Mobile broadband price war begins, or: Please du, may I have an iPhone?

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You won't have seen it publicised in the news or via adverts, but du has recently - quietly -  introduced some very decently priced (by UAE standards) mobile data packages, offering big discounts on Etisalat's rates.

du are now offering

unlimited

"unlimited" mobile data -

really, properly, unlimited

- for Dh360 ($98) a month. That's a 22% discount on Etisalat's price for an "unlimited" account, which is actually limited to 10 gigabytes of downloads with the 11th gigabyte costing a cool Dh3000.

(UPDATE: reader

that du also limit their "unlimited" package to 10GB. That is disappointing coming from du, because at least Etisalat are

)

Here's a screen grab of the new price structure:

834-du data-thumb-426x297.jpg

A 2GB monthly package on du no costs Dh200, which is

. What does this all mean, and why haven't du publicised these huge discounts? One theory spings to mind.

(Story updated, scroll to bottom)

The UAE's best monosyllabic mobile operator has been talking about selling the iPhone for more than a year, but rumours have stepped up in the last couple of months that something is fairly imminent.

, although it is through an article that begins with

"rumours must be handled with care, so please excuse the fact that this article is couched in caveats, but one rumour that's doing the rounds..."

Anyhow,

for the Gitex conference next week. No-one at du denied this when asked if it was true - although no-one, including the unnamed sources supporting the story, said it

was

true either.

Beep Beep's vast universe of powerful, Deep Throat-style sources embedded within the key power centres of the nation - and the world - are unfortunately all busy washing their hair right now, and couldn't help us out on the story. My guess is du will release the iPhone in the coming month, my even riskier, more speculative guess (as opposed to a non-speculative guess) is that they

won't

launch it at Gitex. The advantage to such a prediction is that I will be very happy to be proven wrong.

UPDATE: Via some crafty snooping, the very same Gerald D mentioned above has

. And Shufflegazine, who think about this stuff more than anyone,