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iPhone attracts British suitors

Stephen Beard Jan 11, 2007


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The iPhone has sparked a lot of interest across the pond. Britain’s cell phone providers are scrambling to reach a deal to provide a network for the new device. But some analysts are sounding a note of caution. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: Music downloads are among the most successful new applications for cell phones in Britain, and UK cell phone providers clearly believe the iPhone could play a major role in that market.

They’re falling over themselves to sign an exclusive deal with Apple. O2 looks to be the frontrunner. Vodaphone, Orange and T-Mobile are also contenders.

But one leading expert, Windsor Holden of the Analysys research firm, has his doubts about the device because iPhone won’t work with Britain’s 3G maximum capacity network.

WINDSOR HOLDEN: It really strikes me that what you have here is the equivalent of a sports car which has all the whistles and bells but one that runs at only 50 miles per hour.

He also points that at $500 each, iPhone is very much more expensive than existing music cell phones.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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