Orange last week hit back at claims by analysts that Vodafone will take the biggest share of Apple iPhone 3G and 3G S handset sales through next year.
Analysts said Vodafone’s global strength and ability to target the enterprise segment will spur volumes, leaving Orange and O2 trailing in terms of iPhone sales numbers.
IDC research manager for European mobile devices Francisco Jeronimo said: “Vodafone will sell the highest number of iPhones because it will go through the enterprise channel,” said Jeronimo.
“It has a big success story in the enterprise channel and it is likely to push the iPhone through the business market. It will certainly gain the most rewards.”
Ovum principal analyst for mobile strategy Steven Hartley suggested Vodafone lost 150,000 customers in the second quarter mainly to O2 because of customers churning for iPhone devices. He said: “Vodafone lost a lot of customers to the iPhone, but after signing the deal with Apple, it will gain much more in return.”
But Orange devices director Francois Mahieu (pictured) rejected analysts’ claims that Vodafone will receive the largest chunk of sales out of all three networks offering the iPhone.
“The business market won’t buy the iPhone because it counts the pennies more than consumers do,” said Mahieu.
“I don’t believe a business buyer will buy an iPhone so it’s not true Vodafone will be top for sales simply because of their strength in the business market.
“In the business market, we are number two behind Vodafone. Vodafone is clearly the leader, but we are going to give it all we can.”