Steve Jobs’ new friend: Vodafone, the wireless giant that will help Apple sell its phones in 10 new countries, starting “later this year.” Today, Vodafone said it would start selling Apple’s phones in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa, and Turkey.
We assume these markets won’t open up until Apple (AAPL) starts shipping its next-generation, 3G iPhone, which is expected to launch in June or July. Either way, more countries will help Apple work toward its goal of selling 10 million phones this year.
What we don’t know: Is Vodafone’s (VOD) deal exclusive in each of those countries? Or will Apple court other carrier partners, too — or sell their own unlocked iPhones to work with other carriers’ networks?
Update: As commenter Tim F. points out, Telecom Italia will also begin selling the iPhone “later this year.” So Apple’s distribution, at least in Italy, is officially non-exclusive.