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Tesco to Sell iPhone in U.K.

http://online.wsj.com

LONDON -- Tesco PLC said Thursday it will sell Apple Inc.'s iPhone in the U.K., potentially bringing its lower-priced ethos to the smartphone market.

The British retailer didn't confirm a start date or tariffs for the iPhone but said in a brief press release that both the original iPhone 3G and the new iPhone 3GS would be available shortly.

After a two-year exclusive deal with Telefonica SA's O2, Apple opened up its distribution channels in the U.K. earlier this month when France Telecom SA's Orange network began to sell the phone. Vodafone Group PLC is set to follow in the new year.

Tesco Mobile is a joint venture between Tesco and O2, and derives the majority of its sales from low-margin, low-priced pay-as-you-go phones operating on the O2 network.

While the company does sell a small proportion of longer-term mobile contracts, a lack of in-store sales staff dedicated to signing up new customers has limited the sale of these more lucrative contracts.

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Is Tesco Facing iPhone Pricing Dilemma?

http://blogs.wsj.com

The bunfight for iPhone crumbs in the UK continues with the announcement that Tesco Mobile, the queen of the reasonably-priced pay-as-you-go mobile market, will ‘shortly’ be selling Apple’s golden egg.

The supermarket giant will join the original Miss iPhone UK, O2, which held the exclusive rights for the past two years; first runner-up Orange which started selling the iphone this month; and second runner-up Vodafone, which will have to wait in the wings until after Christmas to get its telecom tiara.

All this new iPhone competition might suggest the UK consumer will be quids in as a price war erupts, and certainly Tesco’s reputation for value would lend this some credence. But the evidence is not encouraging.

Apple keeps a tight reign on its retail price. So the price tag for off-the-shelf phones without a contract is likely to remain high (£538.30 from O2 or £549 from Orange for the 32GB 3GS ). And because the telecom operators have to absorb whatever subsidy they offer on the phone, the contract prices leave little room for manoeuvre.

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Tesco, iPhone, GiffGaff : How O2's Using MVNOs To Secure Its Future

http://www.itproportal.com

O2 might have lost the iPhone exclusivity - as expected - but the Telefonica owned mobile phone network is quietly betting part of its business on mobile virtual network operators or MVNOs.

Tesco, which is one of UK's most successful MVNOs and an O2 customer, has already announced that it aiming to launch the iPhone by the end of the year, before Vodafone.

It is likely that O2 has encouraged the supermarket giant to do so in order to divide the market even further; after all, if someone else is to get the iPhone, better be one of its own customers.

Furthermore, since Tesco will be using O2's own network infrastructure, this means a much quicker time to market (less testing and fine tuning for example).

In addition, a significant increase in the number of iPhone users from Tesco will help O2 not only boost its own figures but also using its existing network more efficiently.

Then there's the forthcoming merger of Orange and T-Mobile which might force Virgin Mobile, the biggest MVNO in the world, to look for another strategic partner with only two, O2 and Vodafone fitting the bill.

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Tesco Lands Deal to Sell Apple iPhones

http://www.businessweek.com

In a blow to rivals Orange and Vodafone, British supermarket giant Tesco has snagged a deal to sell the iPhone before Christmas in partnership with carrier O2

Tesco (TSCO.L) is turning the screw on rival mobile phone shops by offering the Apple (AAPL) iPhone in its stores and online over the coming weeks. The supermarket's telecoms division, Tesco Mobile, said yesterday that it would introduce the iPhone 3G and the latest 3GS model in the UK before Christmas as part of its joint venture with the network provider O2 (TEF).

Tesco is the fourth company to sign a deal to sell iPhones in Britain following O2 and Orange (FTE), which already sell the iconic handset. Vodafone (VOD) has plans to offer the device from the new year but has yet to agree a date.

A spokeswoman for Tesco Mobile said: "It is a coup for us. Our absolute aim is to get this into stores and online before Christmas."

Although a launch date has not been confirmed, Tesco Mobile's iPhones will be offered on contract and pay-as-you-go deals.

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Tesco iPhone: Exclusive first picture!

http://crave.cnet.co.uk

It was announced this week that Tesco Mobile is to sell the iPhone. Reactions ranged from amused disdain to utter joy: is this the end of the MessiahPhone's premium cachet, or is it just the start of a price revolution that will put the world's favourite mobile Web-browsing device in the hands of the masses? The iPhone 3G and 3GS could be available from Tesco as soon as Christmas, and we've got an exclusive first picture of the form the phone, er, could take.

Every little helps, right? Fingers crossed that Tesco Mobile will be the company to eviscerate the cosy circle of inflated pricing offered by O2 and Orange. If you've held out this long without succumbing to the JesusPhone, will the Tesco deal encourage you to finally go Apple? And if you've already got an iPhone in your pocket, will you be switching to Tesco's Finest?

One thing's for sure, even after three years, the iPhone remains the hero product of hero products when it comes to creating heated debate, fevered speculation -- and decidedly dodgy Photoshop mock-ups.

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Tesco Mobile 'could start iPhone price war'

http://www.velti.com

Apple's mobile internet-based handset, the iPhone, could become the subject of a price war after Tesco Mobile announced it will carry the device.

This is the view of Fraser MacDonald, editor at Stuff Magazine, who noted the virtual network could convince other carriers to look to undercut each other on the cost of the high-end mobile internet device.

However, he also pointed out the effect of Tesco's iPhone release is difficult to judge as it has yet to announce any details of price plans for the smartphone.

Mr MacDonald added any potential battle would depend on whether Tesco sells the handset on behalf of the networks or if it allows a sim-free version to be purchased.

It would open the iPhone up to a wider audience if a price war does commence, he stated, adding: "There are a lot of people out there who can't afford one who would like to get their hands on one."

Tesco revealed on Tuesday (November 24th 2009) it would be releasing the handset in its Phone Shops and via its website.

What effect will Tesco's iPhone launch have on the market?

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