Vodafone Qatar selling 'limited number' of 3G iPhones
Limited number of Apple 3G iPhones on sale as Vodafone Qatar seeks exclusive Apple agreement
Vodafone Qatar has turned to Apple's iconic iPhone in a bid to wrest mobile customers from incumbent operator Qtel, as it sets about snaring up to 60% of the market in Qatar.
Vodafone Qatar yesterday announced that it had sourced a "limited" number of Apple's 3G iPhone device, which was launched in the US in July last year, and that the handsets would be on sale in six of its outlets in Qatar, priced at QR2,600 (US$714).
Apple has yet to strike a deal with either of the operators in Qatar to sell the devices; only the UAE's Etisalat, its KSA subsidiary Mobily and Jordan's Orange are listed as official suppliers of the handset in the Middle East.
A spokesperson for Vodafone Qatar confirmed to CommsMEA that the operator is in talks with Apple to be the exclusive supplier of the iPhone in Qatar.
But Qatar's number two operator could face a challenge from Qtel. A spokesperson for the incumbent operator said: "We are evaluating the potential and requirements of the iPhone 3GS, along with a number of other key solutions, at the present time and are in dialogue with the key suppliers."
Vodafone Qatar's decision to stock the iPhone, which many operators credit with boosting mobile broadband usage, follows an announcement made earlier this week that until the end of September customers can get 300Mb of free mobile internet data usage, after which data will be priced at QR10 ($2.70) per Mb.
Vodafone Qatar said the iPhone 3GS, the latest variant of Apple's touchscreen mobile device which was launched three months ago, will go on sale "soon".