O2 to carry iPhone in UK? [updated]

The Times is reporting that cellular service provider O2 has beaten out Vodafone and others to win exclusive rights to offer the iPhone in the UK. According to the report, negotiations are still ongoing with mobile phone retailers like Carphone Warehouse over an agreement to allow sales of the iPhone in their stores after a period of exclusivity with O2. The agreement between Apple and O2 is thought to include a share of revenues generated by iPhone customers, and O2 is expected to make the necessary network configuration changes to support iPhone’s at-home activation and features such as Visual Voicemail. As previously reported, T-Mobile is expected to offer the iPhone in Germany, while Orange is believed to be the front-runner to carry the phone in France.

Update: Bloomberg reports that O2 parent company Telefonica SA is denying the report. “No deal has been signed with Apple,” O2 spokesman David Nicholas said. “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.” Alan Hely, London-based spokesman for Apple, said, “We’ll bring the iPhone to Europe in late 2007,” but declined to comment on any possible UK partners.

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