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O2's exclusive Apple deal set to end in September

Various rumblings have suggested recently that O2's exclusive agreement to sell iPhones in the UK will not be renewed.

It is understood that the multi-year contract signed in the summer of 2007 between the two companies ahead of the UK launch of the first iPhone included a two-year break clause.

"O2 and Apple might not renew their exclusivity deal...it's up for renewal in September," someone told Total Telecom this week.

Mobile operators have been stocking up with the latest touchscreen smartphones in a bid to keep up with the coveted iPhone ever since it first launched - including O2 this week.

Despite a noticeable N97-shaped hole in its portfolio, O2 this week announced separate deals to sell the Palm Pre as well as Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy i7500 in the U.K.

What with regulations forcing Orange to sell unlocked iPhones in France, and the FCC reviewing the impact of exclusive handset deals on smaller carriers in the U.S., will we eventually see an end to exclusive handset deals altogether?
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