iPhone in Thailand, O2's iPhone sales, MacBook Air unboxed, more

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Apple is discussing bringing the iPhone to Thailand, local carrier Advanced Info Service says. Also, British carrier O2's iPhone sales may be low but have tripled store activity, while Japanese press got the world's first taste of unpacking the MacBook Air.

Thai iPhone talks underway

Thailand telecom firm Advanced Info Service (AIS) is in talks with Apple to offer the iPhone in the southeast Asian country, company assistant marketing VP Prattana Leelapanang has confirmed on Monday.

The executive has not said whether the talks are close to their conclusion but notes that, as with other carriers already offering the iPhone, AIS is in the midst of negotiating a revenue sharing plan.

Apple's move makes Thailand the third provider in Asia known to be discussing the introduction of the iPhone, with China Mobile and Japan's NTT DoCoMo both having acknowledged high-level meetings between themselves and the Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics giant.

O2 sells 190,000 iPhones, sees store traffic boost

The UK's official iPhone carrier, O2, has sold 190,000 handsets in the two months since its launch on November 9th, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Citing anonymous sources, the paper says about 190,000 Apple handsets have traded hands since launch. This may fall underneath a "conservative" 200,000 figure and suggests that Apple's £269 ($524) price is too high for customers used to far less expensive devices, the report says.

O2 has not published its official figures but says that its retail store traffic has tripled compared to a year ago courtesy of the iPhone. The spike is believed to have provided a surge in O2's sales for the end of 2007 regardless of how many customers eventually chose the iPhone over an alternative.

MacBook Air's ultra-minimal box revealed in Japan

Apple chief Steve Jobs' claims of reducing Apple's packaging volume for the MacBook Air by 50 percent versus the MacBook has been confirmed through a photo gallery posted by an attendee of Apple Japan's press event for the new subnotebook.

Where the normal-sized MacBook still ships with a foam shield, the Air's box contains no foam at all — just a tray deep enough to hold the portable. A paper pull tab reveals all the accessories and software hidden in a section underneath the computer.

In an additional treat, the Japanese event also reveals that the MacBook Air is roughly half the thickness of the Sony VAIO SZ despite sharing the common trait of a 13.3-inch screen.

MacBook Air box (closed)

MacBook Air box (closed)

MacBook Air box (closed)

MacBook Air box (closed)

Microsoft ahead of Apple in allowing home OS virtual machines

As part of a series of virtualization-related announcements, Microsoft on Monday opened up its licensing agreements to allow Home Basic and Premium versions of Windows Vista to run within virtual machines.

In the past, only advanced editions of the OS — Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise — were allowed to be used in these environments. This has stopped Parallels and other software developers from officially supporting the more accessible and inexpensive versions.

By contrast, Apple has only just begun to allow Mac OS X virtualization: the company's Leopard Server license agreement is the first to allow Mac virtual machines. It also requires a separately licensed copy of Leopard Server in place of either the standard Mac OS X Leopard client or an additional license for the same copy.