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Apple Expands Watch Distribution in UK

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Vodafone tapped to sell Apple Watch wireless plans

Apple (AAPL) has added Vodafone (VOD) as a carrier distributor of its latest smartwatch model, the Apple Watch Series 4. Vodafone serves some 17.5 million wireless customers across the UK, making it one of the country’s largest mobile operators. BT Group’s EE is the UK’s largest mobile operator with about 30 million subscribers. When Apple launched the first cellular-capable Apple Watch Series 3 last year, EE was handed the exclusive rights to sell wireless plans for the gadget in the UK.

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Accelerating sales in UK

The Apple Watch Series 4 can make calls and connect to the Internet even if the iPhone it is paired with is switched off, making it a more independent device that can draw huge consumer interest. The addition of Vodafone for Apple Watch Series 4 distribution in the UK could help Apple accelerate product sales.

Revenue rose 37% in watch category

In the US, Apple has partnered with all the major operators to distribute and sell wireless plans for its Apple Watch. On Verizon’s (VZ) network, Apple has access to 152.7 million potential watch buyers. On AT&T’s (T) and T-Mobile’s (TMUS) networks, Apple is getting exposure to 147.3 million and 75.6 million potential watch buyers, respectively. The cellular-capable Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $499.

Apple reports watch sales under its Other Products category where revenue rose 37% year-over-year to $3.7 billion in the company’s fiscal third quarter, which ended in June.

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