iPhone coming to Israel midnight Wednesday
iPhone coming to Israel midnight WednesdayIsrael news photo

Two Israeli companies gearing up to sell the Apple “iPhone" have mapped out festivities and security as if an important head of state were arriving. Cellcom and Pelephone will begin selling the first iPhones in Israel at exactly one minute after midnight Wednesday for a price that so far has been kept under wraps.

Industry analysts anticipate that the going price will be about 800 shekels ($210), plus a monthly fee. The simplest models cost about $100 in the United States, but others cost much more.

The device combines the features of a mobile phone, wireless Internet device, and iPod into one package and features a multi-touch screen that acts as a mouse and keyboard.

Apple has set Thursday morning as the date for the gadget’s debut in Israel. Cellcom will market them initially at Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv while Pelephone will have a booth at a mall in Ramat Gan.

The iPhone function allow users access to Wi-Fi connectivity and visual voicemail, as well as a camera, portable media player and Internet accessibility, accompanied by the multi-touch screen that enables users to scroll through menus on Internet pages using two fingers. The screen includes automatic spell checking and even predicts the completion of some words that the user begins to type.

It was named the Invention of the Year by TIME magazine in 2007, and Apple has sold several million units, which originally cost nearly $600 before the price went down.    

In case anyone forgets, it also can by used as an old-fashioned telephone – but in a modern way. It allows call holding, conference calls and proximity sensors that automatically disable the screen when the device is held close to the face.

One model supports voice dialogue control, whereby a caller simply says a contact’s name, letting the iPhone dial itself. The gadget also works as a digital compass.