Mobile operator O2 is preparing to unveil Apple's much anticipated iPhone in the UK tomorrow. But serious questions are being raised in the City about how much ground it has had to give away to Apple in order to clinch the deal.
The UK's largest mobile operator came from behind at the last minute to seal an agreement with Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, to market the iPhone in the UK, but one other operator described the deal as "madly money-losing".
O2 is understood to have agreed a margin on the retail price - to be confirmed tomorrow - but will return to Apple as much as 40% of any revenues it makes from customers' use of the device.
The price of the combined phone and iPod can be changed by Apple at any time, as happened recently in the US. Out of O2's share also comes a commission and further revenue share with Carphone Warehouse, which is understood to have secured the right to be the sole independent retailer of the device on behalf of O2.