However, while Vodafone may be a big deal on the global scale, in Australia it's a relative minnow with just 16% market share. The two biggest players, Telstra (42.5% share) and Optus (32% share), far outstrip Vodafone in both customer base and network coverage.
Thus, only a fool would believe that Apple would throw in its lot with the distant number three player in a market that's literally itching to get its hands on Apple's hottest new product.
With nearly 75% of the 20 million a year plus Australian mobile handset market between them, Telstra and Optus are in a much stronger position to screw a better deal out of Apple than any other players, including Vodafone. Both of them, Telstra in particular, have more extensive and wider reaching networks than Vodafone.
Italy and perhaps India aside, Australia is by far the biggest potential iPhone customer named in the Vodafone deal. It would be very surprising indeed if Apple deliberately cut itself off from more than 80% of the Australian market, including the two biggest players by going with an exclusive Vodafone deal.
Look for iPhone announcements from both Telstra and Optus in the near future; exclsuive carrier arrangements are a thing of the past for Apple.