The iPhone 3G went on sale today in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and initial reports suggest that sales have been impressively strong. According to the Saudi Gazette, over 25,000 customers in Saudi Arabia alone signed up for iPhone plans within hours of the device going on sale. By way of comparison, first day iPhone sales in Germany came it at 10,000 units, and iPhone sales in France came in at 30,000 units during the entire first week of sales.
The iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia is being released by Middle East telecom provider Etisalat, and comes with either pre or post-paid subscription plans. According to one report we came across, 3G speeds on the Etisalat network can reach download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps.
The 25,000 figure in iPhone sales is even more impressive considering the fact that the iPhone still doesn’t offer language support for Arabic. Thus, iPhone users in the Middle East still can’t send or receive text messages in Arabic, and websites in Arabic won’t render correctly either. Etisalat officials, however, claim that Arabic support for the iPhone will be introduced in about three months.