Despite smartphone glut, Apple’s new iPhones still awaited in UAE

The company is expected to unveil its latest iPhones on September 9



Rumours about Apple’s latest iPhones, expected to be unveiled on September 9, have been doing the internet rounds for months now with leaked features and photos.

Reports claims the next generation iPhones (likely to be called the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus) will have enhanced camera specs, stronger casing and features such as Force Touch.

While users have long demanded better cameras of Apple – in pace with its rival Samsung – the new devices could also use other upgrades to better compete in the crowded marketplace.

Apart from enhanced camera functions, additional features that would be welcome include longer battery life, wireless charging, dual SIM feature and expandable storage, stated IDC’s research manager for Middle East, Africa and Turkey Nabila Popal.

Any unique feature will make a big difference, especially in a saturated market such as the United Arab Emirates where smartphone penetrations rates are already close to 200 per cent.

Although Samsung currently occupies enjoys the maximum market share in the UAE market, Apple is quickly catching up, opined Popal.

“Apple has always been a strong rival to Samsung in the UAE, especially after the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

“High-end users who preferred Samsung devices solely for the larger screen size also had Apple to choose from and earlier converters to Samsung were able to convert back to Apple,” she explained.

According to IDC, Apple’s share of the smartphone market in the UAE has increased from 11 per cent in Q3 2014 to 18 per cent in Q2 2015, while Samsung’s share reduced from 37 per cent to 31 per cent in the same time period.

Following Samsung’s recent launch of the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, consumers in the country are now eagerly awaiting the new launches from Apple, Popal said.

In line with increased demand from the region, Apple also plans to open a new branded store in the UAE this year.

While no official details have been disclosed, reports suggest the new store will be located in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and launched in September or October.

“Apple has always been a prestigious and popular brand in the region, with or without a store. Having a store is therefore only going to further enhance that image as users will be able to directly connect with the brand and finally be able to have the unique ‘Apple’ store experience which until now they could only get overseas,” said Popal.

“I do not see the store itself increasing Apple’s sales or share in a significant way, however, combined with future good product launches that Apple is renowned to do, it will definitely help build the brand image further,” she added.