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5/28/2008
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As 3G iPhone Gets Close, Apple Signs Deals In More Countries

Apple has inked deals or is close to signing deals with service providers to sell the iPhone in Norway, Sweden, Latin America, and Singapore.

With the debut of upgraded iPhone models expected early next month, Apple continues to sign up new international service providers in deals likely sweetened by iPhones that are expected to take advantage of faster wireless networks.

In the Netherlands, Royal KPN NV said it is talking with Apple about obtaining rights to market iPhones to its Dutch subscribers. Sweden's TeliaSonera said this week that it will market the iPhone in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

For consumers interested in surfing the Internet, the current iPhones have been something of a disappointment because they haven't been able to take advantage of the faster 3G networks. That's expected to change during the week of June 9 when Apple announces its new iPhone models, including at least one 3G version, at its worldwide developers conference in San Francisco.

An iPhone with high-speed 3G capability is almost mandatory if Apple hopes to crack the tough market in Japan, where many consumers already are accustomed to surfing the Internet at 3G speeds. Japanese mobile phone subscribers make up the majority of the world's mobile Internet users.

According to media reports from Japan, Apple has been in talks with NTT DoCoMo and Softbank about marketing iPhones.

Additional international carriers have recently signed on to market the anticipated new iPhone models. Earlier this month, America Movil said it will sell iPhones in its Latin American markets. On the other side of the world, Singapore's SingTel and its affiliates plan to market the Apple phones in Singapore, India, the Philippines, and Australia.

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