iPhone launches in Saudi Arabia, UAE

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Yesterday marked day one of iPhone sales in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

By most accounts it was a pretty resounding success—Ali S. Al-Dakhee, Mobily's Youth Segment Manager told the Saudi Gazette: "In just a few hours of launch the number of walk-in customers and those who applied online reached 25,000."

Still, the phone is pretty expensive, especially when compared to its American cousin—an 8GB post-paid phone will run you 2,255 Saudi riyals ($601), and that's before the 99 Saudi riyal ($26) monthly fee. A prepaid will only cost slightly more, at 2,400 Saudi riyals ($639).

Over in the UAE, things weren't quite as smooth, according to one account in Shufflegazine. Reporer Magnus Nystedt went to iStyle at the Dubai mall to buy an iPhone. After some paperwork hassles, he finally was able to walk out of the store with a phone.

Nystedt also found out that the phones appear to be unlocked, as he tried two different SIM cards in the phone without having to jailbreak/unlock. He also reports that company reps told him that Arabic support is "coming soon," and that at least in the UAE there is no prepaid option.

MacNN reports that "an 8GB model costs anywhere between 0 and 2,646 AED ($720), while a 16GB phone is priced between 375 and 3,090 AED ($102 to $841). The discrepancy is based on accompanying plans, which range between 199 and 643 AED ($54 to $175) per month."

ArabianBusiness.com adds: "[The lack of Arabic language support] would be rectified and introduced within three months, said a spokesperson of Mobily, the Saudi affiliate of Etisalat." Of course, we'll have to wait and see if that pans out, but if Arabic language support around the corner, could that mean Persian language support isn't far behind?

[via Cult of Mac]

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