Orange franchisee Partner Communications Ltd. has signed an agreement with Apple
Inc. franchisee iDigital Ltd. to directly sell iPad 3s, after Partner had
previously refused Apple’s demands to commit to a minimum number of
Cellcom Israel Ltd. has agreed to Apple’s demand and signed an
agreement which gave it iPad 3 marketing exclusivity until Partner and Bezeq
Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. mobile unit Pelephone Communications Ltd.
decided whether to accept Apple’s condition.
Sources inform Globes that
Apple had initially demanded a commitment to sell tens of thousands of iPad 3s
over three years, with some sources estimating the figure at 100,000 units a
year, but was unable to obtain permission for this.
The mobile carriers
faced a dilemma, because the iPad is not like an iPhone, and committing to
selling such a large number of units was liable to remain an unmet promise,
given the presence in the market of tablets that are almost as good as the iPad
3, which was not the case when the iPhone was launched.
with mobile carriers are meticulous and explicit, and, in the past, Apple did
not hesitate to intervene and suspend the marketing of a particular device if
the mobile carrier failed to comply with its terms. Partner may have made a
calculated risk that Apple may not like iDigital’s agreement with Partner, and
order iDigital to cancel it.
Partner’s share price rose 3.3 percent by
early afternoon on the TASE to NIS 28.30, after rising 2.5% on Nasdaq Monday to
$7.26, giving a market cap of $1.1 billion.