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Apple (AAPL) is expanding its iPhone empire with near Alexandrian initiative.
Today, the company struck an extensive deal with France Telecom’s (FTE.PA) Orange wireless carrier to distribute the device in more than 10 markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
Orange, which became Apple’s exclusive carrier partner in France last year, will soon sell the iPhone in Austria, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland, as well as the company’s African markets.
Interestingly, a few of these countries already have carriers with iPhone distribution agreements. It would seem then that Apple is indeed moving away from the exclusive iPhone distribution arrangements it’s been inking, as many suggested last week when Vodafone (VOD) and Telecom Italia (TI-A) both announced plans to bring the iPhone to Italy.
In any event, Apple’s deal with Orange will expand the iPhone’s reach to about 40 countries and will effectively quadruple its total addressable market. “Currently Apple’s total addressable market includes 153 million subscribers in six countries with AT&T (T), T-Mobile Germany and Austria, O2, and Orange,” Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster observed in a research note today. “These announcements increase those numbers to 575 million subscribers in 42 countries, including recent agreements with Vodafone, SingTel, America Movil (AMX), Swisscom and Orange. … To give some context to these numbers, Apple sold 3.7 million iPhones in 2007 into a total addressable market of 148 million subscribers (or 3% penetration). Taking the recent carrier announcements into consideration, we are modeling for Apple’s penetration rate to remain at 3% in 2008 and double to 6% in 2009.”