Mexico's America Movil sets regional iPhone launch

MEXICO CITY Wed Aug 6, 2008 11:34am EDT

MEXICO CITY Aug 6 (Reuters) - America Movil, the largest cell phone operator in Latin America, on Wednesday said it would begin selling Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPhone this month in 10 countries within the region.

America Movil (AMX.N) (AMXL.MX) said in a statement that the new iPhone will be available as of Aug. 22 in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

In May, America Movil reached a deal to distribute the popular iPhone -- a touch screen device that combines a music and video player with a cell phone and Web browser -- across Latin America.

The company's Mexican shares (AMXL.MX) traded up on Wednesday 0.16 percent to 25.35 pesos while its New York-traded stock (AMX.N) lost 0.47 percent to $50.84.

America Movil's archrival in the region is Spain's Telefonica SA (TEF.MC), which is also preparing to distribute the iPhone throughout Latin America later this month.

Controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, America Movil has already started selling the devices in Mexico and its Brazilian unit Claro is expected to begin sales in the coming months.

America Movil operates in 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the United States. (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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