Optus in iPhone talks?

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The Bangkok Post, a Thai daily newspaper, is reporting that Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), who owns the Australian telco Optus, is in talks with Apple to gain exclusive rights in the Asia-Pacific region; which could see Australian customers pleased.

Advanced Info Systems (AIS, has been discussing phone volumes, marketing terms and the business model with Apple over the past few months.

Optus spokeswoman Melissa Clare has declined to comment on the report, but a SingTel spokesperson had confirmed that it was in discussions with Apple to launch the iPhone in Singapore.

SingTel has a 21.4 percent stake in AIS, and hold similar or greater interests in Asian operators including Warid Telecom (Pakistan), APT Satellite (Honk Kong), Bharti Group (India), Glove Telecom (The Philippines), New Century Infocomm (Taiwan), Pacific Bangaladesh Telecom and Telkomsel (Indonesia).

SingTel has also operations in Japan, Vietnam, Korea, China and the Middle East.

However, Apple skills in negotiating has taken a beating in the last few weeks with China Mobile ending talks after it couldn’t agree over revenue-sharing terms.

Apple is also have said to be in discussions with NTT DoCoMo and Softbank to launch the iPhone in Japan.

However, even though the Apple iPhone is not officially launched in Australia; enthusiasts have been “unlocking” the phones that have been purchased overseas or from eBay to work on Telstra an Vodafone.

Apple has sold 4 million iPhones globally after it was launched in the US, UK, France and Germany.

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