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iPhone sets date with U.K.

Apple pacts with O2 UK

LONDON — O2 UK, part of Spanish telco giant Telefonica, and European mobile-phone retailer Carphone Warehouse have clinched the exclusive, multiyear deal to bring Apple’s iPhone to Britain.

The phone, which combines an iPod, video player and Web browser, will be sold through O2, Carphone Warehouse and Apple stores for £269 ($536) beginning Nov. 9.

After months of speculation that O2 had won the deal, Apple finally confirmed in London on Tuesday it had chosen the largest British mobile-phone operator as its distributor.

Apple is also expected to hand a German iPhone distribution deal to Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and a French deal to France Telecom’s Orange later this week.

Customers will sign up for an 18-month contract on a tariff of either $70, $90 or $110. IPhones flew off the shelves when they went on sale amid much fanfare in the U.S. in late June. Apple slashed the price of its $599 model to $399 last week, sending its stock falling on market concerns that sales were slowing.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs attempted to calm angry customers who had paid the top price by offering them a $100 store credit. A few days later, the company announced it had sold a million iPhones in the U.S., ahead of its end-September target.

— Reuters

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