The news comes a day after Apple
O2 wireless unit to sell the iPhone in the U.K.
Next, Apple is expected to name
Orange mobile phone service as its iPhone seller in France. Notably, wireless giant
has been shut out of the iPhone drama.
The European iPhone is identical to the U.S. version and operates on the 2.5 G or EDGE network. The phones are priced at $538 in the U.K. and $553 in Germany and are expected to go on sale on Nov. 9.
While Apple did not disclose the terms of the deals, analysts say the agreements are likely to be the same as the bounty- and revenue-sharing pact Apple has in the U.S. with
. In that arrangement, AT&T pays Apple a one-time activation fee or commission of about $200 per customer, and AT&T pays Apple an estimated $15 per month, or $350 over the two-year term of the subscriber's contact.
Facing a slump in sales after the initial iPhone hoopla, Apple cut the price of the phone by 33% to $399 earlier this month. The lower price and the earlier-than-expected announcements of its European partners has prompted -- as
reported Tuesday -- Apple to
boost production of the iPhone to 2.7 million units from the 1.54 million it had originally planned for the quarter ending in December.
Industry watchers say the iPhone is likely to make a big splash in its European debut as gadget fans clamor for the must-have device. But the iPhone may quickly lose its luster, say observers who point to the high price and slower EDGE technology. This is a bigger issue in Europe, where the faster 3G network is more widely available.
Apple shares rose $1.78 to $142.70 in early trading Wednesday.