Israelis want iPhone, may never get it

Sunday, July 08, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Well-to-do Israelis last week joined the rest of Western civilization in clamoring for Apple's new uber-gadget, the iPhone. But according to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv, only three iPhones had managed to reach the Jewish state by Sunday.

The Israeli newspaper gave the $500 cellphone a sparkling review, as did most of the mainstream media, despite what it referred to as not a few “birth pangs.”

The biggest gripe was the iPhone's inability to display Hebrew, even when viewing Hebrew-language websites.

The lack of Hebrew support is likely of no consequence to Apple, however, as there are currently no official plans to bring the iPhone to Israel. Ma'ariv speculated that it would take at least a year before a third party distributor could bring the iPhone to Israel en masse and establish a compatibility deal with one or more of the local cellular providers.

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