France’s Orange in deal to roll out iPhone to Europe and beyond

PARIS, May 16, 2008 (AFP) – French wireless carrier Orange announced a deal Friday to bring Apple’s iPhone to more than a dozen countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. The deal was announced some 10 days after British mobile phone carrier Vodafone said it would distribute the handset to customers in 10 countries by the end of the year, including South Africa and Australia.

Orange, a France Telecom subsidiary, said it would sell the iPhone in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland.

It will also take the multimedia phone to Orange’s markets in Senegal, Mali and Botswana. Orange has for the past six months been bringing the iPhone to customers in France.

Apple has sealed deals with providers in Asia to distribute the iPhone, launched in June, to Singapour, India, the Philippines and is in secret talks to sell it in Japan and China.

It has said it is targeting sales of 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008.