* iPhone for sale by Total Access within a month
* Seen as a key driver of non-voice revenue
By Pisit Changplayngam
BANGKOK, Feb 12 Total Access Communication
(TAC) (DTAC.BK), Thailand's second-largest mobile phone firm,
is preparing to sell Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPhone in the Thai
market, an industry source said on Friday.
The move is seen as a key step for boosting revenue from
non-voice services, which have shown stronger growth than voice
services in a saturated market where almost everyone has a
"They have prepared some work on websites and it should be
for sale within one month from now," the source said, declining
to be identified.
TAC TACC.SI, which is controlled by Norway's Telenor
(TEL.OL), declined to comment.
TAC's smaller rival, True Move PCL, a unit of True Corp
(TRUE.BK), was the first to launch the 3G iPhone in the country
in January 2009.
True has said it sold about 100,000 iPhones in 2009 and
aimed to sell another 120,000 this year. The phones have also
been sold through unofficial outlets.
Bigger rival Advanced Info Service ADVA.BK has said it
was still exploring ways to offer iPhone in the Thai market
after failing to reach a deal with Apple.
Mobile operators in the country are banking on the launch
of smartphones such as Apple's iPhone and Research In Motion's
RIM.TO RIMM.O BlackBerry to boost revenue at a time of slow
growth in voice services.
TAC, which launched Blackberry in December, has said it
planned to offer more smartphones to push up revenue.
Thailand's telecoms industry is likely to grow 3-5 percent
this year, roughly matching growth in the economy, while total
mobile phone subscriptions could rise to 69 million from an
estimated 65 million in 2009, AIS has said.
At 0420 GMT, TAC shares were down 0.73 percent at 34 baht,
while the overall Thai market was up 0.17 percent.
($1 = 33.16 Baht)
(Additional reporting and writing by Khettiya Jittapong;
Editing by Alan Raybould)