Apple inching to iPhone Chinese, Thailand launch

Apple seems set to unleash its iPhone in Thailand and China, though the latter launch may be delayed until 2009 on the basis that the company recently reduced its manufacturing orders for the device.

True Move, Thailand’s third largest mobile operator, has announced a deal with Apple to distribute the iPhone 3G in the country, according to Reuters.

Rival carriers AIS and DTAC remain in talks with Apple, as the deal is non-exclusive, the report explains. There’s already an estimated 100,000 unlocked iPhones in use in Thailand, a second report claims.

That Apple intends a Chinese launch for the device is clear, now a job posting has appeared on the company’s recruitment pages that seeks out an iPhone Quality Assurance Engineer in Beijing to “focus on international releases of our iPhone and iPod touch products for Beijing.”

Launching the product in the country has been a challenge. Initial talks with China Mobile have so far failed on strength of multiple objections by the carrier, and the 3G technology used in the country is different from that adopted by Apple in the iPhone 3G. There’s clamour claiming Apple may even release a new model iPhone specifically for China in order to enter the market there.

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