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12 June, 2008

iPhone iMoan

Unsurprisingly, since it didn't get the first model nor is there even an official Apple presence here, the UAE is not getting the 3G iPhone. More surprisingly, in fact absolutely absurd to the point of wanting to gouge ones own brain out with a rusty spork after reading it, is the TRA's claim that it is rejecting the iPhone, rather than Steve Jobs not giving the first toss about them (or probably even knowing the UAE exists):

Dubai: The iPhone will not see an official UAE launch as long as it wants to be made available through one telecom operator exclusively, an official at the Telecoms Regulatory Authority has said.

An exclusivity contract for the iPhone that etisalat was seeking has been rejected by the TRA, Gulf News has learned.

The spokesperson for the TRA, Rasheed Joumblatt, refused to confirm this but warned that all exclusivity contracts will be rejected "regardless of which operator applies".

Yes, it's the admirable Rasheed Joumblatt, that melodious mouthpiece-of-Al Ghanem who was educated at the American University but just can't get his head around the concept of freedom of speech. Or simple facts. Or the truth. A reality check for Mr Joumblatt:

1. Apple is not insisting on single operator exclusivity contracts. In many counties it is offered through multiple operators.

2. The UAE had one of the worst monopoly telco sectors in the world. It now has a duopoly so monopolistic in nature that it may as well be a conjoined twin. Both du and etishite are owned and misrun by the Federal government.

But hey, at least one person is thrilled by Mr Joumblatt's valiant stance - Aboud from Abu Dhabi: "Bravo UAE for not agreeing to Apple's terms."


Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate to stereotype, but "Rasheed Jumblatt" sounds a typical Baathist, well-honed flowery rhetoric, support for censorship, and being delusionla. If it was a UAE National making these statements it wouldnt feel so bad, but a "Rasheed Jumblatt???" !

12 June, 2008 15:39  
Blogger Dubai Warrior said...

Absolutely fabulous. It's nice to see anti-monopoly rules introduced to support duopoly, and this is in the country that has the toughest most monopolistic business rules in the World and the most crippling laws that protect exclusive agents of automobiles, fashion brands, electronics AND MOBILE PHONES.

There's something else underneath this going on.

12 June, 2008 15:42  
Blogger secretdubai said...

I believe he's Lebanese, but I could be wrong. I feel slightly bad blogging his full name, because he'll possibly get a high ranking Google hit from this blog (I've removed people's names in the past because of that, because I felt it was unfair on them) but in his case, he deserves it.

Anyone who goes through a western education then sells out and spouts the kind of shit he does deserves a wake up call. It disgusts me. I don't believe for a moment that he genuinely personally believes in any of the statements he makes, but to so blatantly take the oily dollar and prostitute your intellect is just sickening to me. Why not just attribute everything to Al Ghanem? Much easier and more face-saving in the long term.

If and when he quits the TRA and does something more worthwhile, I'll probably take his name off here and replace it with "TRA spokesperson", to clean up his Google results for him.

12 June, 2008 15:44  
Blogger Keef said...

Odd, this is. I believe when the iPhone was first launched in the US, you could only get it through Sprint. But surely the phone shops can sell this baby without it being tied to a particular notwork?

12 June, 2008 16:34  
Blogger Alex said...

You can only buy an iPhone from AT&T in the US, O2 in the UK, France Telecom/Orange in France. They are covered by exclusivity agreements everywhere.

However, there is a large and well-documented gap between the numbers of iPhones Apple shipped and those activated on partner networks, thought to consist of those devices that were jailbroken and resold on the black market.

12 June, 2008 19:56  
Blogger Kyle said...

Yeah well, let everybody continue squabbling. That way, the iHack elite (George Hotz, Jibri &, FSJ) continue to make hay while the sun shines!

13 June, 2008 10:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so the UAe looses out on a phantastic piece of progress, usability and technology. Just because we want to protect a few mobile phone distributers.

Sounds cool to me. Daddy UAE is protecting you from all the bad competition and the customers have to pay nice overpriced prices (like Nokia N800 1800 AED, while it is not even available in the rest of the world anymore, where the successor N810 is sold for less thatn the n800 here)...

Our electronics are exactly the same price as in Europe where countries have 20% VAT. Go figure who pockets that...

13 June, 2008 11:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with this story, but yet another piece of UAE lore, or in this case reality!

Driving through Zabeel earlier I spotted signs to "Makhtoum Weddings", note the plural.

Would those people who received an invitation saying "park in Car Park F", really feel that they were part of one gigantic family.

Oh to have received an "A" invite, so I would be parking in covered parking at the Exhibition Center.

Will the "Maktoum Weddings" receive full press coverage or just a few photos of the male partticipants?

