updated 04:15 pm EST, Thu January 31, 2008
Italian iPhone, US EDGE
Telecom Italia Mobile is the leading candidate for the Italian iPhone carrier, according to extrapolations based on evidence in the iPhone software package, while a vast EDGE network outage is affecting a significant portion of iPhone users in the US. Italian news site Macity has pointed out that the TIM_Italy.bundle introduced in the v1.1.2 iPhone updater is still there in the current v1.1.3. In firmware v1.1.1, Apple had introduced Italian as an operable language.
The observation, combined with the longstanding introduction of the Italian language, could be indicative that TIM could be the official Italian provider of the iPhone. This is especially since Vodaphone was formerly on the list, but was later removed when O2 was chosen for the UK market.
AT&T's EDGE data network is experiencing technical difficulties, according to many users in Apple's support forum. Several calls to AT&T have revealed fix times ranging from two hours to until February 5th, although some users are already claiming to have EDGE reception. Users are still cautious, however, and it is unknown if the issue is completely fixed.
Outages were reported in Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Montana, Michigan, as well as many other states.
Update: AT&T acknowledged that the service outage is affecting customers in the mid-west and south-east, and that the problem began at 5:30 AM CST. According to Yahoo, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegal apologizes to all those affected, saying that technicians are working to resolve the issue. Customers on the company's 3G network also experienced similar down-times.
Update: According to Spanish news site El Periodico, further evidence supporting the Italian iPhone being released through TIM suggests this may be the case. Telefonica - a wireless provider for Spain - is reportedly Apple's choice for network coverage in Spain, which will allegedly be made official at the World Mobile Congress in February. Telefonica owns 10-percent of TIM.
In related news, Swisscom is expected to bring the iPhone to Switzerland by late February, according to Swiss news publication Le Temps.
Both sites insinuate that a 3G-based iPhone will be released, starting with the two aforementioned providers.
Evidence of Telecom Mobile Italia supporting the iPhone? Image courtesy of Macity