It turns out that the exclusive iPhone deal with Apple has turned out to be a goldmine for O2 and its parent company Telefonica as the results for 2008 shows increase in sales of 10.6% despite the economy turning sour in the last few months of the year (source: Timesonline).
Telefonica Europe actually could report sales of £12.7 billion with the UK being the strongest performer, adding 499,000 fixed and mobile customers during only the last 3 months of the year, proving that the iPhone did turn out to be a hot pre Christmas present.
The sales of the iPhone has now passed 1 million in the UK with O2 customer base approaching 22 million customers. This should start to raise the questions that made the french competition authorities decline the exclusive deals between Orange and Apple on the distribution of the iPhone 3G in France, forcing Apple to offer the iPhone to all operators in the french market. With an increasing marketshare for O2 the question has to be raised if the same situation could come up in the UK as well, as their position could limit overall competition.
Parent company Telefonica also enjoyed a strong year with global sales of €57.95 billion, up 2.7% year on year, much thanks to very strong performance in Latin Amercia.
Find out more about O2 and the iPhone 3G here.