European Invasion: iPhone Arrives Overseas

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple has finally brought the iPhone, or perhaps just the rights to one, to Europe. While the iPhone won't officially go on sale until November, those who were in attendance at the unveiling said that the multi-modal phone is already being well-received by the public.

Seemingly every major mobile network operator from Europe's most influential cities have lined up for their chance to hold the exclusive rights to the product when it hits retail shelves in just a few months. As it stands right now, O2 will hold the exclusive rights to the product in Britain, while Telefonica will bring the device into Spain. Similarly, T-Mobile will offer the iPhone in Germany and Orange Telecom will sell the product in France. (Source:

Apple's European distribution of the iPhone will only add to the already monumental revenue figures being reaped by the company. In only the first three months on sale to the public, Apple has sold over one million iPhone devices in the United States alone.

Industry analysts are expecting Apple to have a much tougher time with their sales overseas.


One foreseeable problem is that the iPhone about to be sold in Europe is identical to the one being offered in the United States. This means that Apple would be unable to take advantage of the faster wireless networks for web browsing and media downloads that have become synonymous with European telecommunications.

Second, Europe has always been a trickier place than North America for Apple to do business. Apple iPod music players have an estimated 20 per cent of the market share in Europe, including 40 per cent of the market share in Britain, compared to 60 per cent of the market share in the United States. (Source:

Analysts believe that the decline in overseas sales figures could be ethical more than practical. Many in Europe have been known to boycott Apple products because of their perceived illegitimate business practices. The European Commission is currently hearing complaints that accuse Apple's iTunes music store of violating competition rules that charge the British more for downloading music than any other European country. (Source:

Despite these setbacks, most analysts believe that the expansion of the iPhone can only help Apple.

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