Israeli cellular providers ask steep prices for latest phone deals
The companies no longer subsidize the phone itself: now customers have to pay for it in full.
Israel's three big cellular service operators Cellcom, Partner Communications and Pelephone are offering new packages based on a phone and a monthly service charge.
Pelephone is offering an iPhone 4 with unlimited calls for NIS 179 a month. Partner offers six different phones, including the most expensive Galaxy S III, with unlimited calls, for NIS 209 a month, while Cellcom offers three types of phone with a similar plan to Partner's.
From the consumer's perspective, it should be noted that these plans are different. Cellcom limits surfing to one gigabyte a month, while Partner allows two gigabytes on the more expensive phones. Pelephone permits up to three gigabytes.
But, the companies no longer subsidize the phone itself, which now has to be fully paid for by the customer.
The advertised prices incorporate the cost both of the monthly the plan and the purchase of a phone, undiscounted. The prices the three are asking for the phones themselves are not competitive. But people can purchase the phone from a retailer and sign up for a monthly plan separately. Those run at about NIS 85 a month at Cellcom and Partner .
Pelephone charges NIS 2,880 for its iPhone ain installments of NIS 80 a month for 36 months. But bought at a retailer, the phone costs only NIS 2,500.
Partner prices its Galaxy SII at NIS 3,204, but the phone can be bought elsewhere for little as NIS 2,000. Cellcom's Galaxy SIII costs NIS 4,860, compared with NIS 2,650 to NIS 2,990 at retail outlets.
Partner's packages for Samsung phones are cheaper and more generous than those at Cellcom.