O2 Approved dealers must wait for iPhone

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Avenir, Fone Logistics and HSC instruct elite dealers, selling to small and medium-sized  business customers, they will not receive stock of Apple’s iPhone 4 until September at the earliest

O2 Approved partners have fallen foul of Apple’s limited iPhone supply and also of O2’s tiered partner scheme after being told by their distributors they are unlikely to receive stock of the new iPhone 4 for at least two months.

O2’s Approved scheme was set up a year ago to provide elite dealers going via its distributor partners with some of the perks afforded Centre of Excellence dealers.

But Avenir Telecom, Fone Logistics and HSC dealers on the pproved scheme claim to still be awaiting delivery of iPhone 4 handsets, despite its launch on June 24. Many have now been told not to expect availability until September at the earliest.

As a result many deals, including both new sales and upgrades, have gone unsigned, and dealers are struggling to stop customers going to O2 direct or to Centre of Excellence dealers. Some are buying iPhone 4s from Apple SIM-free to fulfil orders.

An O2 spokesperson said: “We have made the iPhone 4 available across all channels to existing customers first, as we believe this is the most fair approach. In the same way, we gave priority to our existing Centre of Excellence partners as they have the majority of existing iPhone customers.

“We will continue to allocate stock in a fair and transparent way as it becomes available over the coming months giving stock to our Centre of Excellence partners first. We have also started to offer the iPhone 4 to other partners that are authorised to sell it through one of our partner programmes.”

Odds on the iPhone 4 being recalled by Apple after signal issues were shortened significantly last week after a poor review of the device in Consumer Reports saw its share price fall four per cent.

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