T-Mobile Wins German iPhone Deal, Mum on Details
Deutsche Telekom's mobile phone division, T-Mobile, will sell Apple's iPhone in Germany for 399 euros ($558) each, the companies said on Wednesday, but kept silent on details of the deal.
The popular media-playing device, which has been on sale in the United States since the end of June, will be available in Europe's largest economy from Nov. 9 in time for the holiday shopping season, T-Mobile said.
Monthly rates will be announced shortly before the phone goes on sale, T-Mobile Chief Executive Hamid Akhavan said.
He declined to give a sales target or details on any revenue-sharing deal with the U.S. consumer electronics group.
Asked about sharing revenue with Apple , Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Rene Obermann also declined to give details but said: "We are not doing this just for image reasons. We need to get serious about making the Internet mobile, and entering partnerships such as the one with Apple is one way."
Akhavan declined to be drawn on any plans to sell the iPhone in other countries where T-Mobile is active, saying: "Right now we are only talking about Germany."
As in the United States, where Apple picked top telecoms operator AT&T in an exclusive deal, customers in Germany will have to sign up for two years for the 8-gigabyte phone. It will be available exclusively in T-Mobile shops.
Reuters reported last week that T-Mobile had landed the coveted deal.
Asked how the iPhone would fare relative to rival devices from Samsung or Nokia , Akhavan said he was not worried.
"I think what Apple has done is way ahead of the competition ... This is not just a phone, it's the best iPod they have ever made," Akhavan said.
Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said he was delighted to work with T-Mobile, adding that he hoped the deal would continue for many years.
On Tuesday Apple announced it had chosen O2 U.K. -- part of Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica -- and European mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse to bring the iPhone to Britain.
Apple is expected to hand a French deal to France Telecom's Orange later this week.
Earlier this month, Apple said it sold its millionth iPhone a few weeks ahead of schedule. This month it slashed the price in the United States by $200 to $399.
Apple has prepared plans to nearly double its iPhone production in the fourth quarter, financial news Web site TheStreet.com reported, citing people familiar with the company.
The plan calls for making 2.7 million iPhones next quarter, up from the 1.54 million originally targeted, the report said.
Apple's plans now call for 4.8 million iPhones to be produced this year, up from the 3.6 million previously targeted, the report said.
Apple officials were not immediately available for comment.