We had just written about the end of O2 exclusivity in the UK with Orange entering into a partnership with Apple to sell iPhones in the country from sometime later this year. Soon after comes the announcement from Vodafone that their agreement with Apple is also through and the Newbury, UK based company shall be bringing iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to their UK and Ireland customers from early 2010.
People in the UK are suddenly spoilt for choices. A lot many of our readers had commented in our previous post regarding the Orange-Apple partnership expressing happiness at the new options available. Orange has a better coverage than O2 according to some of the comments and that alone could have been the selling proposition for Orange to woo iPhone customers. However, with Vodafone's arrival, it is tight competition for Orange from the word go.
The announcement for Vodafone itself could not have been better timed. Orange had received close to 65,000 reservations for the handset within two days since the announcement was made. A delayed announcement could have scuttled Vodafone's iPhone launch coming as it is after the Christmas season and so missing out on the most important shopping season of the year.
Nevertheless, it is interesting times for the UK market. Vodafone is already in partnership with Apple to sell iPhones in over eleven countries and is claimed to be the most profitable wireless provider in the world. With their entry in the UK iPhone market, iPhone customers in UK can expect to see some exciting competition as these different carriers fight it out to gain market share.
If you're in the UK, let us know in the comments if you plan to stick with O2 or switch to Orange or Vodafone when they start selling the iPhone.
[via Vodafone Press Release]