Apple has signed its first deals with European mobile phone operators to offer its iPhone, ending a period of intense negotiations in which the Cupertino-based company reportedly succeeded in committing carriers to hand over 10 percent of iPhone revenues derived from phone calls and data functions, according to a report in the Financial Times newspaper.
Under the deals, T-Mobile, Orange and O2 are to sell the iPhone in Germany, France, and the UK respectively – three of the largest markets in Europe. The operators hope to introduce the phone in time for the important Christmas shopping season. It remains unknown if any of these carriers will enable 3G speeds on the iPhone, instead of the slower EDGE data network available from AT&T, the exclusive iPhone carrier in the U.S.
Apple also has a revenue-sharing agreement in place with AT&T. The deals mark a shift in the balance of power between mobile phone makers and network operators, where cell phone manufacturers rarely have the leverage to secure revenues derived from mobile usage.