By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Optus has announced it will be the second carrier with the iPhone in Australia, following Vodafone’s announcement last week it would bring the much-hyped device here.

In an official release from both Optus and Parent company Singtel, Optus said “SingTel, Bharti Airtel, Globe and Optus today announced that they have signed an agreement with Apple to bring the iPhone to Singapore, India, the Philippines and Australia later this year.”

No further information was forthcoming when contacted Optus, but further details will supposedly be made clear at a later date.

It was understood Optus would be the second carrier with the iPhone in Australia last week, when carried the original Vodafone announcement, but official confirmation was unavailable at that time.

The decision to have at least two carriers in both Australia and Italy could signify the end of Apple’s much-criticised exclusive carrier agreement.

Speculation still surrounds which version of the iPhone will arrive in Australia, but all indicators point to the upcoming 3G version. Confirmation of a 3G version appeared today on various technology sites when a screenshot of a menu screen from the upcoming model showed an option to shut off 3G access.