APPLE is on the verge of partnering with Telefónica’s O2 to bring the iPhone to the UK. The phone will operate on O2’s 2.5G network, not the faster 3G standard. Reports circled earlier this week claiming that Apple will partner with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile to release the phone in Germany.

CABLE PROVIDERS are preparing to raise set-top box rental rates to cover the expense of releasing CableCARD-ready boxes, as mandated by the FCC. COMCAST has already revealed plans to spread the increased exspense among all cable box renters, and cable groups are estimating a $3 rise in monthly rental price. The new rule went into effect this past Sunday, almost a full decade after originally planned by the FCC.

3, the British mobile network provider, has seen rapid adoption of its free, ad-supported mobile TV service. The service was released in April, and has already been used by 15% of 3’s customers in Britain. Over six million video clips have been viewed, featuring 30 second pre- and post-rolls from Microsoft, Unilever, and several other advertisers. The average CPM is roughly $141.

DIGITAL MUSIC SALES are up 49% over last year at this time. Over 400 million digital tracks have been sold so far. Album sales, however, are trending sharply in the opposite direction. According to Nielsen SoundScan, albums sales have fallen 15% in the United States this year.

About Shelly Palmer

Named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Technology, Shelly Palmer is CEO of The Palmer Group, a strategy, design and engineering firm focused at the nexus of technology, media and marketing. He is Fox 5 New York's on-air tech and digital media expert, writes a weekly column for Adweek, and is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC. Follow @shellypalmer or visit or subscribe to our daily email

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"MediaBytes 07.05.07" by @ShellyPalmer

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