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iPhone Set For Big UK Sales As Supermarket Signs Up

http://www.slidetoplay.com

In something of an unprecedented move for iPhone, for the first time Apple's device will soon be available for sale in the world's third largest global retailer. The UK's biggest supermarket chain Tesco has won the right to sell iPhones in its stores before Christmas.

It's a big get for the chain. Tesco's own mobile network joins the iPhone club before European heavyweights such as Vodafone and T Mobile have even signed up, with Vodafone expected to fall in line after Christmas. Tesco Mobile becomes the third network to offer the iPhone in the UK, behind O2, who previously held exclusive rights to the device, and recent convert Orange.

The Tesco deal promises to deliver the iPhone right into the hands of the mass-market. The supermarket has something of a reputation for being a "loss leader," selling products below cost in order to secure market share. This could make iPhone the first smartphone to really penetrate the mainstream. Sales are naturally expected to receive a big boost post launch, with the App Store welcoming reams of potential new customers just in time for the holidays.

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iPhone to be Carried by Tesco Mobile

http://www.mobileblog.mobile-deals-compared.co.uk

O2 originally had the iPhone 3G as a time exclusive device for quite some time. “Quite” is an understatement for two whole years.

With Orange UK recently releasing the iPhone and Vodafone announcing that they too will be having the device on January of 2010, O2 has just not lost exclusivity, but also price control. Just a week prior to the Orange launch of the iPhone, O2 started coming up with new promotions for the device. Competition can truly be a good thing.

Tesco will be boosting O2’s market share on the iPhone as they too have announced that the Apple iPhone will be available through them as well. Interested buyers may sign up at the pre-registration page at the Tesco website though there are still no details regarding the specific release date.

The official press release from Tesco dated November 25 states that the Tesco will be releasing Apple iPhone products “through its joint venture partnership with O2”. Specific details regarding this are still unavailable, but it is confirmed that all iPhones to be sold by Tesco will be under an O2 pay-as-you-go or monthly tariff plan.

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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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