Merged company hopes to win rights to popular handsets

Orange and T-Mobile set sights on iPhone

T-Mobile and Orange are hoping to win the rights to the Apple iPhone following their recently announced merger.

Orange’s UK chief executive, Tom Alexander, who will head the new company, told the Daily Telegraph that the joint venture’s 28.4 million customers and 37 per cent market share would give it a “huge advantage” in bidding for popular handsets.

“We [Orange] are already the network of choice for multimedia devices, we’ve already got the biggest 3G network… now with T-Mobile we’ve got an even stronger 3G network,” he said. “We’ve got a fantastic platform and are obviously the network of choice for all multimedia devices, including potential the iPhone in future.”

O2, which currently has the rights to the iPhone in the UK, is expected to lose the exclusive rights to some models next month.

Alexander told the Telegraph that there would be “some job losses” in the merged group so as to make savings of around £445 million from 2014. About 130 of the total 613 stores will reportedly be closed.

Although both companies are expecting the merger to be approved by the European Union, it is likely to be scrutinised by competition regulators.

According to the Telegraph, both companies will continue to operate separately until the deal is completed, with both brands existing until at least Spring 2011.

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