13 June, 2008 12:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for them, Who needs another expensive and utterly useless and toy anyway??

a gadget that is inferior on every level its browsing speed is slower than my 4 year old laptop, its camera is inferior than a cheap point and shoot, its battery life barely passes the 3 hours mark. the screen smudges after the slightest touch...

Ex-iPhone Owner

13 June, 2008 18:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic, but its informative and entertaining :)

Copy paste it into your browsers!

13 June, 2008 18:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 11:39- You have a very smart mind.I agree!! Smart!

Anonymous@ 15:00- Double Wedding, Male Participants, which Maktoums are you referring to? Oh no!

14 June, 2008 07:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anyone who goes through a western education then sells out and spouts the kind of shit he does deserves a wake up call."

I think he should do exactly what the white man usually does:

Create an absolutist monopoly, install a puppet government, overtake the country's resources and force the population to buy that white fuckers' gadgetry and rotten/chemically overridden food stocks.

It all gives some food for thought; why is it that the people who a)live in your "Western" culture the longest, or
b) have close contact with your kind
...end up hating you the most?

Western education my ass!!!

15 June, 2008 14:17  
Blogger moryarti said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 June, 2008 19:15  
Blogger moryarti said...

There is some truth to TRA's story though. In France, when the iPhone was first launched, one can get it for the $399 from Orange - true .. and that only happened becuse French regulators, being the socialist fanatics they are, only allowed it after Apple agreed to offer the device unlocked and fully supported to the entire market, but for for $1000. (I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago)

You see, the only way Apple could afford to sell the new 3G for price low as $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) is with strings attached.

Things like talk packeges & contracts (unkown here in UAE but already populer and common in Eygpt and Jordan) OR, a revenue sharing model with the service provider - Something that Qtel agreed becuase... ermm.. there is no one else but QTEL in Qatar.

15 June, 2008 19:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good I moved back to India. We can buy the jail broken iphone in the black market for Dhs 2000. What's more they even have unofficial repair centers. Its a great phone with plenty of third party free software.

16 June, 2008 13:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry off topic, but while we debate apple & jumblatt, not to forget he is a white collar in UAE, a land of slave labour.a sponsor who brings you in is your owner, and will keep your passport till he sends you back.and forget changing jobs. see below from khaleej times:

Woman fined Dh 50,000 for hiring absconder
(Mary Nammour)

16 June 2008
Print Print Article E-mail Send to A Friend
DUBAI - The Immigration Court sentenced a Chinese woman to a fine of Dh50, 000 for hiring an Indian who was not on her sponsorship.

The court also sentenced the original sponsor of the Indian, an Emirati woman, to the same amount of fine for not reporting about her domestic worker who had absconded.

The Indian domestic worker was sentenced to two months in jail followed by deportation for working for a person other than his sponsor.

The Chinese woman, who is 52, was running a shop at the Dragon Mart.

16 June, 2008 18:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we all had a good laugh when we read the story. TRA complaining about a monopoly? Oh dear. I am tired of all of the hypocrisy and us and them rules and other double standards. I'm happy to be home for the summer where I can read any blog I choose and sign up for any complicated mobile phone contract I like. And it's not ugly and dirty outside. Nor are there wretched souls wandering around with empty litre bottles looking for somewhere to fill them. Or people walking in the streets because cars are parked on the sidewalk. And my neighbors here don't keep farm animals who crow all hours of the day and night and come into my garden and shit everywhere.
I could go on but instead will enjoy the bliss of being out and not think about it again until I have to. Happy summer to all. Wishing you all a break from the madness that has become Dubai.

17 June, 2008 12:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


18 June, 2008 05:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dubai has enough of a grey market for handsets that it's likely you'll be able to get iPhone 3Gs imported from Spain (where no contract is needed), at the cost of manufacturer's warranty and technical support.

You probably can, already. Head for Naif Square in Deira, where there's a large market in handsets, both from authorized distributors and parallel imports.

26 June, 2008 08:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quote:"Aboud from Abu Dhabi: "Bravo UAE for not agreeing to Apple's terms.""

L-O-Ls...what a cracker :)

29 June, 2008 22:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UAE lags behind in technology. The third world country that I come from (SriLanka) had introduced mobile TV ages ago.

29 June, 2008 22:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Indians/Sri Lankans could build the friggin Death Star if they wanted to...looool

01 July, 2008 10:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for those of you who are thinking of buying a iPhone! what you need to do is decide what you want most; the iPod features or the ability to send an sms easily! the touch-screen keyboard is very small and workable for a 6 year olds only.

if you have never used a touch-screen keyboard then i suggest you try it out before you fork out for a iPhone.

this of course is not directed at apple owners like me. no! i still refuse to buy an iphone!

06 July, 2008 13:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't we need an exclusive contract with a monthly pay plan by Etisalat for using BlackBerry here? Then why Iphone is being singled out? It is not apparently what it is being told. I own a jailbroken iphone and it is working perfectly and I really enjoy having one. No regrets.

