Apple's iPhone to be sold by largest U.K. retailer, Tesco

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Tesco, the largest chain of stores in the U.K., announced Wednesday it will soon sell Apple's iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS for use through the O2 network.



Tesco Mobile, the retailer's mobile virtual network operator, will "shortly introduce" the iPhone at Tesco Phone Shops in the U.K. The handset will also be available online through Tesco Direct.



Tesco Mobile is a joint venture between the retail giant and wireless carrier O2. Though products are branded Tesco Mobile, they rely on the O2 network. The service is pay-as-you-go.



The company plans to have more than 100 Tesco Phone Shops open in the U.K. by the end of 2009.



In terms of scope, the deal could be similar to Apple's introduction of the iPhone at Walmart, the largest global retailer. Britain's Tesco comes in third. Tesco Mobile products are available in regular Tesco stores, though the company's press release only makes specific mention of iPhone availability in its phone shops and online.



In the U.S., Apple began selling the iPhone at Walmart in 2008 just after Christmas. That was 18 months after the handset first debuted, and after another major retailer, Best Buy, was given access.



But Apple and Walmart have expanded their relationship this year. Some stores began adding an Apple-dedicated section in their revamped electronics sections. Some have speculated that move could be a precursor to Mac sales at the world's largest retailer.



In the U.K., O2 served as the iPhone's exclusive provider until its contract with Apple expired. That paved the way for competitors Vodafone and Orange to sell the smartphone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    About time! I was only wandering through the store yesterday thinking "I wonder when they will start selling them at Tesco" and by jove the date is nigh.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    am I the only who thinks strange that when Apple opens its stores with trendy design in posh areas, in the same time lets sell its product at a Tesco?

    they wanted to differentiate their products, so how is that philosophy now?
  • Reply 3 of 44
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,456member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macmondo View Post


    am I the only who thinks strange that when Apple opens its stores with trendy design in posh areas, in the same time lets sell its product at a Tesco?

    they wanted to differentiate their products, so how is that philosophy now?



    It's called 'covering both ends of the market.'
  • Reply 4 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macmondo View Post


    am I the only who thinks strange that when Apple opens its stores with trendy design in posh areas, in the same time lets sell its product at a Tesco?

    they wanted to differentiate their products, so how is that philosophy now?



    It's called distribution. The more and better, the merrier. It also implies that these other entities are indeed INTERESTED in carrying the product. Shelf space has to be wisely spent, after all.



    Your tacit criticism of Apple's own strategy for "trendy design in posh areas", makes you sound rather ambiguous. Are you waffling? Just what are you being critical of?



    Anyone with any perception can realize that the product will sell itself, once it is in the hands of the consumer. Those who appreciate the attributes of the product might just venture further into the Apple World in some form or fashion--perhaps ultimately into the bright lights of a posh Apple Store!! (gasp!)
  • Reply 5 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macmondo View Post


    am I the only who thinks strange that when Apple opens its stores with trendy design in posh areas, in the same time lets sell its product at a Tesco?

    they wanted to differentiate their products, so how is that philosophy now?



    I agree mate, but the iPhone isn't a premium product like Macs, it's quite competitive. It's strange how the iPhone is really exclusive in the US (i.e. still tied to AT&T) yet Apple have taken a totally different route overseas for the most part.



    While not LIDL, they could have chosen somewhere a little more upmarket
  • Reply 6 of 44
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    - milk

    - bread

    - iphone
  • Reply 7 of 44
    Nooooo!



    I was once a king, with an unlocked and activated phone from the USA before they ever came out here in the UK, people would literally gasp as I took it out of my pocket in packed restaurants and other such attention seeking places!



    Then it was launched here and my throne felt less special, but still a little bit exclusive with it only being on o2 and quite costly..



    Then it was opened up to other networks and I felt even less special.



