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Apple ends iPhone exclusiveness Richard Seynfield | , 6:25 a.m. May 9, 2008 2008-05-09

Finally the UK based mobile giant Vodafone will be allowed to take Apple iPhones into their selection.

Vodafone plans to offer the popular cell in 10 different countries - assumedly without having to sell them with exclusive rights and obligations as are seen with other recent Apple partners.

According to a dpa press release, Italy will be the first county to see the iPhone being sold by more than just one distributer. There Vodafone is about to share the iPhone market with Telecom Italia.

Since the iPhone release Apple and Vodafone have never managed to work together. And since Apple was insisting on shared data transmission profits, Vodafone just didn't acquire any of exclusive rights for the iPhone at all. They did however try to sue themselves into a deal several times. But with new plans in motion this doesn't seem to be necessary anymore. Vodafone has risen from Apple's villain to loyal partner.

Right now the iPhone is only available in 5 different countries: USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, Austria and France. Those countries will remain in the stronghold of one of Apple's exclusive business partners for a while to come. Only Italy, Australia, India, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey will be included in the new Vodafone deal. Though it remains unclear whether all countries will see non-exclusive iPhone contracts as are soon to be seen in Italy.

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