(Adds comment, background)
MADRID, June 4 Spanish telecoms company
Telefonica (TEF.MC) will start selling Apple's (AAPL.O) popular
iPhone in Spain this year, it said on Wednesday.
Telefonica's mobile unit O2 has been selling the iPhone -- a
touch-screen device combining the iPod music player, videos and
Internet -- in Britain since last November.
At the end of March, Telefonica had 23 million mobile phone
clients in Spain, where it is the leading phone company by a
"The phone should go on sale before the summer," a sector
source said, adding that Telefonica should have exclusivity as
its two main rivals Vodafone (VOD.L) and Orange FTE.PA have
already said they will not sell the phone in Spain.
Apple started selling the iPhone in exclusive agreements
with companies like AT&T (T.N) in the United States and O2 in
Britain but in Italy has broken that model, selling both via
Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) and Vodafone.
(Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Jane Barrett; Editing
by Erica Billingham)