Thai AIS still explores ways to sell 3G iPhone

BANGKOK Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:47am GMT

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BANGKOK Feb 10 (Reuters) - Advanced Info Service (AIS) ADVA.BK, Thailand's largest mobile phone operator, is still exploring ways to offer Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) 3G iPhone in the Thai market, even though initial talks ended without agreement, an executive said.

"We have not stopped talking. We are still exploring several options to sell iPhone to serve demand," Chief Marketing Officer Sanchai Tiewprasertkul told reporters on Tuesday.

The move would help AIS retain customers and meet demand for the 3G iPhone, which offers faster Internet access and improved e-mail features, Sanchai said.

Last month, AIS said it had failed to reach agreement with Apple to offer the new phone but was willing to renegotiate.

AIS's smaller rival, True Move PCL, a unit of True Corp <TRUE.BK,> launched the 3G iPhone in Thailand last month, making it the first operator to sell the phone in the fast-growing market.

AIS, partly owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (STEL.SI), has about 50 percent of the Thai mobile phone market.

At 0802 GMT, AIS shares were up 0.67 percent at 75.50 baht, while the overall Thai stock market was 0.06 percent lower. Shares in True Corp, a major shareholder in True Move, were down 0.53 percent at 1.86 baht. (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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