O2 UK has held the exclusive contract since the 2G iPhone launched in the UK, while Orange has offered the phone in other European countries, like France. Orange UK this morning said that it would bring the iPhone 3G and 3GS to UK customers before the end of the year.
Reuters cites an Orange statement that says the carrier will sell the iPhone in all Orange direct channels including Orange stores (both on and offline) as well as selected retail partners and Orange telesales channels.
While this is big news for those in the UK, what everyone stateside is talking about is whether this could signal the end for AT&T's iPhone exclusivity.
The Department of Justice is currently looking into exclusive agreements between carriers and cell phone makers at the request of several U.S. senators. In June senators sent a letter to Michael Copps, acting chairman of the FCC, requesting a probe into exclusive deals between mobile phone manufacturers and wireless carriers. The FCC agreed to look into the matter and later, reports in the Wall Street Journal said the Department of Justice was also conducting a review.