TELECOM provider LIME expects to launch the new iPhone 5S and 5C in November, but don't expect a US$99 ($10,000) starting price tag.
The company, however, indicated that it will ameliorate the cost over specified periods.
"The Caribbean and Latin America release is set for November. You can use that indicative date for release in Jamaica," said Elon Parkinson, head of corporate communications manager at LIME, following discussions with LIME's marketing department.
The exact pricing is yet to be determined.
Apple earlier this month launched two new phones: its flagship 5S and a more affordable 5C.
In the US market the iPhone 5C will cost US$99 for a 16 gigabyte (GB) model or US$199 for a 32GB model, with contracts. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5S will sell for US$199 for 16GB, US$299 for 32GB and US$399 for 64GB, with a contract.
"The US$99 iPhone is the contract price with AT&T (a US telecom). But that iPhone 5S is US$549 without," indicated Dwight Williams, head of product performance at LIME, at the annual general meeting held earlier this month at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
"What LIME does is make it easier on customers by dividing that cost over a particular period," Williams added.
LIME is the only local telecom that currently sells iPhones.
The iPhone competes with Samsung for the top slot as global leaders in smart phones.
Locally, however, BlackBerry (BB) controls the bulk of the local market.
However, since September, Jamaicans are more interested in searching about Samsung than BB on the net, according to GoogleTrends.
In the absence of market-share data, interest as a measure of popularity could eventually reflect in purchasing patterns.
However, BB spokesperson Arno Glompner told the Observer earlier this month that "BB still leads market share in the price bands we deal in." Glompner declined to reveal regional marketshare, and comments from Samsung did not come up to press. However, GoogleTrends data indicates that for every 100 searches for devices within Jamaica since September, Samsung interest averaged 90, outscoring that of BB at 80 and the iPhone at 68. The rise may continue as Samsung's growth has more pace when compared with BB.
The Google search engine geographically compiles searches over time. Its affiliated site GoogleTrends then gauges the popularity of these terms from 0-100. Last year in Jamaica, BB scored 73 with Android at 27 and the iPhone at 31.
The growth in smartphones has increased data revenues for the mobile carriers. Latest data from Jamaica's telecom regulator, the Office of Utilities Regulation, reveal a more-than 160 per cent rise in revenues from SMS and other mobile data services to $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2011 from $451 million a year earlier.