Friday, June 29, 2007

Possible iPhone Launch Monday with 3G in Europe (UK)

Guy Kewney of the NewsWireless.net blog is reporting that a 3G version of the iPhone is launching on Monday in Europe with Vodafone, T-Mobile of Germany, and Carphone Warehouse.

From his blog post;

"Hints of the European launch emerged yesterday when Bill Condie of the London Evening Standard tipped Vodafone to be the official carrier, which will be confirmed Monday. But Voda is just part of the picture, with Apple going for a three-pronged European strategy with carriers - again, responding to disappointment in America with the exclusive deal with AT&T/Cingular."

This is all very interesting if it is correct, because it would mean that Europe is getting a more capable iPhone in Europe before the USA gets it.

This other piece of his post has me wondering if this is really correct;

"Shipment date is still unknown, but "on course" for the year-end date predicted last October by Apple CEO Steve Jobs."

I am speculating that since the deal with Europe was done later then the deal with AT&T that it gave Apple more time to pull a better phone and carrier deal together. This European deal addresses the core two complaints about the US iPhone release. Slow data network and only one carrier/operator release.

The post also describes a possible French Telecom deal that could be in the works;

"Writer Condie quoted sources inside Credit Suisse which suggested that France Telecom was in line for a franchise. That is unlikely to be fulfilled, possibly because of Orange's insistence on "strong branding" on any handset it carries. Orange has irritated several phone makers by insisting on disabling technical and user-oriented features which didn't sit with Orange."

This news has not seem to have broken much in the USA, but it is an interesting twist to the iPhone rollout story. Keep in mind that any 3G device deployment in Europe will not work with USA 3G as it is on different radio frequencies. So you cannot buy in Europe and get 3G here with the phone, you would be back on EDGE again.

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