The date on which the time for the collection of reservations for iPhone 4 will be announced also in Italy is approaching and the background noise on which operator will have the phone, when and at what prices will rise. For now, nothing precise or distinct, but only an overlap of indiscretions that probably contain a vein, perhaps even diluted, of truth. Finding it is not easy, even if some indicators now seem to point in precise directions.
The first, in fact, the date. According to what we learned from new sources for our site but who may have had access to this type of information, Apple could announce tomorrow the precise date of opening of iPhone reservations in Italy; and regarding the date, our informants claim that the collection of orders should begin on Monday 12 July. Macitynet was unable to collect any indiscretion on the actual launch date but the start of reservations on the 12th day would be fully compatible with the indiscretions that point to a debut during the day of 23rd July. Recall that Apple has always officially claimed that the iPhone in Italy and in 17 other countries will arrive by the end of July; theoretically, therefore, there could also be room for a launch during the following week, on 29 or 30 July (and in fact some rumors from Spain and Canada point precisely to the last week of the month). In any case, the end of the contracts for the iPhone 3G which was launched on 11 July worldwide must be taken into account in the hypothesis processing; Apple may deem it appropriate not to let that date go by without putting something in its hands (perhaps even in the form of a reservation) to its customers.
The second indiscretion, more proven than the previous one because it is a source well known to us and in the past capable of anticipating both the contracts and the iPhone lists of mobile operators, concerns the carriers that will have iPhones. At the moment to have a contract in his pocket would be only two of the three that we are used to considering: Tre and Vodafone. Tim, surprisingly (but not too much as we will see) would still be at the stake, it is not clear if still in negotiation or, sensationally, already out of the game.
Those who closely follow the events of the iPhone in Italy would not be surprised by an exclusion of the Telecom Italia mobile operator from the agreement on the distribution of the iPhone 4. In fact, we all know that the relationships between the top management of Bernab's company and those of Cupertino contrary to any policy of Jobs' company, rumors and rumors about the landing in Italy of the Apple mobile phone have not been easy from the beginning, or since the time of the negotiations on the iPhone 3G, during which rumors were anticipated and amplified by large newspapers, judged suspicious by some observer, rather close to the top of the company or, in some cases, even reported directly by Tim's leading managers (such as the launch date, reported during a trip in bus in Dubai from a "top" executive to an American journalist). Tim eventually had the iPhone 3G but the general impression that the national carrier, a giant forged on the Italian market and perfectly adapted to its particularities, but precisely as such little assimilable to Apple's policies and strategies, has struggled a lot, ending up to fail, to embrace the philosophy of the iPhone and probably also to believe enough in the product to throw on it the energies that Apple would have expected. So there were no promotions and advertisements (the last ones were only from Vodafone and 3); the update of the offers gone at a crayfish pace and now (probably the only iPhone operator in the world), Tim has only one for more than 90 euros per month.
The demonstration of how little the two companies understand each other, arrived with the diffusion of a Telecom release, not agreed with Apple announcing the next availability of a Micro-Sim for iPad, when no contract had yet been signed. If in the ecosystem of the Italian PR this could be considered an error, but certainly not a mortal sin, like the rumors on the iPhone of two years ago, this has certainly not been considered in Cupertino who has built a good part on the total control of communication of his fortunes and where such an event, a partner who spreads a release without having agreed on its content word for word (which 3 and Vodafone had done), not even remotely imaginable. It would not be surprising if it had been at this point that the fateful word rang in the rooms of One Infinite Loop: "Dealbreaker", "when too much, too much".
How strategic this story could be in the general picture can be understood considering the fact that today Tim is the only operator in the world to have iPhone but not iPad in his offer.
That Apple and Tim are really at loggerheads if not farewell to be demonstrated. In order for the definitive break to take place, numerous variables must have been put in place, starting with the legal ones that can allow the release of the agreement to end with those of opportunity (Apple can really afford to close with the first Italian mobile operator? Tim can give up the cell phone more image in the world?). Waiting for an answer that could also arrive very soon, what our sources give for sure that at the date of today in Italy there is an agreement for iPhone 4 only with Vodafone and 3, but not with Tim which would be exactly the same situation lived with on the eve of the iPad launch. Even at that moment everyone thought it was completely impossible that Tim (even Tim herself who had prepared and communicated the plans given to some journalists) remained out of the game and instead happened.