Countdown Begins For UAE Launch Of iPhone 5

Local distributors say they have been receiving numerous queries for Apple’s latest smartphone.



The UAE is set to officially launch Apple’s iPhone 5 from 12.00 am December 13 and local retailers say they are looking forward to enjoying great sales.

“With the aggressive prices set forth by the operators for the iPhone 5, we’ve seen a lot of enquiries for this device in the last week,” said Ashish Panjabi, the COO of Jacky’s Group.

Etisalat has priced the latest iPhone’s 16GB device at Dhs2749, the 32GB at Dhs3149 and the 64GB at Dhs3549. The operator also said it has several pre-paid, post-paid and data package plans for the phone.

Du’s prices are the same for the 16GB model, but are slightly higher for the 32GB at Dhs3199 and the 64GB at Dhs3599.

Although the iPhone 5 was available on the grey market soon after its global launch in September, Panjabi said the unofficial prices were too expensive.

“The grey market prices were significantly higher and our advice had always been that if you could wait, then do as the grey market prices were unjustifiable,” he said.

Thanks to the high prices, grey market sales are not expected to have a big impact on official sales, he added.

“The grey market pick up for the iPhone 5 was dull as compared to previous Apple launches. Most consumers have realised that it simply doesn’t make sense to pay exorbitant prices for grey market products and with the time to market reducing in the UAE, it makes sense to buy it at a reasonable price during the official launch.

“The original iPhone was released more than a year after the official launch. With the iPhone 5, we’ve seen this gap come down to just under three months and we hope this will continue to improve going forward,” Panjabi said.

Jacky’s will be retailing the products at the same prices fixed by Etisalat and du, he added.

The latest generation of the iPhone, features a larger display, is taller, 18 per cent thinner and 20 per cent lighter than its predecessor the iPhone 4s. It also includes a new Apple-design chip named the A6, which is supposedly twice as powerful as the chips used in previous models.

Apple said it sold more than five million units of its latest product during the first three days of its release, surpassing a record set last year by the previous model.

Panjabi hopes the smartphone will become one of their best-selling products.

“Records are made to be broken and we hope this will continue to be the case with the iPhone 5 and future releases that brands like Apple make,” he said.