Home > News > iPhone 3G released in Egypt, without Arabic, disabled GPS and no Egypt App Store

iPhone 3G released in Egypt, without Arabic, disabled GPS and no Egypt App Store

The iPhone 3G is now available in Egypt. It is sold by Vodafone and mobinil. The iPhone 3G will cost the same from both carriers: 3800 EGP (2,615 SR/$698) for the 8GB model and 4450 EGP (3,065 SR/$817) for the 16GB model. And there is no subsidized price!

There are a few problems with this release:

Banned GPS

GPS is banned in Egypt and the only way for the iPhone 3G to be sold in Egypt is by disabling GPS from the firmware. Apple’s official iPhone 3G for Egypt site has omitted the term “GPS”. Compare that to any other country’s page. The Vodafone spec page for the iPhone 3G also doesn’t mention GPS.

No Arabic language support

Egypt is an Arabic speaking country. As of iPhone firmware 2.1 there is no Arabic language support in the device. You could view Arabic characters but they are separated, making them unreadable. And of course you cannot write any Arabic text. The only solution is to jailbreak your iPhone 3G and purchase iPhoneislam’s “Arabtaller Pro”.

No Egypt iTunes App Store

Good luck installing application in your new iPhone 3G because until now there is no Egypt iTunes App Store. Countries without an iPhone 3G release like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have their own App Stores by the way.

Who will fix it?

If you clicked on “Help & Support” on Vodafone’s iPhone 3G page. You will be redirected to (www.apple.com/support/iphone/eg/), a page that doesn’t exist. Which raises the question, who will handle the service and repair of the iPhone 3G in Egypt?

How to activate the iPhone 3G?

I found this activation steps PDF on Vodafone’s site and it asks that you install iTunes 7.7 (iTunes 8 is out for over a month now) for Windows? I am sorry but this is the worst set of instructions I have seen from a company as big as Vodafone.

My thoughts

The iPhone 3G in Egypt is very crippled and I don’t believe this is the experience that Apple wants for their customers. I hope those issues get fixed soon.

I do expect a large number of those iPhone 3Gs will be hardware SIM unlocked and sold in other countries as well.

About Khaled A.


  1. what a shame 🙁

  2. No Need For App Store .. Jailbreaking Is Working Well And Free

  3. And Not Supporting Arabic Is A Good Thing That Means it will not spread like Nseries .. And i don’t think iphone will work well in Egyptian market cos people there like loud voiced phones .. They won’t like the iphone .. And I Like This Cos I’ll Be From The Few Those Own The iPhone 😀

  4. Srry I mean won’t work will

  5. You are right on most of the things, But remember Egypt is not USA. we do not have good managers here in Egypt. we miss the good leaders. I will tell you a secret, Someone from vodafone (iPhone Project) talked with iPhoneIslam and he asked us “Are you from Apple?” 🙂 this gives you a hint of how lost those people are. they do not know about the iPhone more than what they told them.

    Also no expect Apple to support Arabic, Microsoft did not support Arabic before on Windows Mobile (Imaginate did that (third party company)), Also Apple did not support Arabic for iPod while we have big market for it.

    About the GPS people will find a workaround. iPhone have the same firmware 2.1 that all people have and the block been there since 2.1

    you Are 100% right about the PDF, Company like Vodafone should do that. but you have to see MobiNil webpage 🙂

  6. Guys it is a total fiasco!!! i just had my first Vodafone Iphone, and i am so pissed off at both, Vodafone and Apple inc!!! the phone is a totally crippled device, no i tunes store (i have a saudi i tunes account as i do have residence / credit card…..etc) but how do they launch in a country that has no online store??? and the phone doesn’t come packed with software to compensate for that.
    I went to jailbreak it yesterday but i failed as the hacker is not yet familiar with the software 2.2, he asked me to go back to him in one week while he gets his cracks ready to install Cydia and all the other fun stuff, i am not sure if this will affect the over the air sync with my mobile me mail, contacts and calendar!!! any one knows that???

  7. Kaufman, any idea if i will lose the over the air sync with mobile me if i jailbroke my Vodafone iphone???

  8. And why the GPS is banned in Egypt for crying out load??!? No GPS, NO EGY APPSTORE!!! NO ARABIC! Dont tell me you can’t text either!!

    this is lame!

  9. Sorry this offer is closed

  10. There is a fix at the center named Salsapeel in Dokki has all spare parts for iPhones
    The Asaaram Haile from personal experience their number 33355578


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