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IDG News Service - Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile division has won a deal to sell Apple Inc.'s iPhone in Germany starting Nov. 1, according to a report in a German regional newspaper.
T-Mobile won the bid at the last minute from Europe's largest mobile operator, Vodafone Group PLC, according to the report in Germany's Rheinischen Post newspaper on Wednesday.
Apple's combined phone, music player and Internet device will be sold in Germany for €450 (US$613), according to the newspaper, which cited unnamed "sources in the business community."
Representatives for Apple and T-Mobile could not immediately be reached Wednesday morning. A Vodafone spokesman said the company had no comment.
Apple launched the iPhone in the U.S. on Friday to largely positive reviews, although its mobile partner there, AT&T Corp., experienced delays in activating some people's phones over the weekend.
The deal with AT&T is an exclusive one in the U.S., meaning other operators there won't be able to offer the iPhone for some time.
It's unclear what distribution model Apple will use in Europe, although it seems likely it will sign up several operators to tackle Europe's fractured telecommunications market. No one mobile operator covers all the most populous markets in Europe. T-Mobile is present in Germany, the U.K. and eight other countries, but not the large markets of France, Italy or Spain. In France, Vodafone only has a minority holding in French operator SFR, while Orange, a subsidiary of France Télécom SA, is not present at all in Germany or Italy.
Apple has said it expects to launch the iPhone in Europe in the fourth quarter but has provided no other details.