Will the Middle East get the 3G iPhone?

23/4/2008

April is almost over and.. still no iPhone for the Middle East. The rumors were wrong. Apple continues to “ignore” a potentially lucrative market.

Recent rumors have indicated that the 3G iPhone, expected in the coming 6 weeks or so, will be sold unlocked in markets like Italy and Belgium. India will soon get the iPhone too. But no word from anyone on the Arab region.

These days, I sometimes sit in meetings with clients, with more than 2 or 3 iPhones in the room! Saudi Arabia alone could swallow a gigantic number of iPhones. But no. Apple’s attention is elsewhere.

I would guess that there is a possibility of a 3G iPhone release in the region soon. The competitive situation is getting hotter for Apple. The iPhone had only modest success in Europe. So Apple might see a good reason to accelerate the release of its device in the Middle East.

Does anyone have info on this?

17 Comments

  1. Moey says:

    I hope they hear you… STEVE, READ BLOGS!

  2. we don’t want those who don’t want us
    buuuuh to Apple!

  3. [...] April is almost over and.. still no iPhone for the Middle East. The rumors were wrong. Apple continues to “ignore” a potentially lucrative market. Recent rumors have indicated that the 3G iPhone, expected in the coming 6 weeks or so, … Read More [...]

  4. idiots, 100% was gonna buy it, I even considered buying an unlocked version early on, now I lost all taste for it now, the longer they wait the less the customers they will have upon the launch.
    thx for the share man

  5. Ali says:

    This is very disapointing, is the 3G iPhone on sale in the US?

  6. Roland says:

    Get real! Some of the above comments are so silly! I’m sure there’s a good reason for the delay. Why not contact Apple and request an update on the release date for the Middle East? Besides, why does it have to be an Apple anyway? Buy a Nokia or a Samsung? Who cares!?

  7. Magnus says:

    No info… but remember what Apple said when they launched the iPhone in June 2007 – that it would make it to Europe later that year (which it did) and in Asia late 2008 (which we’ve yet to see). So, so far they’re on track with their earlier announcements. But you’re right, they could sell a boat load of iPhones here, and in fact they are already doing that, but it would obviously be better if they were official and didn’t have to be hacked.

    @Roland: don’t waste your time contacting Apple, they won’t tell you or anyone else anything.

  8. Khaled says:

    Rumor is that Mobily and Zain are both in talks with Apple about the 3G iPhone, no way to confirm this of course …

  9. Khaled says:

    @Roland, did you know that all iPods (including iPod Touch and iPhone) have no, and I mean zero, Arabic support, you can’t even read Arabic on it. Its all squares.

    Same with the Mac, except you can still add Arabic keyboard and view Arabic letters. But there is no Arabic localization from Apple (Apple’s local distributor is doing it, but its not considered “first party”). And no Arabic Welcome screen on new Macs.

    here’s an interesting article: http://www.mymac.com/showarticle.php?id=2808

  10. Asfour says:

    You can read and send Arabic messages using iPhone!

  11. Hameed says:

    @Asfour, yes you can, using hacked and third party software voiding Apples warranty, not that it includes us anyway.

  12. Khaled says:

    @Asfour, yes, but I am talking about first party (as in directly from Apple, and I honestly appreciated the people who added Arabic to the iPhone and I think Apple should hire them!)

    Apple promised Arabic iPods but nothing happened until now:
    http://www.khaled.us/2006/01/24/apple-plans-arabic-ipod-os-x/

  13. Ben says:

    Qatar looks to be highlighted but it’s hard to tell because it’s so small. Jordan is definitely in red though.

    The article mentions Chinese and Japanese language support but no mention of Arabic.

  14. Taleb says:

    if u go there website (apple.com) u will see that THEY are launching 3G iphone in Qatar, Eypt, and one more arab country.

    So it will reach most arab countries through middleman

  15. Abdullah says:

    Please see below link for your info.

    http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2008/06/09orange.html

  16. Samir says:

    I live in moscow and can’t receive sms from my friends in Jordan in arabic because iphone 3G doesn’t support arabic.One thing I can advice is there is nothing special about iphone I bought one and I feel sorry that I buyed it.
    This phone is made for people who have extra times because you can download any program like I did before on nokia but you are stuck to Itunes so you will need to waste your time on the internet and look for usefull free programs

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