Apple's wildly popular iPhone was scheduled to finally be offered in Israel on Wednesday, more than two years after being launched in the US and Europe.
All three of Israel's main cellular providers signed deals to distribute the iPhone with Apple's official representative in Israel, iDigital Ltd. That no single company cornered the market on iPhones, as AT&T did in the US, meant that the launching of the iPhone in Israel would not result in a major market shift.
And that was good news for all three providers, since polls showed that nearly 25 percent of Israeli cellular users want an iPhone, and that nearly 30 percent would switch to a different provider if theirs didn't offer it.
In Israel, the iPhone was set to retail for NIS 2,800 (about $735), but each provider was expected to subsidize NIS 2,000 ($525) of that amount. Customers would pay NIS 800 for the phone, be charged a monthly iPhone fee of NIS 150, and pay for monthly airtime and data packages.