iPhone Fever Hits Europe
The report comes as speculation reaches a fever pitch over who will win the iPhone distribution deals in Europe following the mass demand for the new device in the U.S. (See The iPhone Arrives.)
German daily newspaper Rheinische Post reports T-Mobile will sell the famous phone for €450 (US$613) starting November 1. In early trading this morning on the Frankfurt stock exchange, Deutsche Telekom's shares jumped as much as 1.5 percent -- even though the carrier was not commenting on the speculation.
Credit Suisse also raised its recommendation on European telcos today from "neutral" to "outperform," which may have contributed to the price boost in Deutsche Telekom's shares.
European operators are eager to capture the early distribution rights and the brand association with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone following last week's successful launch by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) in the U.S.
Just about every big mobile operator in Europe has been mentioned in rumors about iPhone distribution negotiations, including Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s Orange, Telefónica Móviles SA , T-Mobile, and U.K. mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse Group plc (London: CPW).
One report suggests Apple is waiting until iPhone sales reach 1 million in the U.S. until it announces its European partners.
The analyst team at Dresdner Kleinwort says Apple should take into account network coverage and capacity when picking its European partners, not just the commercial terms offered, given early reports of user frustration with network transmission speeds in the U.S.
"With the AT&T experience in fresh memory, Apple may undertake more thorough 'due diligence' when it seeks to expand its iPhone operations to overseas markets, particularly in Western Europe where there are numerous candidates," states the Dresdner team in a research note.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung