Talks between Apple and mobile networks worldwide on plans to introduce iPhone to different markets appear to be intensifying.
Recent discussions appear to have been taking place between Apple and Japan's DoCoMo, Belgium's Mobistar, and KPN in the Netherlands.
These discussions follow relatively recent suggestions Apple has held initial discussions with mobile networks in China, and claims the company has chosen Swisscom for the Swiss launch of the device; Telecom Italia for Italy and Telefonica for Spain.
It's widely-surmised Apple may announce a fresh wave of partners next week to coincide with the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, which the company isn't officially listed as visiting.
DoCoMo chief financial officer Masayuki Hirata yesterday characterised talks between the two firms as focused on technological matters and revenue sharing.
“The handset is easy to use and can open new markets, which makes this an interesting proposition,” Hirata said. “We are in continuous contact with the company, but the specifics are still in the future.”
Rival Japanese carriers KDDI and Softbank have both previously been claimed to have been in talks with Apple over the iPhone.
Dutch telecom operator KPN seems to be playing a tough game over launching the device there. The Financial Times reports he said: "I had one and I thought it was a pretty useless phone, to be quite honest," said Ad Scheepbouwer, CEO of KPN. "The battery ran out in no time. I didn’t like the touch screen." Despite these reservations, Scheepbouwer said his company would be happy to sell iPhone in the Netherlands.
Finally, Louis-Pierre Wenes, chief executive of Orange France, revealed his company to have sold 90,000 iPhones by the end of January.