O2’s exclusive deal with Apple for distribution of the iPhone in the UK is reportedly set to end two years early, according to a report published on the ITProPortal website.
The report – which seemingly draws heavily on conjecture – suggests O2’s recent deal with Palm in which it becomes the exclusive provider of the Palm Pre is evidence of an end to the Apple iPhone exclusive.
“O2 currently has an exclusive agreement with Apple that is supposed to last until 2011 but rival networks are likely to push for Apple to rethink its strategy and make the iPhone platform agnostic; and there is no reason why Apple wouldn’t do that,” the report explains.
The opinion-based report suggests Apple may move to cut its strings with O2 in order to widen the addressable market for the iPhone in key territories, such as the UK. Making the device network-agnostic could stimulate further sales in the territory, in which some reports claim O2 has sold one million units so far.
The report even suggests O2’s Apple deal may time out on the introduction of a new model iPhone, which it suggests will emerge “during the first week of June”.
Can’t say for sure we’re convinced by these claims – we can see the possibility, but the source information given here is scant, there’s lots of opinion, but no comment to back these claims up.
Dare say we’ll see the facts of the matter emerge in the coming few weeks.