Vodafone announced today that they will be partnering with Apple to sell the most-hyped gadget ever created aka the iPhone in 10 countries.
More details and a possible change in strategy by Apple available after the jump.
Vodafone will be selling the iPhone in the following countries: Australia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey.
The official announcement from Vodafone does not provide any details on when the iPhone will be released in the respective countries, however the fact that they have made an announcement now indicates that the release should be sometime in 2008 (rather then later). The Vodafone deal will help Apple in extending iPhone’s reach significantly thus enabling it to meet its guidance of selling 10 million iPhones by 2008.
However, the point that is interesting is Vodafone has not mentioned anything about exclusivity. If they were the exclusive carrier partners like AT&T has in US, Orange in France, T-Mobile in Germany & O2 in UK then they would have surely gloated about it. So it could indicate that Apple is looking to change strategy of having having two (or maybe more), rather than only one exclusive carrier partner in each market.
This theory has been further enforced by the announcement by Telecom Italia (just after Vodafone made their announcement) that they too will sell the iPhone in Italy. Even Telecom Italia has not provided any details on when the iPhone will be released.
MarketWatch reports that Apple spokesman declined to comment on the apparent shift in strategy.
It will be great to know your thoughts on Apple’s possible shift in strategy.
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