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Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple preparing to launch iPhone in 29 more countries

Apple is gearing up for its third and final phase of international iPhone expansion during the 2008 calendar year, which will include launches in Russia, Brazil and Egypt, but not China or Korea.

Phase 3

Some of those launches are expected to take place as early as this weekend. E-mails sent to AppleInsider readers this week from local carriers imply the device will be available in both Brazil and South Africa this Friday, September 26th.

In total, Apple plans to announce iPhone availability in 29 additional countries, expanding its global footprint from 44 nations today to 73 by the end of the year.

A complete list of countries expected to be part of the phase 3 launch includes Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Niger, Panama, Russia, Qatar, Senegal, South Africa, Turkey, and Venezuela.

Phase 1

Apple's first phase iPhone 3G launch took place on July 11th, when it announced availability in 22 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US.

Phase 2

On August 22nd, the Cupertino-based company expanded distribution to 22 additional markets (1, 2, 3) with launches in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Liechtenstein, Macau, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, and Uruguay.

Apple has long stated that it planned to be selling the iPhone in more than 70 countries by the end of the year, though it had not previously provided a complete list of those nations.

Some notable omissions from the list of 29 phase 3 countries are China and Korea, where regulatory bodies appear to be complicating the launch process.