Virgin Australia to launch iPhone?

Summary:Australia's telecommunications industry is abuzz with strong speculation that Virgin Mobile Australia will start selling Apple's 3G iPhone handset in the next two weeks.

Australia's telecommunications industry is abuzz with strong speculation that Virgin Mobile Australia will start selling Apple's 3G iPhone handset in the next two weeks.

CNET.com.au and sister site ZDNet.com.au have been unable to confirm the veracity of the speculation, but details passed along by independent parties appear to confirm the timing of the launch.

Multiple users on the CNET.com.au forums have also claimed Virgin would soon launch the handset in Australia.

A spokesperson for Virgin Mobile declined to deny the speculation, but said the company had "nothing to announce at this time".

So far the iPhone has only been sold in Australia by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone and the telcos' resellers. Customers can also buy the handset from Apple's Sydney retail store, although they must sign up to a monthly plan when doing so, or pay an extra fee to unlock the handset after signing up to an Optus plan.

Virgin Mobile Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of the nation's number two telco Optus, which has claimed to have captured the lion's share of the local iPhone market. However, it remains unclear if the relationship would allow Virgin to sell Apple's popular handset.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Optus, Telcos, Telstra

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