SingTel to offer iPhone out East; TIM chief says 3G model in June

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Singapore-based SingTel has announced plans to offer Apple's iPhone in parts of Asia and Australia, while Telecom Italia Mobile's chief executive has pinpointed June as a time when Italians will be able to purchase a 3G model of the handset.

In a brief statement to the press on Monday, SingTel said it has signed an agreement with Apple to offer the iPhone in Singapore, India, the Philippines and Australia through its subsidiaries — Bharti Airtel, Globe and Optus— later this year.


The announcement indicates that SingTel will be the second wireless provider to offer the touch-screen handset in India and Australia, joining Vodafone which previously announced its intention to service those countries in the near term, along with eight other markets.

Meanwhile, ElectronicsWeekly's David Manners is reporting on a conversation he had with TIM chief executive Luigi Licciardi, in which the Italian mobile headman is said to have confirmed that a 3G iPhone will be available for purchase in Italy during the month of June.

"We will be selling an iPhone with 3G capability next month," he told Manners on a bus ride to dinner following the first day of the International Electronics Forum in Dubai.

Over the weekend, Apple's online stores in both the U.S. and U.K. abruptly stopped taking orders for the current versions of the iPhone.