Deutsche Telekom’s exclusivity for Apple’s iPhone in Germany is expiring ahead of the holiday shopping season. This will bring numerous cell providers to the country to sell the popular iPhone device.
Vodafone Group PLC and Telefónica SA’s O2 will sell the iPhone in addition to Deutsche Telekom. Reports indicate that the deals have yet to be finalized however negotiations are still in an advanced stage. The telecom’s exclusive rights to sell the device haven’t been extended and could end as early as October, posing a threat to growth in the company’s home market.
Deutsche Telekom indicated that a total of 1.9 million iPhones in Germany have been sold as of June 30, according to their spokesperson.
At the same time, Deutsche Telekom has been frustrated over shipments delayed from Apple of the iPhone 4. Nick Jan van Damme, managing director of Deutsche Telekom’s German business, complained that German consumers had to wait nine weeks for the popular device.
Meanwhile, German customers can buy older iPhone models through alternative distributors. Those models, including the 3G, work on any cellular network and cost about €650 ($830). Deutsche Telekom customers pay as little as €1 for the devices on a 24-month contract.
In the U.K., O2 lost exclusivity ahead of last year’s holiday season, while in France the market opened up to rivals of France Télécom SA’s Orange after a legal ruling.
Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, O2 and Apple all declined to comment further.