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Euro iPhone carrier; iTunes video service; McCartney on iTunes

Vodafone may not be the only European wireless carrier under consideration for Apple's iPhone contract in Europe. Meanwhile, a prominent market research firm says video services like iTunes are just a "temporary flash" along the way to better alternatives. And it's official — one Beatle is on his way to iTunes.

T-Mobile's iPhone play

Germany-based T-Mobile may become the iPhone's official carrier for Europe, according to those close to the negotiations. Although it had been suggested that Vodafone would win — an implication the carrier publically denied — MarketingWeek reported last week that its rival at T-Mobile is favored as the sole outlet for iPhone sales in the continent.

Other Europe-wide providers such as O2 and Orange were said to have been in the running but unsuccessful in reaching the later stages of contract discssions. Terms of a possible deal weren't discussed but may be different than the multi-year exclusivity agreement Apple has signed with AT&T in the US.

"It would be in Apple's best interests to get more than one operator to distribute the phone because the European market is more fragmented than the US," one analyst told the publication.

T-Mobile does not operate in as many countries as Vodafone, and would be locked out of key European countries such as France, Italy, and Spain.

iTunes video service a dead-end?

Online video sites that sell shows and movies such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes will likely peak this year as more programming is made available on free outlets supported by advertising, claims the latest study from Forrester Research.

According to the firm, sales of movies and television shows are expected to almost triple to $279 million in 2007 from an estimated $98 million last year. But unless the average consumer begins paying for their online video en masse, growth in sales will likely peter out next year.

"In the video space, iTunes is just a temporary flash while consumers wait for better ways to get video. They're already coming," said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey, the author of the study, who also called the paid download video market a "dead end."

The firm estimated that sales growth is not likely to triple or even double in 2008 and beyond, after early adopters and media addicts have already started using the services.

iTunes lands a Beatle

Meanwhile, Macworld UK notes that EMI has confirmed plans to release the entire Paul McCartney solo catalogue through online music services for the first time (as first reported last week by Ars).

EMI Music has retained the former Beatles' solo catalogue and is preparing a comprehensive re-launch, including new digital campaigns as well as physical re-releases.

"Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles catalogue, spanning four decades, is one of the great treasures of popular music," said Tony Wadsworth, chairman and CEO, EMI Music UK. "EMI is proud to be introducing Paul’s music to the digital marketplace."

The catalogue includes Paul’s first solo album ‘McCartney’ through his releases with Wings to his latest critically-acclaimed studio album ‘Chaos And Creation In The Backyard’.

Singles to be released digitally will include: ‘Band On The Run’, ‘My Love’, ‘Let ‘Em In’, and ‘Jet’.