updated 09:15 am EST, Tue November 13, 2007
Italy next iPhone market?
The iPhone's next European market may well be Italy, probing into the firmware has revealed. Code strings show that amongst the PLIST hooks in the software is an entry called "TIM_Italy.plist," accompanying references to the other official iPhone carriers: AT&T, O2 (UK), Orange (France) and T-Mobile (Germany). TIM is an abbreviation of Telecom Italia Mobile, a company partly owned by Telefonica, which also operates O2 in the UK. This suggests that Apple has already selected its Italian partner, and most likely as a result of exisitng connections with another carrier.
Aiding speculation is the presence of Italian in the latest iPhone firmware update, which added a select number of foreign languages and keyboards. Notably, however, there have been no previous rumors or suggestions that Italy or Telecom Italia would be picked, and some past code leaks have pointed in inaccurate directions. Prior to Apple's official announcements for O2, T-Mobile and Orange, there were numerous reports indicating both those carriers and the likes of Vodafone, which has since gone on to refuse the iPhone until it has 3G broadband.