O2 Worried About Customers Returning Newly Bought iPhones
The iPhone is available in a number of countries but since its international conquest following the 3G’s launch, only one carrier per country (or countries) had full exclusivity of the iPhone like AT&T does in the US. While competition amongst various carriers is a good things, it may be bad for British carrier O2, the first to carry the iPhone in the UK.
Up until last week, O2 was the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in England but Orange and Vodafone have stepped in to the arena and are offering iPhones to their customers starting November and sometime next year respectively. This new competition naturally would have any carrier worried but O2 faces losing up to 30,000 subscribers as they cancel their contracts within the allotted 2 weeks they have after buying their iPhone, a sort of test run on the network for customers. While it’s not expected O2 will lose that many subscribers, it seems possible that at least a few will jump ship to wait for the deals Orange and Vodafone will offer for the iPhone.
Steven Hartley and analyst at technology research house Ovum best summarizes the situation:
“Research shows that in every country where there is more than one operator selling it, it is cheaper. It could be very disruptive, but it depends how Orange play it. If they get really aggressive O2 will have to respond and a full-on price war could start.”
I guess O2 has to step it up when it comes to its marketing strategies.