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May 16, 2008

Orange to Sell iPhone in Europe, Middle East and Africa

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Orange said that it has inked a new agreement with Apple to bring the iPhone (News - Alert) to Orange customers in Austria, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland and Orange’s African markets later this year.

The company did not provide any additional details about the terms of the agreement.
Orange will be the exclusive iPhone provider in Belgium and Romania, with co-exclusive or non-exclusive deals in other countries, Bertrand Deronchaine, a spokesperson from France Telecom (News - Alert) told the Associated Press.
Last year in October, Apple selected Orange as its iPhone operator in France, and the smartphone was launched there in November. Orange is a wireless subsidiary of France Telecom, one of the leading telecommunications operators in France.
This latest deal follows a string of announcements recently made by prominent carriers that they have signed a deal to sell iPhone. Rogers Communications (News - Alert) will sell the device in Canada and Milan-based Telecom Italia SpA will sell the iPhone in Italy.
Earlier this month, Vodafone (News - Alert) Group PLC, said that it will sell iPhone in a total of ten countries: Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey. Indian telecommunications company Airtel has also signed a deal with Apple to offer iPhone in India.
While SingTel will sell the gadget in Singapore, Globe Telecom (News - Alert) will sell iPhone in the Philippines and Optus in Australia.
AP reports that these announcements will help Apple meet its goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of this year. Data from the end of March showed Apple having sold 5.4 million iPhones so far.
Last year in June, Apple launched iPhone in the U.S. Then, later in 2007, Apple allied  with T-Mobile to offer iPhone in Germany, and also partnered with O2 in the U.K
According to media reports, Apple’s online store listed the iPhone as “unavailable,” this week, raising speculation that the company is reducing inventory before the introduction of an updated version of the device, expected to be unveiled in July.
Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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