Mobile operators are said to be hoping for a significant boost in their image from the exclusive deal with Apple, as well as a pool of attractive customers with high rates of spending on calls and data transfers. iPhone had certainly played a significant role in increasing the sign up rates for AT&T in the US and had also uplifted their inferior image too.
iPhone is a class above the rest as its a device that had no subsidy from the operator from day 1. AT&T had bundled it with a 2 years contract in the US and I m sure its almost risk free for the 3 operators as they will be following similar strategy in Europe. iPhone sells by itself! The deal in Asia should be inked soon too as the wait for me seems to be forever.