Etisalat slashes price on iPhone 3G packages
UPDATE 1: UAE telecom operator reduces cost of owning popular phone from May 5.
UAE telecoms provider Etisalat on Monday announced it is slashing the price of its iPhone 3G packages for all customers, including existing subscribers.
The reductions, which will be implemented from Tuesday May 5 and will be applied to two iPhone models, will save customers up to 22 percent from their initial asking prices, the telco said.
The announcement comes after Etisalat had claimed that the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was responsible for the high price of the device – an accusation strenuously denied by the agency.
The pre-paid iPhone 3G 8GB device will be available in black color for AED2,680 ($729), while the 16GB device will be available in both white and black colors for AED3,055 without any additional monthly fee, a reduction of about AED500.
The operator is also offering free 250 MB monthly data packages for six months, and one free Wasel SIM Card with every device, equivalent to over AED2,000, and so effectively bringing down the device cost to a little over AED600.
Current postpaid subscribers will be charged based on the new plans as of their next bill onwards, an Etisalat spokesperson said.
Last month, the TRA said that Etisalat is permitted to sell the iPhone for any amount that was not below the cost price, meaning the price Etisalat pays Apple for the handsets.
This was in response to Etisalat’s claim that the company had repeatedly contacted the regulator for permission to lower the price of the iPhone and other promotions, but had yet to hear back.
The iPhone has proved wildly popular in the UAE since its launch earlier this year. It combines a phone, widescreen iPod music player, and an internet browsing platform, and offers a series of applications including picture messaging and video calls.