The countdown has begun for Apple’s new iPhone, expected to be launched at a media event on September 9.
Speculation has been riding high, with some reports claiming that the US-based company will launch two models of its next generation smartphone, the iPhone 6, and others asserting that Apple will finally launch a new smartwatch with enhanced capabilities.
All the expected key features in the new device have also been discussed and debated intensely online including a bigger screen, faster processor, new OS and even a mobile payment system.
“There is a lot riding on this new iPhone,” said Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s Group.
“Brands like Samsung, HTC and LG have all managed to capture strong marketshare with their devices wherein most of their product line up has got a screen size bigger than the 4 inches that the current iPhone 5S has got.
“The requirement for a bigger screen has become a priority for Apple, we hope, and if the new iPhone comes with a bigger screen, it will help them plough back some marketshare,” he explained.
While Apple is said to have partnered with credit card giants Visa, American Express and MasterCard for its new much-hyped mobile wallet, Panjabi says the feature may not work in the UAE initially and could be something geared towards the US market.
“It [the next generation iPhone] will only become a standout product if Apple can devise functionality not seen in other devices such as unique connectivity capabilities with wearable devices or develop features that many of us are yet to envision,” he said.
But he added: “The way it stands right now, the next generation iPhone should be a best-seller.”
Apple has been traditionally slow to launch its new iPhones in the UAE, fuelling the sale of the devices on the grey market. However, the iPhone 5S made its official UAE debut soon after the US launch, which Panjabi urges should continue this time.
“I hope Apple will maintain their policy of bringing new models to the UAE as quickly as possible. We saw the iPhone 5S launch in the UAE approximately 40 days after the US launch and this was a big improvement from previous launches where the typical lag time was anywhere between four months to a year,” he said.
The UAE has one of the highest penetration rates for mobile phones, standing at over 100 per cent, with most consumers now opting for smartphones.
“At Jacky’s, over 96 per cent of our mobile device sales are smartphones and the balance four per cent are traditional (or “dumb”) mobile phones,” said Panjabi.
“Therefore, it means many consumers have a combination of an iPhone, Android smartphone or BlackBerry device. In such a unique scenario, we expect the iPhone 6 to do extremely well in the UAE as we’ve got a tech-savvy population that is constantly willing to upgrade to the newest devices,” he added.