Apple's iPhone 4 to Hit 17 More Countries

CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) has confirmed that the iPhone 4 will be available in 17 more countries later this week, although Apple fans in South Korea will have to wait a bit longer to get their hands on the new iPhone.

In a statement released before market open, the tech giant explained that the iPhone will make its debut in a slew of new countries this Friday, July 30. These include Canada, Australia, Italy, Singapore, Spain and Sweden. Already available in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, and Japan, the iPhone's reach will thus extend to 22 countries.

Originally Apple had also planned to offer the new iPhone in South Korea on July 30, but the country has been omitted from the latest stage of the smartphone's rollout. Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently explained that it taking the company "a little longer" to get government approval in South Korea, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Apple first outlined its international expansion strategy during the iPhone's glitzy San Francisco launch last month. The Journal, however, reports that consumers in South Korea are upset about the country's iPhone 4 delay. Apple's iPhone partner there, Korea Telecom, plans to launch the new iPhone "in the coming months," it added, citing a KT statement.

A major consumer of technology, South Korea is playing a big role in the global smartphone boom. Analyst firm IDC predicts that smartphone sales in the country will reach 4.8 million in December 2010, more than a ten-fold increase from last year, according to published media reports.

Initial demand for the iPhone 4 in countries such as the U.S. and U.K. has been extremely strong. Apple, which has recently been dealing with fallout from Antennagate, has sold more than 3 million new iPhones and is touting the iPhone 4 as its most successful launch ever.

Last week, Apple nonetheless pushed back the launch of its white iPhone for a second time, citing ongoing manufacturing challenges.

In June, Apple said that the iPhone 4 will roll out worldwide to 88 countries by the end of September.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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