey i hope you guys say NO. We might just be able to deafen ourselves with our iPods then.
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post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

O2 haven't had the bad press of AT&T, but more flexibility will sell more iPhones I'm sure.

Also Vodafone have such coverage across Europe, there could be some synergies there.

A while back I heard that the EU had forbidden Vodafone from reducing their roaming charges in Europe, as there were no other players that could compete across multiple EU countries. I wonder what happened to that. We definitely need a more USofE singularity of service in Europe. I was in Andorra last winter and my phone would switch between three countries within five minutes. </rambling>

This is the same O2 --- that crippled the 3G iphone speed down to 384 kbps, that required their current 3G iphone subscribers to pay off the rest of their original 3G iphone contract in order to upgrade to the new 3GS, that Brits were shocked that O2 ain't going to release unlocking codes no matter what, that Brits were shocked that O2 charges extra money for iphone tethering.

You got it completely reverse, European Commission is forcing Vodafone to reduce their roaming rates in Europe.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallymcgoo View Post

That will be a real bonus in Ireland as O2 have put limits on downloads to the iPhone, and their tariff has been high compared to that of the UK.

And you think Vodafone Ireland will be any different?
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

O2 haven't had the bad press of AT&T, but more flexibility will sell more iPhones I'm sure.

Actually, they have but it probably hasn't been publicized internationally. O2's network has been savaged by customers, bloggers and IT sites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Article

Left out so far is British T-Mobile which, earlier this year, was rumored to be in negotiations with Apple. More recently, though, there was word of a possible merger between the company and Orange.

It's no longer a rumor. Orange and T-Mobile are merging in the UK. That leaves 3 as the only network-owning carrier not offering the iPhone.

Personally, I'm very pleased with the news. I'll jump to Vodafone as soon as I can.
post #25 of 33
Vodafone abolished roaming charges throughout the EU this summer as a promotion for UK customers. I think its fair to say that this is the way things are going, and I am looking forward to it. The EU was built upon the idea of free passage of goods and people throughout Europe and I would be very surprised if they were promoting roaming charges.
post #26 of 33
Competition is a good thing. TM.
Vodafone will want to undercut O2 to capture new customers.
O2 will want to undercut Vodafone to *retain* existing customers.

This is great news.

C.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

Hey i hope you guys say NO. We might just be able to deafen ourselves with our iPods then.

Exactly, if we want to deafen ourselves that should be our right.
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post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Competition is a good thing. TM.
Vodafone will want to undercut O2 to capture new customers.
O2 will want to undercut Vodafone to *retain* existing customers.

This is great news.

C.

History has shown that you shouldn't get your hopes up.

France openned up with multiple iphone carriers --- not much was changed in terms of pricing.

And if you look at newspaper reportings of what would happen to AT&T when they lose their iphone exclusivity --- the first thing you read is that AT&T would subsidize less on the iphone.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

History has shown that you shouldn't get your hopes up.

France openned up with multiple iphone carriers --- not much was changed in terms of pricing.

And if you look at newspaper reportings of what would happen to AT&T when they lose their iphone exclusivity --- the first thing you read is that AT&T would subsidize less on the iphone.

Just not true.
Wait... Yeah... I know what you mean. UK, France, Italy... It's all the same when seen from Tennessee. Oh, Tennessee, fair Tennessee. Our love for thee can never die.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Just not true.
Wait... Yeah... I know what you mean. UK, France, Italy... It's all the same when seen from Tennessee. Oh, Tennessee, fair Tennessee. Our love for thee can never die.

Yeah, if you look at Italy with multiple iphone carriers from the start --- they also sell idiotic iphone plans with 100 MB data allowance per month.

If your market is competitive, then it's competitive even if there is only one iphone carrier. If your market isn't competitive, then you will still get idiotic monthly plans even if there are multiple iphone carriers.
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Yeah, if you look at Italy with multiple iphone carriers from the start --- they also sell idiotic iphone plans with 100 MB data allowance per month.

Ah, you see. There're no plans like that in France. We thus hope on they could eventually figure out something different and interesting in UK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

If your market is competitive, then it's competitive even if there is only one iphone carrier. If your market isn't competitive, then you will still get idiotic monthly plans even if there are multiple iphone carriers.

You may be right. There should exist some competitive markets somewhere out there. We just live with our multiple carriers selling iPhones. And on the day, when they have become multiple, they kindly offered us plans, which were 20% cheaper, than before.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Ah, you see. There're no plans like that in France. We thus hope on they could eventually figure out something different and interesting in UK.

You may be right. There should exist some competitive markets somewhere out there. We just live with our multiple carriers selling iPhones. And on the day, when they have become multiple, they kindly offered us plans, which were 20% cheaper, than before.

Unfortunately 20% cheaper means that your mobile plans are still way over-priced.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Unfortunately 20% cheaper means that your mobile plans are still way over-priced.

People are buying those plans like crazy. This means the right supply-demand balance is found.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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