Mobile Entertainment claims
to have viewed documentation revealing that UK wireless carrier O2's exclusivity contract for the iPhone will expire on October 9th. Rumors of the expiration surfaced last month
, but this new report is the first to offer a supposed date for the expiration. Both reports do indicate, however, that O2 may retain exclusivity for the iPhone 3GS, leaving competitors with the option to offer only the iPhone 3G for the time being.
O2 signed its original deal with Apple in late 2007, and is believed to have the rights to sell iPhone to 2012.
However, the exclusive arrangement lasts only for two years although sources say that O2 may retain sole rights to the recently launched iPhone 3G S.
Reports have pointed to Orange and T-Mobile, both of which offer the iPhone in other countries, as likely bidders for the right to offer the iPhone in the UK. In fact, The Register reported
earlier this week that T-Mobile has already begun offering a small number of iPhones in the UK to high-spending customers who have threatened to leave the carrier in order to entice them to remain.