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T-Mobile claims Apple iPhone contract... in Germany

O2 may be loathe to confirm that it has snatched the UK iPhone contract from rivals Vodaphone, but T-Mobile is much more bullish about its chances of snaffling Apple's golden iPhone ticket - in Germany.

According to the Inquirer, a page promoting Apple's hybrid iPod and mobile phone recently popped up on T-Mobile's German pages.

A T-Mobile staffer spotted the potentially Apple-baiting mistake, and quickly pulled off a Stalinist manoeuvre, removing all history of the Apple iPhone from the T-Mobile site. But as every former teenage stripper knows, nothing is ever completely removed from the internet, and another site had swiftly pounced to preserve T-Mobile's embarrassment.

T-Mobile has made no comment on the affair. But then, none of the UK phone carriers have made any comment about anything to do with the Apple iPhone. It's like a cellular Trappist convention out there.

Does T-Mobile know something everyone else doesn't, or is it just being cocky/well-prepared? One thing is for certain, the phone carriers all want the iPhone deal. And why not? It's a cast-iron guarantee of getting people to change to your network. And even in the relatively footloose and fancy free UK market, that's free money.

But O2 and their ilk should not be dazzled by Steve Jobs' golden words. For all that AT&T has used the Apple iPhone to hoover up fresh blood in the notoriously static US market, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that some early-adopters aren't using the iPhone as, well, a phone. (Surf the web, listen to music and watch videos. What was the other thing?)

And isn't it strange that when anything has gone wrong with Apple's iPhone launch (and it hasn't been much), the blame has been laid squarely at AT&T's massive feet? Apple has rolled out a complex product - with a more experienced partner - and retained its halo with teflon tenaciousness, despite the expected glitches.

A cynic would say that Apple chose the biggest-name carrier, with the slightly ropey reputation, for precisely that reason. But I'm not a cynic. No really.

Read the PC Advisor review of the Apple iPhone here

Read the Inquirer article here

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