updated 09:25 am EDT, Mon May 19, 2008
Two Asian countries may be engaging in an unusual deal in order to secure the iPhone, according to rumors. Japan's NTT DoCoMo and South Korea's KTF are said by Telecoms Korea to be in talks for a joint release, though the reason for combining the pair's efforts is unknown. The two countries do however rely on W-CDMA broadband, as opposed to the HSPA the 3G iPhone is expected to use in regions such as Canada and the US. It may thus make sense for KTF and DoCoMo to cooperate on a shared iPhone format.
Apple is known to have discussed the iPhone with NTT DoCoMo in the past, but talks have not made any public progress. Beyond the market requiring a separate form of 3G, issues may include a traditional Japanese policy, under which phones are rebranded for individual carriers regardless of who makes them. Apple does not allow the rebranding of any of its products.