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Monday, August 18, 2008, 04:30 pm PT (07:30 pm ET)

Second iPhone 3G carrier reaches Turkey as Russia nears deal

Those looking to buy an iPhone in Turkey will have a second choice besides Vodafone. Simultaneously, two Russian carriers have allegedly been tapped to carry the device.

Turkcell to carry iPhone 3G

Turkey's largest locally-owned carrier, Turkcell, announced on Monday that it would carry iPhone 3G for its subscribers and has posted a registration page for customers that want more information regarding the device.

In characteristic fashion for advance iPhone announcements, Turkcell hasn't disclosed its phone plans or launch date, and says only that it will release the iPhone "later this year." Turkey isn't part of the 21 countries so far selected as part of iPhone 3G's second wave on August 22nd.

Earlier this year, Turkey was already highlighted as a future recipient as part of a multi-nation Vodafone deal.

Russian carriers nearing iPhone deal?

Apple may soon end the absence of iPhones in one of its largest unserved countries, according to one claim.

Russian business paper Vedomosti on Monday cited unnamed sources asserting that the country's second- and third-largest carriers, VimpelCom and MegaFon, were in talks with Apple to offer the iPhone.

Bulk ordering requirements from the American carrier, however, are said to be complicating the matter. Carriers are allegedly being asked to purchase between 1 million and 1.5 million iPhones each — enough that the top three carriers would have to sell as many as 4.5 million devices over the life of the contract. That's as much as 12 percent of all Russian phone sales and nearly one third of the money involved, according to one local analyst.

By contrast, no one phone owns more than 2 percent of the market in Russia.

Apple hasn't commented on the claim, though company chief Steve Jobs in June said he hoped to have iPhone agreements in place for both China and Russia by the end of 2008.