A Vodafone spokesperson has been quick to dismiss rumours of an exclusive deal to sell the 3G iPhone. When asked about it this morning, the spokesperson laughed and said 'what rubbish' before putting me on to a second spokesperson Simon Gordon. Here's what Simon had to say:
"This is complete news to me. We have said that [in the past] we're interested in selling a 3G iPhone certainly and that may have been misinterpreted. The 3G iPhone's not due to appear until the second half of the year anyway, is it?"
Gordon confirmed that Vodafone thinks the iPhone is a great product, but that "it would be even better if it had 3G."
When asked if Vodafone might be able wrest the iPhone contact from O2, Gordon said:
"The thing is with these deals they're all open to negotiation. There are all kinds of caveats, targets that O2 and Apple will have to meet [for the contract to last the five year term]'
iPhone unlock in Germany?
Gordon has also confirmed that Vodafone was taking action against T-Mobile in Germany. He says Vodafone has been granted a temporary injunction against T-Mobile and that there will be a court hearing in two weeks.
"We don't want T-Mobile to stop selling the iPhone," Gordon said. "What we want is for the same rules to be applied to everyone. [T-Mobile] cannot market a phone that is SIM locked, that is unsubsidised and on a long-term contract."
Gordon says that Germany has similar mobile regulations to those in France, where mobile phones also have to be offered for sale unlocked. He suggests this could happen in Germany is the court hearing goes Vodafone's way.
Gordon says that although this wouldn't enable to Vodafone to sell the iPhone, it would enable buyers to use the iPhone on Vodafone's network, and that the iPhone would be supported if that happened.