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Czech T-Mobile Sold 5,000 iPhones Since Local Launch

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PRAGUE (Dow Jones) T Mobile Czech Republic, a Czech unit of Deutsche Telekom's, Thursday said it has sold more than 5,000 iPhones and expects all three local cellular operators to sell some 50,000 Apple smart phone units by year end.

Local T-Mobile along with its two major local competitors, Czech units of Telefonica and Vodafone Group, launched iPhone sales Aug. 22 amid a U.S.-style marketing fanfare, uncommon in central Europe, which included opening their branded stores at midnight.

T-Mobile Czech Republic's spokeswoman Martina Kemrova said sales figures were in line with expectations.

Unlike conventional mobile phones, smart phones let users browse the Internet, check e-mail and feature computer-like calendar and contact book applications.

"In the Czech Republic Vodafone has sold over 5,000 iPhones," company's spokesman Filip Hruby said. "We expect to sell a few tens of thousands by the year-end."

Hruby declined to comment on the local iPhone marketing campaign but a person close to the company said the product's launch had been excessive.

"Although iPhone sales are slightly higher than other types of smart phones, they are very small despite heavy marketing because Czechs aren't used to this kind of hype," the person said.

O2, a leading local cellular operator and a unit of Telefonica, said it doesn't unveil iPhone sales data.

Local media said far iPhone sales by local mobile operators are dwarfed by several tens of thousands of earlier-generation iPhones bought unofficially by local customers before Aug. 22 via gray imports from the U.S.

-By Leos Rousek, Dow Jones Newswires; +420 222 191 374; leos.rousek@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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Tags: t-mobile  iphone  apple  o2  telefonica  vodafone  telefonica,  Czech Republic