Ever wanted to buy one of the latest Nokia models in Egypt? Models like the N95 or the N82, or even one of the new ultimate business phones like the E66 or E71, even the more than a year old E90?
The truth is you can, but not through the authorized dealers. Here is the story.
Back in April this year, I was in Dubai, where they had just launched the N82. For Moblogging and Photoblogging purposes, the N82 is a great companion, packed with features like Wifi, 3.5G speed, 5MP camera and a GPS. However, the GPS is the feature that killed my excitement, not that I hate the feature, or that I’m allergic to it, but GPS enabled telephones are banned in Egypt. I was even got more shocked when I called one of the main distributors in Egypt and learned that not only they are banned to be sold in Egypt, but also the dealers are not allowed even to fix a telephone that has GPS built in – Beautiful (The H Dabour Way).
So, ladies and gents, I am sarcastically proud to announce that Egypt is one of the two nations in the world (The other being Syria) who have the GPS enabled mobile phones banned, now isn’t that beautiful? But wait it gets better.
Devices like the HTC and the Blackberry all also have GPS built in. I know for a fact that GPS featured (but disabled) HTCs are being sold through legal distributors in Egypt, and that you could enable the GPS by simply flashing the phone, but I’d rather be seen dead than use a Windows Mobile device.
A future victim to this technological rape (or should we call it circumcision, as a piece of the device is removed for a definite purpose :P ) will be Apple’s iPhone. Considered to be one of the sexiest phones out there, with an outstanding user interface, simple to use, an oh shit, GPS. A few weeks ago I was talking with one of the responsible at Apple in Egypt, he said that the phone has to be launched as there is a solid contract with both Vodafone and Orange (Mobinil) to launch and sell the iPhone in Egypt, but most probably, the GPS will be disabled. Of course our friends back in Apple International do not get the logic of why Egypt are requesting GPS disabled iPhones, well the logic is quite simple.
Some intelligent (actually very intelligent) people in this country are with the belief that GPS in phones will be used for spying, and that anyone will be located anywhere in the country. For the love of God, already being on a GSM network you are being easily tracked (even when your phone is switched off), it’s not disabling a GPS in the phone that will make you invisible. Besides, with the massive satellites up there, rest assured that the color of your poop is also being monitored, so just leave the GPS systems out of it.
For this reason, I am happy to know that we are stuck with outdated telephone models for quite some time, until someday, the logic gets reconsidered.