Steve Jobs visited the Regent Street store on Sunday, leading to speculation that he's in town to finalize an exclusive iPhone contract with an undisclosed UK cellular carrier. After the success of the iPhone in the United States, carriers are reportedly torn between the additional revenue that an iPhone deal would bring, and the strict conditions and low margin that Apple is demanding. Perhaps we'll know soon: the Regent Street Concierge bar will be closed next Monday, July 16th, allowing Jobs the perfect opportunity to announce the UK iPhone deal at the store.
If Apple is preparing to launch the European edition of the iPhone in London next week, then Europe's carriers have had a pretty big change of mind. In the weeks prior to the launch of the iPhone, Europe's carriers supposedly said that Apple was "unbelievably arrogant" and seemed ready to pass on the Jesus phone. But after huge opening sales, it looks like the European carriers have changed their mind.
Late last week the Financial Times reported that Telefonica's O2 had signed up for the iPhone in the United Kingdom, while other reports claimed that T-Mobile would carry it in Germany. Now we get reports that Jobs is poking around London. I guess Apple isn't so arrogant after all.
Will Apple announce the iPhone in London next week? I don't see how the European carriers can say no after the iPhone's strong sales in the U.S. What do you think?