Apple’s iPhone Makes Their Day

DUBAI — The latest iPhone that Apple has made — the 3GS — hit UAE markets on Tuesday with eager iPhone addicts scrambling to lay their hands on one despite the high price tag.

By Patrick Michael (With inputs from Ibrahim Haj Ahmed)

Published: Thu 29 Oct 2009, 12:02 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 9:17 PM

“The price for the handset is high, but not too high. It compares with other devices in the market such as Blackberry 8900 and Nokias. What is exorbitant are the data packages. All data packages in the UAE are many times higher than Europe and the US and is hampering the development of mobile internet in the region. As far as I am aware there is not a roaming data package for the iPhone on either du or etisalat and that is a problem for regular travelers,” says Grant Bishop.

“Dh2,000 is my threshold for smartphones,” said Ralf Peppekus.

But, says Catboy, Dubai 92 Breakfast Show Presenter, “it’s the old argument about Apple products. Non-Apple users always bemoan Mac users until someone shows them how useful they are. I’ve converted pretty much the entire Dubai 92 team to Mac in my four years here. No contest. Also, you get what you pay for.”

Both etisalat and du are selling the hard-to-resist smartphone that packs a number of amazing features.

According to iPhone users we spoke to, it’s the finest iPhone that Apple has ever made.

“Two years after the first iPhone there is still no competitor to it, its simplicity and power is unmatched. The combination with iTunes makes everything so easy,” said Ralf.

“Simple, slick and easy to use the iPhone has, quite literally, put life in the palm of my hand. The only downside to it is that once you’ve bought one, you may not be able to live without it,”says Rima Armstrong, an avid iPhone user and advocate.

“Not only does the iPhone offer me 24/7 connection through mediums such as email, facebook and twitter, but there’s a whole world of applications out there waiting to be explored. Whether I want to learn Japanese or lose weight, the iPhone has an application to help me do it.”

“It is without a doubt the best mobile console for browsing and media playback, however the Blackberry Curve / Bold still beat it for email / business use,” says Grant Bishop.

The gadget’s intuitive touch interface and impressive graphics has also blown users over.

It has a “mind-blowing amount of usability and a ridiculously extensive application list. I spent a few days downloading as many apps as could just to see how many aspects of my life the iPhone could ‘assist’... I’m still downloading!, said Catboy.

But, says Sangit Gopinath, “Impressive graphics is of no use if the screen size is not appropriately enhanced. The iPhone screen size is just perfect and does do justice, to the impressive user interface that comes with the iPhone. Hence, overall, I would give a great thumbs-up to the offering.”

“There is nothing any other phone can do that the iPhone can’t, but you can be sure the iPhone does it better. Even the BlackBerry’s BBM is rivalled by ‘Ping’, an instant messanger iPhone application.Admittedly the touchscreen initially put me off purchasing an iPhone but after some serious scrutiny, I took the plunge, adds Rima.

Customers, however, are split over which provider to pick: etisalat or du?

“After the latest Spyware scandal I would go for du,” said Ralf.

“It’s du for price, data quality and customer service, however etisalat for coverage and the one major reason — keeping my 5 year old number. The non-portability of mobile numbers from one provider to the other is a huge factor in etisalat maintaining userbase and should be abolished asap (I believe this is coming at some point soon),” said Bishop.

“Probably du this time. I’ve had bad experiences with Etisalat, especially their Internet,” said Catboy.

Gopinath, however, prefers etisalat. “The reason being that I have been using etisalat service for the past six years and do not see a reason for change.”

There were, however, a few who thumbed their nose at Apple’s latest offering. “I really don’t care for the new iPhone 3GS – my iPhone 3G has 16 gigabits of memory which is more than what I need for my music,” said Sami Abu Hamad. “There’s a lot more useful options in the BlackBerry which you simply don’t find in the iPhone 3GS, or otherwise. iPhones are for teenagers while BlackBerry is for the more business oriented people,” said Tarik Zaki

Those who have bought the smartphone are amazed by its speed and say even booting the phone is far quicker.

“It has a faster processor, more memory for OS and applications, up to 32GB storage capacity, oleophobic coating to the screen that reduces the affect of fingerprints and smudges, a built-in compass, 3 megapixel camera with autofocus, video recording, 7.2Mbps 3G data (double the iPhone 3G). Then all the news in iPhone OS 3.0 like MMS, copy-paste and full Arabic support,” said Magnus Nystedt, Managing Editor of Shufflegazine.

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