Just after the keynote last Monday, Apple's national homepages worldwide refreshed to the news. 3G iPhones sold worldwide with concrete deployment plans was a fact. A whole bunch of western world countries were shown in a first release wave on July 11th, in a month's time that is. In little and faraway Belgium, an island with far too many idiosyncrasies located in the 'center' of the world, housing the high Commands of the EU and the NATO, the Apple homepage showed in two languages (as it should), Flemish and French, that indeed the iPhone was to be sold for real on July 11, just 10 days before the National Feast (commemorating the creation of the state of Belgium in the 1800's). It wasn't meant to be true though...
In a country with hundreds of dump and unreasonable laws, with one among them prohibiting exclusivity of distribution rights by single operators of cellular phone devices in the mobile comms arena, it wasn't too obvious how the list of first release countries would include us along the rest of the 'civilized' west; actually, Belgium appears no better than Botswana, Mali or El Salvador. We are stuck in the Northern hemisphere not to lose the unique opportunity to enjoy cold and wet summers but we are no much better than any third world country. Because we are run by castratti governments filled-up with second and third generations of political dynasties (and they all blame the royals for doing the same, by the way) and managing like on a home trainer: pedaling like hell, sweating but going nowhere.
Anyways, we'll have to wait. If ever... behind Mali and Cameroon. Until the moment that local braindead authorities realize that Mr. Jobs is factually more powerful in a world of 6 billion people than the entire 10 million of Belgian citizens, incl. their government muppets and their dynasties. If I was his Jobness, I wouldn't lose a sec's sleep on this. F*ck 'em. Useless pieces of sh*t! And he'd be right on the money!
Now, the funny faits divers is that a few hours after the first announcement, the published list on the Apple site was the one shown above (click for a readable res). Apparently, hours later, the local Apple homepage took the line "available from July 11" off the page and Belgium moved to the second group after Argentina. I didn't know that and only discovered it after reading a whole page article this morning, dedicated to the incident in the "DeMorgen" paper. I rushed to Apple's local Belgian site and indeed, DeMorgen was right. No July 11 announcement and Belgium enjoying quietly on second place after Argentina and in front of Botswana, in the 'later this year group of countries' bunch.
A few moments later though, while I was explaining the absurdity of this country's rules to my spouse, a native herself, I link to the page in question to prove my point as she didn't believe it herself... and there I get a list where Belgium sits back next to Austria due for a July 11 release... What the heck is going on? Cleaned up histories and tried Flock and Firefox... idem ditto!
Conclusion: (dumpsh*t) Belgium got even the geniuses of Apple Inc. pretty confused!
PS. The local minister of telecoms in the Belgian government boasts owning an iPhone for some time, cracked, jailbroken and all. He also used it to take a shot of Steve Ballmer the other day when the latter was visiting the country! What can I say? We throw cream tarts on Bill Gates and shoot pictures of Ballmer with cracked iPhones! But we ain't getting them legally sold or supported... and we run governments and make the laws... Viva Belgium!