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Israeli carriers line up to sell iPhone

updated 10:10 am EDT, Tue June 16, 2009

Israeli iPhone coming

Israelis should finally be able to buy the iPhone in the near future, announcements reveal. Partner Communications -- which operates the Israeli division of Orange -- says it has signed an agreement with Apple Sales International, which will allow it to sell iPhones domestically for a period of at least three years. Partner is in turn expected to buy a minimum number of iPhones each year, representing a "significant portion" of all its cellphone purchases.

Due to the newness of the agreement, no prices or release dates have been mentioned, whether for the iPhone 3G or the 3GS. Still less is known about plans at rival carrier Pelephone, which is also expected to carry the iPhone, but has not disclosed the details of its contract with Apple. The 3GS launches in the US, Canada and some other countries on June 19th, but it may be several weeks or longer before an Israeli launch can be organized.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Arab boycott

    Does this mean that some Arab countries will now pout and ban Apple products? When I lived in Israel in the late 1970s, the fact that Coke, to its great credit, was sold there meant it was banned from Arab countries, giving that market to Pepsi, which seems to have had less scruples.

    Ditto Motorola, which sold communications systems to Israel, including the kibbutz where I lived. Later I worked next to a small Seattle company that had a contract to purge all mention of Motorola from a microwave system going to Saudi Arabia. All the equipment labels had to be changed and all the manuals altered to make no mention of Motorola. I'm sure there were Arab engineers who knew what was happening, but the bigotry-baiting Saudi politicians had to be kept happy.

    Given how prosperous, high-tech, and Western-oriented Israel is, it makes sense to wonder if there were some regional politics behind this odd delay. Did Apple wait until it signed contracts with Egypt (December 2008) along with the UAE and Saudi Arabia (February 2009) before beginning serious negotiations with Israel? The timing seems about right.

    I like the technology that comes out of Silicon Valley, but its politics seems shallow and driven by greed. Why, for instance, doesn't an industry that's created numerous billionaires establish industries in our manufacturing Rust Belt rather than exporting jobs to places where people will work for pennies. Is being worth $10 billion rather than $5 billion that important to them?

    Unfortunately, I suspect it is. You might call this the Greedy Geek Syndrome.

  1. boazh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    'bout time...

    Many Israelis already use iphones...
    I think that politics is definitely the reason for the launch delays... so what's new?

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: Arab Boycott

    I don't think any of those things matter. There will not be an Arab boycott of the iPhone, unless there are parts in the iPhone which are MADE IN ISRAEL. At least that was the policy in UAE and Qatar (i believe Saudi is the same).

    I remember when I was working in the UAE, the only thing that was banned from Apple products, were the little batteries that were used on G4/G5 motherboards for keeping the PRAM and clock charged. Everything else was sold and readily available in abundance.

    You'll find that Arab's thirst for novelty and luxury will far outweigh their political views. I'm surprised that Saudi has allowed the iPhone, because as of 2004, Saudi Arabia did not allow any phones which had a camera.

    By the way Egypt would have never been a problem; they have full diplomatic and economic relations.

    I'm sure many Arab countries didn't know that the original Intel Core Duo processor was designed in Israel, because I'm sure there were millions of laptops sold in those countries with that processor.

    I fully agree with you with the exporting of labor to poor countries. They're defrauding their own neighbors and communities for a stupid number, which in most cases doesn't mean anything. It's a shame.

  1. Basharar

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Huh! I really fail to understand why is this paranoia with politics, WHO cares if you are a jew, muslim, black or white if you use an iphone... what does a phone or technology have to due with your religious beliefs...

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