Last Spring in France Apple and Orange lost a lawsuit against Bouygues Telecom and SFR on the iPhone exclusivity. The court broke the exclusivity agreement on the ground of unfair competition.
The outcome? 6 months later, Apple is now the number 2 mobile manufacturer in France in terms of revenue after Samsung. Apple has even beaten Nokia which is number 3.
It appears that the end of the exclusivity with Orange has enabled Apple to tap into new reserves of customers within the other 2 operators: customers who want an iPhone but are still loyal to their operator.
So no one should be surprised by the move of Apple in the UK: Orange UK and Vodafone UK will offer the iPhone to their customers, and open to Apple 2 new markets. Apple will soon cover 90% of the UK market.
Apple is trying to renew the same feat in the UK it achieved in France … thanks to a French court.