iPhone firsts: Serbia, Lebanon picking up the iPhone as Vidéotron teases support in Quebec

Phil Schiller September 2013

When Phil Schiller introduced the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c last September at Apple’s HQ, the SVP of Worldwide Marketing proclaimed that Apple would officially partner with over 270 carriers in 100 countries by the year’s end to distribute the iPhone to customers. That trend of expansion has seemingly continued as we saw Russia’s second largest carrier Megafone reestablish a direct relationship with Apple and commit to a three-year deal to purchase and carry the iPhone at the beginning of this year. Now it seems Apple has inked deals with two carriers in Serbia to officially distribute the iPhone in the European nation for the first time.

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Mobile Telephony of Serbia, or mt:s, shared via Twitter today that it will become the first mobile carrier in the country to officially carry the iPhone. Mobile Telephony of Serbia isn’t arriving to the iPhone party in Serbia on its own though.

Vip Mobile has shared today that it is positioned to carry the iPhone as soon as the smartphone is certified by RATEL, Serbian’s agency for regulating electronic devices in the nation. Vip Mobile notes that its owner Telekom Austria already supports and markets the iPhone in several other markets adding to the Serbian carrier’s confidence in carrying the iPhone.

While the deals could still possibly be in negotiations with Apple as they’ve been mum on the news, both carriers chose today to share their respective announcements.

Adding to the mix is 500,000 subscriber Canadian carrier Vidéotron which began taking signups on its site for notifications of pending iPhone availability.

[tweet https://twitter.com/gary_ng/status/444539186943885312]

In Serbia, Vip Mobile estimates around 2 million subscribers with about 20% of the marketshare in the nation while mt:s had over 5.5 million customers at last mention in 2008. Back in Canada, Vidéotron shares that it has nearly 500,000 mobile subscribers.

Update: Apple is also signing deals in Lebanon. (Thanks Bernard!)

[tweet https://twitter.com/marwan_hayek/status/444484124133568512]

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  1. Well, we in Serbia do not have app store, we can only register on Croatian app store in order to buy apps. Does this mean that we are going to get it, or our mobile carriers can sell it without app store support, which is ridiculous but who knows. Is there any other case of country without app store but with carriers who offer iPhone?

    • Zac Hall - 9 years ago

      It sounds like this could be mid to end of year launching and I’d imagine localization would need to be in place at launch, but that’s just my expectation.

    • I am in Serbia,and I just make an US App Store account.Simple as that

  2. David Majer - 9 years ago

    I just cancelled all my videotron accounts as it’s owner is currently running for the separatist Parti Quebecoise, and has said publicly he wants to start a new country in Quebec. My dollars will not be going to support breaking up Canada (especially not to get an iPhone! -oh, I already have an iPhone with FIDO!!)

    • Gab (@Gab_Gagnon) - 9 years ago

      Great story, for someone who cares. That’s not the case here.

      In other words, FINALLY! Vidéotron is the only one bringing competition in Québec! The Big-3 were the only ones selling the iPhone in the province and their prices are ridiculous. Hopefully, Videotron will continue to challenge the 3 brothers and selling cheap plan with the iPhone!

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      So? Wouldn’t you much rather be rid of the Quebecers and their nonsense? Forcing French signage everywhere in the country? And hey, we in the US will be happy to take a 52nd state once Quebec inevitably goes bankrupt and comes begging for annexation.

      • greyitout - 9 years ago

        Hey if you in the U.S. want Quebec, take it NOW! Please!!

      • David Majer - 9 years ago

        Since I live in Montreal (an amazing city btw) no I don’t want to be rid of Quebec. I like being a part of Canada!

      • Gab (@Gab_Gagnon) - 9 years ago

        Oh shut up. Canada IS and will continue to be a billingual country even after a separation. Their is too much franco-canadian everywhere in the country. It is a federal law to have the 2 official languages, not a provincial one. Get your damn facts right…

        Oh, and you can take your US centralism and put it far far up in your ass.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        >>It is a federal law to have the 2 official languages, not a provincial one. Get your damn facts right…

        How about reading a post before replying to it? Then you’d see I said exactly that.

        Note that with Quebec gone, that bilingualism would be… null and void. The signs would be changed.

        >>Oh, and you can take your US centralism and put it far far up in your ass.

        Nah. How about you remove the stick from yours, read posts before replying to them, and stop making assumptions.

  3. Rolf Neumann - 9 years ago

    wow. official iPhone representation in Lebanon! wow, thanks Apple! After all, Lebanon is the smartest, most educated, most democratically open market in the Middle East…about time it’s recognized after its Phoenician past…


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.