According to the Guardian, Apple is currently in negotiations with a host of UK mobile broadband providers. Should a deal be struck, it is probable that the winning supplier or suppliers would offer the phone on monthly contract offers akin to those currently in place for mobile broadband laptops and netbooks.
What’s not yet clear yet is whether the broadband suppliers are lobbying for exclusivity rights for the iSlate or whether Apple with break with the approach it used for selling iPhones in the UK and launch the as-yet-unnamed device across a host of networks.
Alas, the article is quite light on evidence for its story all round, with Orange being the only network named in the piece as purportedly being in negotiations, with O2 and Vodafone apparently just “believed to be interested”. But we think that this detail is actually rather telling…
It’s a no-brainer that were Apple to ink an exclusivity deal, you’d think Orange would definitely be among the favourites. Among the factors boosting the provider's case is its consistently highly-rated mobile broadband service, which would reassure Apple that the connectivity problems experienced by some early adopter iPhone users could be mitigated. And further adding to Orange’s appeal to our Cupertino-based tech giants is the meshing of its network with that of T-Mobile, which promises to offer unsurpassed nationwide coverage.
Until further news emerges, we’ll just have to sit tight. But with Apple due to make a formal announcement about the iSlate on January 27th, we’ re unlikely to have to wait too much longer.