    Now every burberry wearing Chav with a local Tesco's will be sporting the God Phone I once wielded with such majesty



    I can't help but feel like the king in Cold Play's Vida la Vida song...
  • Reply 8 of 44
    stuffestuffe Posts: 391member
    Sounds entirely like sound practice to me. Make it an exclusive product, sell it appropriately. Get people interested in it, widen the market slightly, wait until most people in the market for a phone have heard of it, then start selling it from any shelve that will take it. Profit.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    wot you talking about, tesco's dead posh in my area!
  • Reply 10 of 44
    You cannot claim any exclusivity and sell a product in a (rather low brow) supermarket. Surely Sainsbury's would have added that much needed touch of finesse. It's not all about profit - brand image counts too. Would you buy an Armani jacket from ASDA?
  • Reply 11 of 44
    This is really weird, but it's great - it seems the iPhone market will be getting very competitive now in the UK, which can only be good for the pricing.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    Tesco mobile is not only PAYG.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addybgrilla View Post


    Nooooo!



    I was once a king, with an unlocked and activated phone from the USA before they ever came out here in the UK, people would literally gasp as I took it out of my pocket in packed restaurants and other such attention seeking places!



    Then it was launched here and my throne felt less special, but still a little bit exclusive with it only being on o2 and quite costly..



    Then it was opened up to other networks and I felt even less special.



    Now every burberry wearing Chav with a local Tesco's will be sporting the God Phone I once wielded with such majesty



    I can't help but feel like the king in Cold Play's Vida la Vida song...



    hahhaa nice first post!
  • Reply 14 of 44
    stuffestuffe Posts: 391member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post


    You cannot claim any exclusivity and sell a product in a (rather low brow) supermarket. Surely Sainsbury's would have added that much needed touch of finesse. It's not all about profit - brand image counts too. Would you buy an Armani jacket from ASDA?



    I don't know about that, 2 points though...



    1) It only started as exclusive (1 network, and 3 stores), which helped with the press and the general gadget envy and social word of mouth. Once that's helped to build the reputation of the device, who cares if it can be bought from Asda (Walmart in the UK), which it surely will be available from in the not too distant.



    2) If I was in the market for an Armani jacket, I possibly would buy one from Walmart should they stock it. I know I bought a pair of 501s from Tesco many years ago when they managed to get a boatload of them from somewhere. I don't care where I get my product from, so long as it's the product I want. That doesn't mean that people like Apple/Levi/Armani don't care about *their* image and who they let stock their products tho. Unlike fashion retailers tho, for the iPhone it's all about getting it in as many retailers as possible now, as it's the natural successor to the iPod which is already available everywhere from Argos to Zavvi.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    No doubt there will be a Tesco's Finest iPhone, a standard version and a Value range option.

  • Reply 16 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post


    Would you buy an Armani jacket from ASDA?



    If my head was up my arse, then no.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macmondo View Post


    am I the only who thinks strange that when Apple opens its stores with trendy design in posh areas, in the same time lets sell its product at a Tesco?

    they wanted to differentiate their products, so how is that philosophy now?



    Apple sell stuff at Walmart. Have you been to one? Nuff said. They make Tesco look like Waitrose...
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macmondo View Post


    am I the only who thinks strange that when Apple opens its stores with trendy design in posh areas, in the same time lets sell its product at a Tesco?

    they wanted to differentiate their products, so how is that philosophy now?



    You speak as if this is the first ever Apple product to be sold at Tesco. Apple used Tesco to distribute their second generation iMacs and they sold plenty.



    I'm struggling with the concept that Apple should only sell in the "trendy places" - the problem is they are selling primarily to users that never considered Apple before so why should they not place their product in the larger retailers? I think it would come across to the general public that Apple are now more mainstream. Why are you buying in to the snobbery that Apple users are so often accused of?
  • Reply 19 of 44
    Cheap trash should not be allowed to purchase Apple products. It dilutes the brand
  • Reply 20 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by domdn View Post


    Cheap trash should not be allowed to purchase Apple products. It dilutes the brand



    What horrible snobbery. Do you think Apple would be where they are today without appealing to the widest possible market?
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