We said it wouldn’t happen – over two years since the launch of the iPhone, Etisalat has announced that it will bring the iPhone 3G to the UAE and Saudi Arabia this month. It’s a massive surprise – and great news for folks who want an iPhone but don’t fancy their chances on the warranty-free grey market. We’re not going all out on the celebrations yet, though. We don’t know anything about the data plan or contract Etisalat plans to sell the phone on, nor the price point of the hardware. And we question the wisdom of buying into the world’s greatest smartphone right now. The smart money says that Android is going to come of age at this month’s MWC. More details when we get them… watch this space for updates.
UPDATE: Our inside source tells us that the launch is happening at Atlantis, The Palm on February 22, which puts the original Valentine launch rumour out. Sometimes it’s about the small victories… sigh.
UPDATE: Etisalat says it will make the iPhone 3G available by February 15. Is our source wrong about the launch, or is that some kind of ‘soft’ launch? We also contacted du to see whether they would be launching the iPhone, too. After all, the TRA [UAE regulator] said they would not allow one carrier exclusivity. We’ll update when we hear from them. As for ABM, we get the impression that they are not involved in the iPhone launch. It seems odd that all of these details are being kept so quiet with just over 10 days to launch. Still no word on pricing, either.
[Thanks to Magnus at Shufflegazine for the heads-up]