iPhone Carrier Exclusivity Looks Set To End

Two Italian telcos confirm iPhone deals, other two confirm they are in talks with Apple.

It would be the most sensible solution all round, but has Apple finally seen the light…?

Notoriously media chatty Italian telcos are spreading the word of something extremely significant brewing under the surface…

Following Vodafone’s announcement that it has landed the iPhone in 10 countries (including Italy), Telecom Italia has jumped up to state: “Telecom Italia announced today it has signed a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to Italy later this year.”

So, I’m sure you are thinking: ‘this is iPhone and 3G iPhone – no problem’, but you’d be wrong because a ”third” Italian telco, Wind, has confirmed it is currently in talks with Apple over the iPhone and “we are evaluating this market opportunity”. Finally, 3 – the last of the big Italian telcos – has confirmed: “since the phone is not exclusive, unlike what happened in other markets, will evaluate the proposals of Apple. This also testifies to the importance that Apple recognizes market Italy and its operators. “

So is Italy ”soooo” different that Apple has abandoned exclusive contracts and adopted a mass market any-network approach? Or are we due for some any network, unlocked 3G iPhone goodness?

Personally, while it seems these declarations pave the way I would be cautious. Italy is a famously PAYG country and Apple knows it is onto a good thing – jailbroken iPhones or not – with its current setup meaning margins would reduce under an such ‘liberal’ approach pan-Europe. Still, it’s the iPhone and as one cracking device we feel it should be available to as many as possible and maybe Apple wants to hit the mass market too?

”’In related news”’ Latin America is about to get its first taste of the original Phone almost 11 months late with news America Movil will sell the handset across Mexico and – negotiations allowing – South America over the next few months. Fingers crossed my amigos…

Telecom Italia

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