O2 to sell the iPhone?

Several credible sources are today reporting that O2 have signed a contract with Apple to distribute the iPhone in Europe. I hope that includes O2 Ireland too!

Vodafone would have seemed a more likely distributor seeing as they have a network in more European countries than O2. O2 must have made it far more attractive for Apple to say that they were chosen over Vodafone. It will be interesting now to watch who Apple partners with in the countries where O2 have no presence.

The iPhone debuted in the US last week and in its first three days is reputed to have sold over 1m units – a runaway success by any measure!

This incredible success is a measure of Apple’s successful marketing machine, but it is also indicative of pent-up dissatisfaction with the current array of phones on offer. The iPhone’s user experience is so much better than anything else currently on the market, that the Symbian group and Microsoft will really have to get the thumb out to come up with a competitive offering.

I just hope that when it comes to Europe it will have 3G (the US model doesn’t have 3G, relying instead on EDGE and wifi) and a better camera.

13 thoughts on “O2 to sell the iPhone?”

  1. I’m surprised that Apple would go for an Exclusive Deal in Europe, so I’m still hoping that they don’t and competition will be able to get us the best deals.

    Either way I hope your last comment is true, the iPhone really needs 3G as WiFi coverage is minute in comparison. As for the camera it’s some what surprising considering the Nokia N95 ships with a 5 Megapixel Camera.

    I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

  2. I think it’s really easy to talk up the “user experience” and how it’s way better. I think the interface is a much better design than most other phones, but like the French Revolution, I think it’s too early to talk about the lasting effects of the user experience.

    Jakob Nielsen (useit.com) has the following commentary on it.

    “Don’t Buy an iPhone”

    Buried toward the end of the New York Times review of Apple’s new mobile phone are the following damning statistics. Time to download homepages of some websites:
    * NY Times: 55 seconds
    * Amazon: 100 seconds
    * Yahoo: two minutes (!)

    For consumers: don’t buy the iPhone – or any Internet phone – that doesn’t run on a much faster network. It doesn’t matter how good the on-screen user interface is. What’s important is the total user experience which is ruined by minute-plus response times. The best mobile browser is useless when sites arrive at a snail’s pace.

  3. don’t buy the iPhone – or any Internet phone – that doesn’t run on a much faster network

    Lar, the iPhone runs on wifi, which can be very fast! Those numbers, for those pages are from an EDGE network, who’s speed is incredibly variable.
    That’s why I said in my post, I hope they deploy 3G iPhones in Europe.

  4. Does anyone know the real scoop about O2’s 3G coverage in the UK, and T-mobile’s coverage within Germany? It’s hard to get the real scoop, because a lot of Europeans seem to like to use 3G to take digs at the US mobile industry, and a lot of American’s like to use poor 3G as a reason to bash AT&T.

    From what I’ve been able to tell though, both carriers may actually have extensive EDGE installations. This may mean that the first European iPhone’s will, in fact, be EDGE, which would also help explain why the current iPhone sold in the US is a quadband phone.

    I have been watching this for the past few days. Until yesterday, everyone thought Vodafone was a lock, perhaps for most/all of Europe. However, the earlier rumor/news about T-mobile getting the contract for Germany along with this latest rumor/news about O2 suggests Vodafone, whose biggest strength was the breadth of their subscriber base across Europe.

    It also suggests that Apple’s European carrier strategy is similar to their US carrier strategy of partnering with someone they can exert more leverage over, which gives them more strength in negotiations to extract things like a share of services revenue. Given Vodafone’s reach, they might have thought they had more leverage with Apple than they apparently did.

    More updates and analysis about this on my blog.
    (sorry if this is a double post, it timed out the first time I tried.

  5. Who-ever left the last comment, apologies, I was working on trying to fix a bug on the site (sidebar going under posts with Comment Quicktags plugin enabled) when you left the post.

    This may have caused your timeout and stopped your identifying info (name, link to blog etc.) coming through.

    If you want to email me (tom@tomrafteryit.net) I can edit your comment to add in the details.

  6. See I find it hard to see how any UK or European Carrier will support the iPhone without 3G mainly due to the investment they have put into it.

    I think whether they support EDGE or lesser technologies in comparison is irrelevant.

  7. Hi Tom,

    Slightly unrelated to the iPhone – how is the N95 holding up? I’ve been hearing bad things about battery life and the sliding screen (amongst others)

    You experienced anything untoward?

  8. Pb.

    the battery life was fine (lasted the day) until I installed Fring. Then battery life plummeted. Turned Fring off and battery life returned to normal.

    No prob with screen.

    Biggest issue I have is I can’t afford to buy it and I have to return it shortly 🙁

  9. i agree, so far the ui beats everything out there. competition has to step it up

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