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Monday, July 26, 2010, 05:35 am PT (08:35 am ET)

Apple to launch iPhone 4 in 17 more countries Friday

The international expansion of the iPhone 4 continues this week, as Apple's latest handset will launch in 17 new countries on Friday, July 30.

Beginning this Friday, customers can purchase iPhone 4 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The handset will be available for purchase through Apple's retail and online stores, as well as Apple Authorized Resellers.

The iPhone 4 first launched in the U.S., France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. in late June. It is available for a suggested retail price of $199 (U.S.) for the 16GB model and $299 (U.S.) for the 32GB model. Apple said its latest smartphone will roll out to many more countries later this year, and availability and local pricing will be announced at a later date.

Apple's rollout of the iPhone 4 represents the fastest international handset ramp-up yet for the Cupertino, Calif., company. It is expected to launch the iPhone 4 in 87 total countries by the end of September, a pace much faster than many who closely watch the company expected.

Though Apple is an American company, the international market has come to play a very important role for the iPhone maker. During last week's quarterly earnings conference call, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said the company's overseas numbers were "absolutely killer."

Apple's international expansion of the iPhone 4 on Friday will come just a week after one of the company's other blockbuster portable devices, the iPad, also saw its overseas market presence increase. Last Friday the iPad went on sale in nine new countries, many of which will also receive the iPhone 4 this week: Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.