updated 12:05 pm EST, Mon February 23, 2009
Saudi, UAE iPhones
The Saudi Arabian version of the iPhone is doing unusually well, claims a local newspaper. The phone went on sale Sunday through some 500 Mobily outlets, and is said to have already accumulated over 25,000 subscribers, in spite of the relative poverty of most of the country and a lack of Arabic support in text messaging or the web browser. The region does have considerable oil wealth however, and the Saudi Gazette cites a Mobily spokesman as saying Arabic support is due within three months.
Mobily's parent company, Etisalat, has meanwhile launched the iPhone in the neighboring United Arab Emirates. An 8GB model costs anywhere between 0 and 2,646 AED, while a 16GB phone is priced between 375 and 3,090 AED. The discrepancy is based on accompanying plans, which range between 199 and 643 AED per month; the base plan provides 125 minutes, 125 texts and 500MB of data, while the peak option delivers 500 minutes, 300 texts and 2GB of data. Contracts last one year, and match cheaper phones to more expensive plans.