• Singapore's M1 Inks Deal with Apple

    Image via straitstimes

    Overnight, PC World published the official word that Singapore's MobileOne Ltd has announced a deal early this morning with Apple to begin selling the iPhone to Singapore consumers before the end of 2009.

    "M1 looks forward to offering iPhone and a range of tailored service plans to customers in Singapore. More information on pricing, tariffs and availability dates will be released in due course," the company said in a brief statement.
    The deal between M1 and Apple is significant because it ends yet another Asian nation's lone-company-lock on the iPhone's distribution. Since the summer of 2008, when the iPhone first debuted in Singapore, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) had exclusively offered the device.

    The iPhone handsets sold by SingTel are not locked to the carrier, but customers must sign a two-year contract when they buy one.
    In terms of the world stage, Apple continues taking aggressive steps to revise or update formerly exclusive deals with foreign operators. In Europe, for example, Apple scrapped its exclusive deal with Orange, a move that is now fostering new carrier opportunities in France for iPhone customers. The same goes for Vodafone and Orange, two companies that will begin selling the iPhone throughout the UK next year. That move effectively knocks out O2's exclusivity.

    Fortunately, it doesn't appear that Apple's burgeoning partnerships in Asia are causing any hard feelings, as even telecommunications companies in the region see the increased competition as good for everyone. When the deal with MobileOne was announced, SingTel responded with a positive reaction, despite losing its lock on the iPhone in Singapore. "SingTel is pleased to have been the first operator to bring both the iPhone and iPhone 3GS to Singapore," SingTel said in a statement. "We will continue to collaborate with apple in introducing the latest products to Singapore."
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