Update: January, 29 2008
Dennis Sellers over at Macsimum News posted an article today on the rumored multi-nation Pacific Rim iPhone launch > SingTel deal could be a big deal for Apple
Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) may be using its holdings and control of regional telecom companies to win a contract with Apple and coordinate a multi-nation Apple iPhone launch. The launch could involve seven different carriers in as many nations and bring iPhone to a subscriber base of 136 million. Apple conveniently has a major campus in Singapore.
The Thai Daily, Bangkok Post and Australian IT are reporting that Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) is in talks with Apple on a coordinated iPhone distribution plan throughout the Pacific Rim. SingTel is in a position to aid with logistics and planning. Australia’s Optus is a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel and the Singapore carrier has significant holdings in telecom companies throughout the region. SingTel website reports the group’s major telecom investments include:
v AIS in Thailand (21% owned by SingTel)
v Optus in Australia (wholly owned by SingTel)
v Bharti Telecom Group in India
v Globe Telecom in the Philippines
v Pacific Bangladesh Telecom (PBTL) in Bangladesh
v Telkomsel in Indonesia
v Warid Telecom in Pakistan
In combination, the companies above have more than 136 million mobile customers. This is the largest mobile customer base in Asia outside of China.