Analysts sink teeth into Apple over iPhone bungle

Apple has been accused of bungling the launch of the iPhone in Europe after another of its exclusive local partners was forced to make the device available on rival networks.

Analysts have questioned Apple’s strategy of entering into exclusive deals with operators in individual countries, saying the company has “underestimated” the difference between the US and European markets.
Apple has been forced to “unlock” the iPhone in Germany, scuppering its exclusive deal with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile, after rival Vodafone claimed the agreement broke national competition laws.

Meanwhile, the launch of the iPhone has been delayed in France, where – despite Apple signing an exclusive deal with France Telecom’s Orange – consumer protection laws prevent the locking of the iPhone to a single operator. The device finally goes on sale in France tomorrow (Thursday).

O2 – Apple’s UK partner – is the only operator with an exclusive deal that has not had to “unlock” the phone. But Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi believes the problems in France and Germany may force Apple to rethink its strategy. The company has yet to sign exclusive deals in a number of countries, including Italy and Spain.

She says: “Other countries will pick up on what has happened in France. If that happens Apple’s business model will be ruined.”

Apple has never confirmed the terms of the hotly contested exclusive deals, saying only that they are “multi-year”. But Milanesi adds: “Apple can’t grow its market share using the exclusive model and might be forced to change the way it does business. I think these latest problems will accelerate that.”

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here