We’ve got a great start to the iPhone Rumor Mill this week – with reports that Italy is set to get the ‘next generation’ 3G iPhone in the next few weeks.  Apple Insider reports – via the Repubblica newspaper – that: Under the terms of the deal, TIM will reportedly receive a several month exclusive […]
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Italy Getting 3G iPhone in Weeks, With No Contact or Carrier Lock???

Italy win World Cup

We’ve got a great start to the iPhone Rumor Mill this week – with reports that Italy is set to get the ‘next generation’ 3G iPhone in the next few weeks.  Apple Insider reports – via the Repubblica newspaper – that:

Under the terms of the deal, TIM will reportedly receive a several month exclusive on sales of a 3G iPhone through its retail shops, which will be staffed with specialists who are trained to support iPhone customers and get the touch-screen handsets up and running on the carrier’s 3G network.

Given that Italians are the number one consumer of pre-paid wireless contracts worldwide each year, Apple is also reported to have agreed to terms by which the new iPhone will be sold at a higher price than in other European countries, but without a carrier lock and two-year service agreement.

That’s a whopper of a rumor, which raises several obvious questions real quick I think:

Why Italy?  Why launch the iPhone V2 in a market that hasn’t even seen V1 of the phone as yet?  I know that 3G is considered much more of a must-have, dealbreaking feature in Europe than it is in the US, but that still doesn’t explain why they wouldn’t launch V2 in one for their 3 existing European markets.  Are Apple really ready to change their business practices on contracts and carrier locks so soon?  Apple execs have stated publicly before that they are not married to the same business practices forever with the iPhone – but up to now I think the theory was a change might come in China or one of the other big Asian markets first.

It will be very interesting to see how – or if – this rumor pans out over the next few days …

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