Summit News

T-Mobile to keep iPhone exclusivity in Germany

T-Mobile CEO Hamid Akhavan addresses the Reuters Technology summit in Paris, May 10, 2008. REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

PARIS (Reuters) - T-Mobile TMOG.UL expects to remain the only seller of Apple's AAPL.O coveted iPhone in Germany, T-Mobile Chief Executive Hamid Akhavan said on Tuesday.

“We have a very good relationship with least in Germany it is exclusive, and we expect it to remain as such,” Akhavan told the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in Paris.

“If and when there is a 3G iPhone we expect to have it exclusively in Germany as well,” referring to a yet-unconfirmed new model of Apple’s touch-screen device that will support third-generation mobile phone networks with faster data speeds.

In April, T-Mobile began offering the iPhone for 99 euros ($154.10) in combination with the most expensive T-Mobile contract of 89 euros per month, giving rise to speculation it was trying to clear the shelves for a new version of the iPhone.

A string of recent deals announced by other operators such as Vodafone VOD.L and France Telecom FTE.PA imply that Apple is selling the iPhone on a non-exclusive basis in several countries, a break with previous deals done in the United States, Germany, Britain and France.

Parent firm Deutsche Telekom DTEGn.DE has been selling the iPhone in Austria, for instance, but last week Orange, France Telecom's main brand, announced it would sell the iPhone there as well.

Last week, Apple’s online store listed the iPhone as “unavailable”, a possible sign that the company is reducing inventory before the unveiling of an updated version of the device, expected next month.

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Reporting by Niclas Mika and Nicola Leske; Editing by Jason Neely