Optical/IP Networks

iPhone Goes to Germany

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs continued on his European tour and stopped in Berlin today to announce that T-Mobile International AG is Apple's exclusive operator partner for the iPhone in Germany, which was widely expected. (See T-Mobile Germany Gets iPhone, Report: Apple Picks Euro iPhone Partners, and iPhone Fever Hits Europe.)

Jobs was in London yesterday to introduce the iPhone to Britain and to reveal that Telefónica UK Ltd. will be the only mobile operator to offer the device in the U.K. (See iPhone Invades UK, Jobs Leads iPhone Into UK, iPhone UK Launch: Jobs Has 'Upset Girlfriends', and Slideshow: iPhone Hits London .)

In Germany, the 8-GByte iPhone will go on sale on the same day as in the U.K., November 9. It will cost €399 (US$557), which is about the same price the Brits will pay. But it is a lot more expensive than the $399 that Americans are shelling out for the device. The phone will be available exclusively from Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s Telekom stores or from T-Mobile's online store. (See iPhone Price Cut and Hot Apple Wrap.)

The big questions about the terms of the arrangement between Apple and T-Mobile were left unanswered. The companies did not reveal the length of the exclusive partnership, the revenue share terms, and the possibility of launching the iPhone in other T-Mobile markets in Europe.

German iPhone users will have to sign up to a two-year contract with T-Mobile, but the operator won't release the monthly tariff prices until closer to the launch date in November.

The iPhone will work on T-Mobile's GSM and WiFi networks, as well as its EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) networks for cellular data. T-Mobile's WiFi network in Germany has 8,600 hotspots with download speeds up to 11 Mbit/s.

iPhone users in Germany will have better cellular data coverage on T-Mobile's EDGE network than on O2's U.K. network because by the end of this year the operator will have EDGE coverage across all of its GSM network, which will boost downlink data speeds to more than 220 kbit/s.

By contrast, only 30 percent of O2's network will be EDGE-enabled when the iPhone launches in November, and the operator hopes to increase that to 40 percent by Christmas.

So, will Paris be the next stop on Jobs's European tour? Orange France is widely expected to have secured exclusive rights to the iPhone in France. — Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

Sign In