Apple channel could be cut out of iPhone action

Resellers wanting to sell the iPhone must become Vodafone or Optus partners

Apple resellers wanting a slice of the iPhone action will not be able to access the units unless they sign up as Vodafone or Optus dealers.

In an email sent to resellers and sighted by ARN, Apple distributor, Simms International, disclosed it would not be distributing the product, and instead encouraged resellers to set up Vodafone or Optus accounts. In the letter, the distributor claimed partnerships with either mobile network operator provides resellers with the opportunity to complement their portfolio with a complete mobile set-up.

Unlike the US, where Apple resellers have missed out on the chance to sell the iPhone due to its exclusive arrangement with AT&T, local Apple resellers have the opportunity, for now, to partner up with the carriers if they want to sell the device, Simms stated.

Apple announced earlier this week that the iPhone 3G would be arriving in Australia on July 11 through Vodafone and Optus. The handset will be available on both contract and pre-paid plans. Pricing has not been disclosed.

The latest iPhone handset features 3G networking (HDSPA) capabilities, built-in GPS and iPhone 2.0 software to support Microsoft Exchange ActivSync.