Phones 4U staff said today that the word on the shop floor was that the retailer would be stocking the iPhone on Orange, pitching it squarely against rival Carphone Warehouse which up until now has previously sold the device exclusively on O2.
A Phones 4U staffer said: “I’m 90 per cent positive we’re getting the handsets.
“There’s been no formal communication between store staff and head office, but our area director has been talking about it for some time.
“Orange itself has said that approved partners will get it and in the independent channel, Phones 4U is its premier partner.
“We sell about 60 per cent more Orange connections than Carphone does.
“Strategically speaking, Orange would want to enable us to sell the iPhone as we have demonstrated the volumes Orange to get from giving us the handset.”
Another Phones 4U staffer said: “An outgoing associate regional director told us we will be stocking the iPhone on Orange in December.
“We’ve been planning the launch of it and are anticipating high volumes.
“We’ve heard O2 has had problems in recent weeks with stock shortages. I hope that’s down to Apple hold off stock for Orange and Phones 4U and not because of underlying stock problems.
“We know the iPhone 3G and 3G S will be a massive hit in store.”
An Orange staffer said: “Retail director Sian Doyle announced in a telephone conference to store managers this morning that we will be getting the iPhone 3G and 3G S.
“She did not confirm if all stores will receive it, or if a select few including flagship and bigger stores will be the only ones, nor did she say when we’ll be stocking it.
“She also did not confirm whether targets would change to reflect the high demand anticipated for the handsets. I’m sure targets will be increased because it’s going to create a lot of buzz on the high street.
“This is great news for us. We’ve had to convert customers who wanted an iPhone, but now we’ve got an Ace up our sleeves.”