Globes online, an Israeli business publication, is reporting that Apple is finalizing up details that would see the iPhone officially launch in Israel on Israeli carriers in mid-October. According to the report, Apple has already approached an Israeli anti-trust body to ensure that its deal with 3 separate Israeli carriers “will not be ruled as restraint of trade” and to avoid potential disputes and problems down the line.
News that Apple is prepping deals with 3 separate carriers signals a fundamental shift in Apple’s strategy when entering a new foreign market, which in the past has consisted of picking the biggest carrier in the region and signing them up to an exclusive iPhone distributorship deal, a’la its deal with AT&T here in the US.
Getting back to the restraint of trade issue mentioned above, the reason why Apple is keen on covering its behind is because Apple implements relatively stringent standards that carriers must follow if they want to sell the iPhone, such as precluding non-Apple logos from appearing on the device, and dictating a firm and consistent selling price. This type of deal with one carrier isn’t that big of a deal, but when all of a nations largest carriers are involved, trade issues inevitably become more of a concern.
But if everything goes off without a hitch, and we have no reason to believe it won’t, the iPhone will be hitting the streets of Tel Aviv on October 15th.