Singapore’s MobileOne (M1) in iPhone talks with Apple

“Singapore’s third-largest telecommunications company MobileOne Ltd., or M1, “is in discussions with Apple Inc. to bring the iPhone to Asia,” The Associated Press reports.

“Apple launched the iPhone in Europe this past Friday and in the U.S. earlier this year. The Asian launch has been set for next year. Apple is hoping to sell 10 million of the phones in 2008,” AP reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike in Helsinki” for the heads up.]


  1. Well, I can’t speak for Denmark, but as for Canada, I’m pretty sure that Steve Jobs is serious about reasonably priced plans to go with the iPhone. Ted Rogers, on the other hand, thinks he can make a lot more money raping customers than by allowing them reasonable plans on an iPhone. Since Ted has the only GSM network in the country, he is under no pressure to try it Steve’s way.

    Personally, I think that if he came out with the iPhone and a US style plan, Telus and Bell would be folding their wireless tents after a year. However, Ted is the gazzillionaire, and I got nuthin’.

  2. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but Singapore is a city-state with the population of about five million people. How many iPhones are expected to be sold there?

    There are places on this planet that have much greater size of the potential market than Singapore. Is there a special reason why Apple is even entertaining the idea before cracking much larger nuts (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand…)?

  3. Is “bringing the iPhone to Asia” synonymous with the concept of only bringing the iPhone to Singapore?

    Could M1 bring the phone to all of Asia? Or are they only capable of bringing it to Singapore?

    I’m not sure how the markets are segmented in that part of the world.

  4. “Hello, Apple, we’ve changed our minds…..hello? hello? hello?”

    …”The party you are trying to reach is unavailable right now. Please be assured that Apple will get back to you as soon as they finish negotiating deals in China, India, Singapore, and the rest of Asia. Your country has been placed in alphabetical order and rest assured Mr Rogers, Apple will consider your revised proposal before any proposal from Denmark…”

  5. Allow me to explain reasons why Apple chose Singapore to launch the iPhone in Asia.
    1) Market Penetration – Singapore has a >90% mobile phone penetration rate. That is nearly 4 million users, many of which are eager to lap up the latest phone models.
    2) Tradition – Singapore has since the 1980s handled distribution for Apple products throughout South-East Asia – including Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand like Predrag mentioned.
    3) The island is well-covered and serves as a great risk-free test bed. Search “sg” on Google Maps if you want to see the size of the place – the country is no larger than a typical city. It makes sense to send it to Singapore as a springboard for the immediate region. Besides, no point launching it in regions where production capacity would be immediately pulverized by explosive demand which would deprive phones for other markets during the end-of-year shopping season.

    I can’t be sure all of the above are accurate – feel free to correct me if I’m wrong in any way! Hope this sheds some light!

  6. Predrag and others: Part of the problem is compatible technology. Places like Japan are not GSM, and at this moment, the only version of the iPhone that exists is GSM. While CDMA iPhones will probably exist in the future, that is at least a year or more away.

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