Saturday, May 17, 2008

iPhone's reach expands further into Middle East, Africa

Cellular operator Orange announced Friday that it will sell the iPhone in most of the markets it serves sometime later of this year.

Two of the countries, Portugal and Egypt, will also see the iPhone available from another carrier, Vodafone. This continues Apple's apparent strategy of choosing broader deployment over exclusive deals.

Other countries listed in the announcement were Austria, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Jordan, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, and African markets. In Belgium and Romania, Apple has granted Orange exclusive rights to the phone.

Two other companies have also announced deals in the past week. Swisscom will be selling the phone alongside Orange in Switzerland, and SingTel will offer the phone in Singapore, India, the Philippines and Australia.

It is fairly likely, considering the current stock of the device, that these markets will not see the phone until after the launch of the new 3G model, widely expected to happen in June.

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