Telecommunications companies Vodafone and Telecom Italia will sell the Apple iPhone in Italy. Previously, Apple only allowed one company to sell its popular device in any national market. Exclusive franchise deals that lets Apple share service provider profits were struck with AT&T in the United States, O2 in Britain, Orange in France and Deutsche Telekom in Germany. Vodafone and Telecom Italia haven’t said much about the agreement they struck with Apple.
“Telecom Italia announced today it has signed a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to Italy later this year,” was all that the Italian group had to say on Tuesday.
Vodafone plans to sell the iPhone in ten countries by the end of this year.
“Later this year, Vodafone customers in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey will be able to purchase the iPhone for use on the Vodafone network,” the British-based firm said in a statement without giving any more details.
No one seems to be saying much about this break with the exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in a national market. It could simply have to do with Italian anti-trust laws, or may be a change in Apple’s sales strategy as regards the iPhone. As the iPhone enters new markets, we will learn if the Italian deal is an anomaly or a change in corporate strategy by Apple.