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Friday, May 16, 2008, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)

Orange to offer 3G iPhone in Africa, Mid East, and Europe

Orange, the exclusive provider of iPhones in France, announced Friday a new deal with Apple that will see it expand distribution and service of the device to additional European countries, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.

Specifically, the French carrier said that later this year it will provide details on availability for Austria, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, and its existing African markets.

A spokesperson for Orange parent company France Telecom told Reuters that the carrier will be the exclusive iPhone provider in Belgium and Romania, with co-exclusive or non-exclusive deals in other countries.

Orange joins Swisscom and SingTel, which also announced iPhone deals this week. Swisscom earned the rights to sell the device later this year in Switzerland, while SingTel through its subsidiaries said it would market the phone in Singapore, India, the Philippines and Australia.

Earlier this month, America Movil said it would offer the Apple handset throughout Latin America, while Vodafone announced deals for Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey.

Telecom Italia Mobile will also be selling the iPhone in Italy, and Rogers will market the device in Canada.