There are 29 colorful little buttons displayed on Apple's "Coming Soon" page -- its official list of countries where the iPhone 3G is scheduled to launch before the end of the year -- and carriers in some of those countries have let it be known that their launch day is Friday, Sept. 26.
Whether the phone will come to the entire list -- which runs the alphabetical gamut from Botswana to Venezuela -- remains to be seen. It's definitely coming Friday to Latvia and Lithuania, according to a press release issued Thursday by TeliaSoneria, the largest carrier in the region. Turkcell, Turkey's largest carrier, announced Thursday that it was launching the iPhone there on Friday. And on Tuesday AppleInsider reported that local readers had confirmed that the device will be launched Friday in Brazil and South Africa. (Vodacom would only say that it expects to bring the iPhone to South Africa before the end of September.)
No news yet out of the biggest market on that list -- Russia, with 127 million mobile subscriptions as of 2007 -- and still no deals in China or South Korea.
[UPDATE: Russia's three major carriers will begin selling iPhones through at least two electronics chains starting at midnight Wednesday Oct. 3 for $923.60 (8 GB) and $1,084 (16 GB), without a contract, according to several reports (see, for example, here and here). Meanwhile, Voxmobile announced Friday that "Le iPhone 3G est arrivé a Luxembourg!" -- which is odd given that Luxembourg is not a country that appears on Apple's "Coming Soon" list.]
Apple has promised to bring the iPhone 3G to more than 70 markets before the end of the year. It launched the device in 22 countries (or in the cast of France, shortly after) July 11. It followed up with launches in 22 more countries on August 22, bringing the total to 44.
Its official list of "Now Available" countries, shown below, has 47 buttons, but that's because Apple (AAPL) counts Belgium, Canada and Switzerland twice each.
If you get wind of a launch date in a country near you, drop us a line.
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