Apple’s hugely successful iPhone is to be offered by Orange in the UK “later this year”, ending O2’s exclusive two-year deal to distribute the phone.
The company has not yet released any information about tariff pricing, with just a basic “coming soon” page on their website inviting punters to register their interest.
In a brief statement, Orange announced that they’d be getting their grubby paws on the iPhone soon:
Orange UK and Apple have reached an agreement to bring iPhone 3G and 3GS to Orange UK customers later this year.
Orange, which has the largest 3G network covering more people in the UK than any other operator, will sell iPhone in all Orange direct channels including Orange shops, the Orange webshop and Orange telesales channels, as well as selected high street partners.
The new competition can only be seen as good news for customers, with the tantalising prospect of a price war breaking out.
There’s also the possibility of T-Mobile joining in the fun too, after their proposed merger with Orange.
Some analysts suspect that Orange may be taking on a bit of a risk with the iPhone, with Apple believed to be demanding a slice of revenues from sales and even monthly contracts.
Although the handset has shifted units by the bucketload – O2 scooped up more than 1m iPhone subscribers and the phone has sold more than 20m units worldwide – a recent report by Denmark’s Strand Consult claimed that the phone actually makes a loss for network providers.