Vodafone launches iPhone site

Vodafone logo

Vodafone has launched a new portal designed specifically for iPhone users - raising questions about the future of O2's exclusivity deal.

The new customisable page beta is free to use and has a strong UK focus with features like a Top Gear feed and BBC news updates. Vodafone does distribute the iPhone in other countries, but, at present, just O2 has the right to do so in the UK.

A spokesperson from Vodafone said: "This is a group website, not a UK initiative. This is a beta so just a testing phase to try and help customers get the most out of the internet. Vodafone has no plans right now to sell the iPhone in the UK."

Vodafone also told IT PRO that the website supports high end Nokia handsets like the N95 8GB and Samsung's F490 as well as the iPhone. The site is available across six countries and shows local content in each location.

"We have a multi-year agreement with Apple to offer the iPhone exclusively on the O2 network in the UK," said an O2 spokesperson. "I'm afraid I cannot comment further on the details of the relationship, but we fully expect to sell the iPhone for many years to come."

But with SIM-free iPhones already available in the UK, O2's exclusive hold over the smartphone does appear to be weakening.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.