13 July, 2008 23:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the lock/unlock discussion is soon a thing of the past.

Actually there are countries where the TRA has a similar opinion about exclusivity. The iPhone 3g is available in belgium and Switzerland. off course you have to purchase it through a specific subscriber ( for Belgium) but because of local regulations the provider can not attach a contract to the deal. This means that the iPhones are unlocked and fully working and can thus be exported ( and used) to the UAE or wherever in the Gulf.

02 August, 2008 07:41  
Blogger Kyle said...

Engadget has this to say about hairline cracks in case anybody wants to shell out US$ 2K on an iP 3G.

Consider yourselves warned!

02 August, 2008 07:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brand new Mobile phone Plasma tv , Laptop game at cheap price come with complete accessories with one year international warranty.

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NOKIA N95 8GB....$400USD
iPHONE 8GB……..$300USD
IPOD 32GB.........$350USD
NOKIA N96.........$500USD
PS3 60GB……....$300USD
SAMSUNG SGH-U900...........$300USD



Display Type 16M colors
Size 480 x 320 pixels
Camera Resolution 2MP
Video Yes
Flashlight No
Connectivity GPRS Yes
3G Yes
WiFi Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Ringtones Type yes
Card slot no
Internal user memory 8gb
Stand-by time Up to 250 hours
Talk time Up to 8 hours
Features Messaging SMS, Email
FM radio No
Games No
Speaker phone Yes
Operating System OS X v10.4.8
Touch-screen Yes
General Network GSM 850 / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900
Announced 2007, January
Status Available
Size Dimensions 115 x 61 x 11.6 mm
Weight 135 g
Display Type Touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 320 x 480 pixels, 3.5 inches
Multi-touch input method
Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
Ringtones Type Polyphonic, MP3
Customization Download
Vibration Yes
3.5 mm headset jack
Memory Phonebook Advanced, Photocall
Call records Yes
Card slot No
4/8 GB shared memory
Data GPRS Yes
3G No
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Bluetooth Yes, v2.0
Infrared port No
USB Yes, v2.0
Features OS Mac OS X v10.4.8
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
Browser HTML (Safari)
Games Yes
Camera 2 MP, 1600x1200 pixels, video
Google Maps
Widgets support
iPod audio/video player
PIM including calendar, to-do list
Photo browser/editor
Voice memo
Integrated handsfree

Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion
Talk time Up to 5 h


Email address :

09 August, 2008 18:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think you meant Eti-Slut

10 August, 2008 09:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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IPHONE 3g 16GB…….....$350USD
iPHONE 3g 8GB……......$300USD
SONY ERICSSON G900...........$400usd
NOKIA N95 8GB.....$400USD
NOKIA N96 16GB....$450USD
IPOD 32GB.........$350USD
Iphone 3g 1gb.........$400usd
PS3 60GB……........$300USD

In the box

iPhone 3G
Stereo headset with mic
Dock connector to USB cable
USB power adapter
Cleaning/polishing cloth
SIM eject tool
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03 September, 2008 17:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WARNING... I have been bitten by one of these people posting ads of delivering IPhones and others electronic stuff for such amazing prices.... THIS IS A SCAM .. Pls dont get fooled by these .... They would require you to transfer money through Western Union etc to a specific persons name. Take your money .... and gone..The excuse that u will hear from them could be ... Due packaging mistake we have sent u 5 iphones instead of one, so u need to pay more money or u will never get your stuff.. Well i did not pay more but i'm sure that if u pay more THAT IS ALSO G O N E ..

04 September, 2008 13:52  
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Apple 16GB Iphone.....US$450
Apple 3GB 8GB iPhone....US$400
Apple 3GB 16GB iPhone....US$500
Nokia 8800 Arte....US$900
Imate Ultimate 7150......US$330
Imate Ultimate 8150......US$360
Imate-Ultimate 9502.......US$400.
Imate-Ultimate 6150..........US$400
Sony Ericsson R 306 Radio.....US$210
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1.....US$700
HTC Advantage X7510...............US$900
HTC P3470................US$400
HTC Touch Cruise................US$510
HTC Dual................US$350
HTC S730................US$390
HTC P6500................US$700
HTC TyTN II................US$400
HTC Touch................US$900


Buy two units of the Apple 3G 16GB iPhone for just US$800
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09 September, 2008 17:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are registered Company and the leading dealers in electronics and we do have 3G Apple iPhones 8GB and 16GB in stock for sale at US$400 and US$500 respectively.

Our iPhones are all Brand New/Unlocked,and in the latest firmware version and free to work with any of your preferred network..

We also give good discounts for more than a unit purchase and also free items..


Apple iPhone 4GB...US$200
Apple iPhone 8GB...US$300
Apple iPhone 16GB..US$400



07 October, 2008 17:30  

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