Dubai: Du, the integrated telecom service provider in the UAE, said yesterday it will launch the iPhone 4 in the UAE tomorrow with a number of tariff plans for its iPhone individual and business customers.
Du's announcement was made at a time when etisalat also announced the price packages for its iPhone 4 customers.
"We believe we have the best value for money," Fareed Faraidooni, Chief Commercial Officer at du, told Gulf News yesterday.
"There are no rental charges for the plan and you don't even need to sign up for a one-year contract," he said.
Du's plans range from Dh25 and Dh100 per month plus a number of benefits, excluding the device. Individual customers can buy the 16 GB iPhone 4 separately for Dh2,459.
Etislat's iPhone 4 monthly packages range from Dh99 to Dh449 plus a number of benefits. The device can be either bought upfront for Dh2,049 or in instalments through one of the packages.
"We are pleased to offer the innovative iPhone 4 and new plans at incredible values that meet the needs of all our customers," said Khalifa Al Shamsi, Senior Vice-President, Marketing at etisalat in a statement sent yesterday.
Irfan Ellam, a telecommunications specialist based in Dubai, told Gulf News that the telecom operators' announcements to offer the new device is an opportunity for either telecom operator to get additional market share.
"It should help them get more customers, but when it comes to penetration we're very well penetrated," he said.
"It's a matter of what people do with their phones now."
Ellam said that mobile internet is now consumer-driven rather than being just business-driven. "People in the past have been used to staying in the office or at home and being online, but now that's changed," he said.
"People want to be on Facebook, find directions and find what time movies are available online."
The key now is whether it's affordable and people are willing to pay for it or not, he said.
The competition to offer the best value for data has become tougher since the TRA's decision to block BlackBerry services in the UAE.
Concerns that the TRA will stick to its position have led operators and customers to look into alternative solutions.
"The TRA has remained steadfast in its position of protecting the security of the UAE and this will mean that RIM will have to provide a plausible solution to the current situation.
"In the meantime, BlackBerry users are considering the alternatives offered such as the iPhone and Android devices which have proven increasingly popular in other markets," said Lindsey McDonald, Consultant at Frost & Sullivan in a comment on the BlackBerry situation in the Middle East.
Du's business customers are offered the Business Super Plan which starts from Dh699 and includes the cost of the handset. The business customers are charged Dh300 for the benefits.
Du's offering three month-to-month iPhone 4 plans: the Elite Super 100 plan, Elite plan or the prepaid plan.
Customers who purchase the Elite Super 100 Plan get 100 local minutes, 100 international minutes with up to 100 per cent on international calls, 100 SMS and 100 MB data at the rate of Dh100 per month.
Similarly, those who purchase the Elite Plan will get 55 local minutes, 55 local SMS and 5 MB of data and up to 75 per cent bonus on international calls for Dh25 per month.
The prepaid Pay as You Go customers need to top up their phones with a minimum of Dh100 in order to get the service.
Du's iPhone plans offer a 1GB of free data for 12 months.