iPhone Previews Future Sales Strategy

Apple is going to start formally selling the iPhone in Italy through two carriers: Telecom Italia and Vodafone. It marks a strategy shift for Apple, which had previously pursued exclusive carrier deals with a corresponding demand for a piece of subscriber revenues. (Although European law requires Apple to sell the phone more broadly.)

This was a greedy and short-sighted strategy on Apple's part. Now the company appears to be recognizing that the task at hand is to get the device into as many hands as possible before more viable competitors emerge.

Even though demand for the iPhone has been very strong, wide availability through multiple carriers would boost sales considerably -- at least in the US. A 3G version is expected in June of this year.