Apple’s efforts to release the iPhone in Europe have begun in earnest after the company started advertising for a senior executive to handle the iPhone’s European operations.

The company is advertising for an iPhone business process engineer/project manager based in Ireland ahead of the iPhone's planned European release at the end of 2007.

It's a complex post, the successful applicant must be able to provide cross-functional project management of the iPhone implementation project, implement the processes and systems required to support Apple's iPhone launch and ongoing support, and provide background and connections with existing mobile network operators.

The employee must also help the organisation with it's understanding of the mobile phone and telecom business models and help develop relationships with mobile firms.

The presence of multiple mobile networks within the job description suggests Apple is considering bringing the iPhone to Europe through several vendors, rather than pursuing a single European partner strategy. In the US, the Apple has signed up Cingular Wireless as its exclusive network partner.

Apple has also confirmed that it will ship the iPhone in the US in June, according to the company's latest email campaign. The company has written to users who have signed-up for more information about the device when it ships. The email - which is titled "talk to you soon" promises customers: "Thanks for signing up. You'll be the first to hear the latest about iPhone - coming this June. That gives you just enough time to think of ways to break the news to your current phone."

Recent rumours have claimed the iPhone will ship in the US on 11 June, the first day of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.