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iPhone 3G in UAE this month, new iPhone in June

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, February 3, 2009
News Categories: iPhone

The iPhone 3G will launch in the United Arab Emirates on February 15, according to an Emirates Business 24/7 report. Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat announced in a local newspaper that it would be brining the iPhone to the region this month; the launch date was later confirmed by Mark Davis, Program Director for iPhone at Etisalat. Davis went on to explain that iPhone users who have already obtained an unlocked handset through third-party channels will also be welcome to use Etisalat’s service. Etisalat has reportedly been working on the project for two years and finally signed an agreement with Apple at the end of 2008. “It is a long process to get approved by Apple as they only want one operator in every country. We passed the test mainly because of our market capitalisation, retail presence and deep pockets and the demographics.” Curiously, the report also states that the next version of the iPhone is “due out in June,” and while it doesn’t attribute this information directly to Davis, there is a strong possibility the date came from him, as his interview serves as the basis for the story.

Update: Feb. 20, 2009 Etisalat’s Mobily brand will offer the iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia, and is now allowing customers to reserve a handset through its website. Plans and pricing have yet to be announced.

Update: February 23, 2009 Etisalat has launched the iPhone 3G in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia through its Mobily brand. In the UAE, the 8GB model will be offered for free with the most expensive, 643 AED (roughly $175) monthly plan, which includes 500 minutes of talk time, 300 SMS texts, and 2000 MB of data. Handset pricing increases with lesser plans, from 560 AED (~$152) with a 504 AED (~$137) monthly plan, to 840 AED (~$229) with a 349 AED (~$95) monthly plan, and finally to 2,646 AED (~$720) with a 199 AED (~$54) monthly plan. The 16GB model is priced similarly, with prices ranging from 375 AED (~$102) with the most expensive plan to 3,090 AED (~$841) with the least expensive.

Pricing in Saudi Arabia is less dependent on plans, with the 16GB model priced at 2,650 SRI (~$707) and the 8GB at 2,255 SRI (~$602) with a 99 SRI ($26) monthly plan. The iPhone 3G will also be available for prepaid customers, selling for 2,800 SRI (~$748) for the 16GB model and 2,400 SRI (~$640) for the 8GB.

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Comments

1

I want the 3G iPhone to knock my socks off, the iPhone 3G, did not.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on February 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM (PDT)

2

This is what I want out of a 3rd gen iPhone in no particular order:

1) A drastically better camera with video support
2) Flash support
3) support for more video codecs
4) MMS
5) A more resilient rear cover
6) copy and paste
7) ability to mount as a drive on a computer
8) text to speech gps with preloaded maps
9) safari not crashing

Some of these we may get but many probably not.

What will be interesting is how the 2 year contract with AT&T;will work with a 3rd model since there was a subsidy involved.

Posted by Ryan on February 3, 2009 at 11:04 AM (PDT)

3

1)Probably not.
2)Confirmed.
3)No
4)No
5)Possibly, but I think it’ll stay similar but come matte. No extra resilience, but the current one is much more durable than given credit for.
6)Probably
7)No
8)No
9)No smile

Posted by Jimmy on February 3, 2009 at 11:40 AM (PDT)

4

LOL, thanks Jimmy.  I’ve read they were working with Adobe but haven’t seen it confirmed to be coming out.

For number 5, my phone has never been dropped not taken a hit and I’ve got a crack near my headphone port as well as the power button.  I also have a crack extending from my docking port about 3/4” up the back.

Posted by Ryan on February 3, 2009 at 12:53 PM (PDT)

5

I have a first gen, I’m beating the crap out of it constantly (I’m a clumsy bastard, I know) and it works perfectly, with one or two scratches. Don’t really know about the 3G, but it looks weaker to me… Well, I already live my 1G, so the 3rd one will probably be awesome. Plus, why make a completely new model, when the one you already have in market is the n1 in sales, if not to make an important update? They’re probably trying to kick palms ### before they even get a chance to take some of their customers away, so I think that what they have coming will be too good to be true (as the 1G was once).

Posted by Maik on February 3, 2009 at 10:21 PM (PDT)

6

Apple benefits financially from a flourishing case selling industry, which is probably why they made most of their ipod and iphone models so scratch sensitive in the first place. Same reason why they keep on changing stupid details like the charger pin and video out, making first generation sound and video docks useless and forcing people to buy new ones, which in its turn generates more kickback fees to Apple. I love their products, but I hate their attitude towards this.

Posted by Ericc B on February 4, 2009 at 2:37 AM (PDT)

7

hey the next week is my birthday, so i was supossed to be buying an iphone 3G, but now that I heard that the new iPhone is coming on june I don’t know what to do?? do i wait?? do i just buy the iphone 3G? please help me what do ilounge sujest me….

Posted by Luis Goldstein on February 4, 2009 at 5:36 PM (PDT)

8

hay,
how are you ?

i would like to know the price of IPhone 16BGin UAE.

thanks

Posted by hassan habib on February 16, 2009 at 2:47 AM (PDT)

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