The big question with the iPhone in Singapore is which telco will win exclusive rights to sell the handset here? It has been anyone’s guess since the iPhone was launched in mid-2007, and all three of SingTel, MobileOne and StarHub at some point or other seemed to be the leading favourite.
Well, The Age has reported some interesting developments. Optus has emerged as the winner for exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in Australia. Thailand’s largest mobile operator, Advanced Info Service, is said to be negotiating a deal to bring the iPhone to Asia in collaboration with SingTel and Optus.
Just some background: Optus is a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel, which also owned 21.4% of Advanced Info Service.
It is still not clear when the 3G model of the iPhone would be available, and whether the iPhone launch in Singapore or this region would be the 3G version or not. Apple’s CEO Steve Job had explained that battery life issues prevented them from releasing a 3G iPhone at the outset.
Both iTWire and IntoMobile reported reported about a 3G iPhone coming to Europe in May 2008. With 3G already quite prevalent in Singapore, a 2.5G iPhone may not go down very well with mobile phone users here.
Here’s a link to all the 3G iPhone rumours.