Tuesday, May 13, 2008

*extracted from straitstimes.com

Apple's iPhone to be sold here by year-end

By Chua Hian Hou

Apple is expected to announce a new, 3G version of the iPhone at a developer conference next month. -- PHOTO: APPLE

THE Apple iPhone will be officially sold here in the next few months.
Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) announced on Monday that it had clinched a deal with the gadget's maker, Apple, to launch the device here later this year. It did not say when it would launch the device, or give any details on pricing.

While rival operators StarHub and MobileOne (M1) did not make any official announcements regarding the iPhone, StarHub spokesman Michael Sim said that 'we expect all three operators in Singapore would be offering the iPhone by the end of the year'.

SingTel, StarHub, and M1 had been in discussions with Apple to bring in the device Time Magazine hailed as 2007's device of the year, but negotiations had reportedly stalled due to Apple's unprecedented insistence on an revenue-sharing model.

Apple typically signs exclusive distributorship deals with one operator per market, pocketing a 10 to 30 per cent of phone revenues from its partner. This is usually the main reason operators in countries like China refuse to carry the iPhone.

When news broke last week that both Vodafone and Telecom Italia would be selling the device in Italy, it sparked rumours that Apple had finally dropped its insistence on revenue-sharing in order to capture a larger market share.

Apple spokesman Jill Tan declined to say if it had a revenue-sharing model with SingTel.