Apple COO Tim Cook said we'd see the iPhone in Asia by the end of 2008, and see it we did in China and Hong Kong! Er... oops, he meant officially, didn't he? Well, then, Ars Technica (via Thompson) reports that SingTel might just make Singapore the first Asian nation to introduce Poppa Jobs' pocket universe-dent'er:
The information comes from "industry sources," and indicates that the iPhone will appear in Singapore in September. The sources don't have any information on whether or not a package deal that includes Australia and Thailand has been reached, and I wouldn't be surprised to see news or rumors concerning those countries start popping up. SingTel and Apple aren't talking just yet (not that we expected them to).
Singapore allegedly boasts over 10,000 unlocked iPhones already, but if they go legit that'll bring our official score to:
|Europe||North Am.||South Am||Asia||Africa||Oceania||Antarctica|
Rumors (via Apple Insider) suggest Apple may even be willing to drop its revenue sharing model in exchange for the up-front carrier subsidies more common to the industry.
What gives? No Visual Voicemail in Ireland. No unlimited data in Austria. And now no revenue sharing in Singapore? Is Apple getting beaten down by the very carrier domination they seemed so poised to uproot? Or is Apple's business model really, as Tim Cook suggested, flexible as an 8 year old gymnast when it comes to getting the iPhone in countries?
Maybe when the Canadian model finally debuts with no Visual Voicemail, a heft 1MB of data, and Rogers' branded WAP browser in lieu of Safari, all for the low-low price of $199 a month for 100 min., we'll have our answer!