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Monday, November 17, 2008, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

Apple to launch iPhone in Taiwan next month

Chunghwa Telecom said Friday it has won the exclusive right to begin selling Apple's iPhone 3G in Taiwan ahead of the December holiday season.

The company "has signed a contract with Apple, and will provide third- generation iPhone services in Taiwan before the end of the year," the carrier said in brief statement.

Although no further details were provided, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported Saturday that Apple granted the telecoms firm the exclusive right to sell iPhones because of its large sales channel.

Chunghwa Telecom is Taiwan's largest phone company, operating 300 retail shops across the region in addition to some 200 other stores it runs with partner Senao International.

According to DigiTimes, gray-market iPhone 3Gs imported from New Zealand, Hong Kong and the US have been available for sale in Taiwan for a while, with prices ranging from NT$22,000-24,900 (US$667-755) for an 8GB model.

In related news, Movistar on Saturday began selling the iPhone 3G in Venezuela — the only Latin American country that had yet to see availability of the Apple handset.