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November 25, 2009

Tesco grabs iPhone deal

Every little helps smartphone sales

By Steve Evans

Retail goliath Tesco has announced that it is to begin selling Apple’s iPhone, possibly in time for the pre-Christmas rush.

Tesco will be selling the must-have smartphone through a deal with mobile network O2, which until recently held exclusive rights to the iPhone. Orange recently began selling it while Vodafone is expected to start shifting it in the new year.

Like Orange and Vodafone, Tesco has opened a website where potential customers can register their interest.

It said in a statement on its website: “Tesco Mobile through its joint venture partnership with O2 is pleased to announce that it will shortly introduce iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in Tesco Phone Shops and online through Tesco Direct in the UK.”

No further details have been released at this time.

Many analyst had predicted a price war would erupt when Orange started selling the iPhone, but its traiffs were nearly identical to those of O2. However, Tesco Mobile generally focuses on the lower end of the phone market so the deal has raised the possibility of more competitive prices.

According to a report in the Times, a Tesco mobile spokeswoman said: “We would love to get it in our stores before Christmas and would love to bring a bit of Tesco value to the iPhone and offer something very different to what is out there.”

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Tesco Mobile is a 50:50 joint venture between Tesco and O2.


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