iPhone facing challenges abroad

While the iPhone has officially launched in France, England, and Germany, Apple faces several challenges as it rolls out the device in other areas, reports Forbes. One of the main challenges, according to the report, is working out the network agreements in various regions. “If Apple is running into any impediments, it’s probably on the business side, making deals with operators,” says Charles Golvin, a principal analyst with Forrester Research. “As it looks abroad, Apple needs to do much more lengthy negotiations than its peers do.” The article suggests that while Apple has committed to an Asian release in 2008, it is also likely to target areas where its brand is popular. “One might imagine they would go after countries where they have found success with the iPod or the Mac,” says Golvin. Other analysts suggest the company may analyze iTunes usage when deciding where to head next.

Apart from network agreements, the device also faces compatibility problems in regions such as Japan and South Korea, and its lack of 3G capability may prove to be a problem in countries like Italy, Portugal, and Sweden. “We’ll look at the iPhone when it becomes 3G,” says Boris Nemsic, chief executive of Telekom Austria Group. Previously, AT&T chief Randall Stephenson said that a 3G iPhone will be available next year.

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