Price war for latest iPhone gets under way

Many retailers ship instruments from UK and Canada and offer cheaper rates by cutting profit margins

Fast moving gadget
Image Credit: AFP
The new Apple iPhone 4S with doubly fast phone chip, a better camera as well as Siri,an audio program that assists users with commands, has pushed the sales up.
08 Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE pricing war for new iPhone 4S has begun.

In the wake of prices as high as Dh7,999 for grey-market versions of the 64GB model in the UAE, other retailers came out swinging yesterday with online price tags far cheaper in an attempt to cash in on the overwhelming demand for the new phone.

Sanjay Amarnani, CEO of online portal, said that compared to one competitor selling the 16GB version for Dh5,999, aido is selling the same phone now for Dh3,489.

"We work on very tight margins. We buy from authorised dealers in the UK and Canada," said Amarnani, who said he has sold 200 units since Sunday and has two more shipments en route to the UAE. "We could easily charge Dh8,000 but that's not what we aim for. We want to make it accessible for them [buyers]."

"What about the others who can't afford the Dh8,000 but want the Apple product?" he queried, noting that he visited a Dubai mall kiosk where the 16GB phone was being sold for Dh6,600.

Apple announced yesterday that it has sold four million of its new iPhone 4S only three days after launching the handheld device on October 14 at its Cupertino, California, headquarters.

The phone was officially released in Canada and the US on Friday but no date has been announced for the iPhone 4S model's first authorised appearance in the UAE. The phone should be here officially in November or December, say tech pundits.

Telephony and e-commerce companies, meanwhile, have already been working around the clock to get their first shipments of iPhone 4S models into the UAE after purchasing them from authorised dealers in the UK and Canada.

Other online portals in the UAE are offering the new iPhone 4S for more reasonable prices.

The website was offering the new iPhone 4S yesterday for different prices on several models, including the 16GB model for Dh3,999.

SIASA Telecom said yesterday that it is issuing new iPhone 4S units to retailers across Dubai and GCC after receiving deliveries in Dubai.

Mohammad Sadiq, director of SIASA Telecom, said, "We have been inundated with orders from the GCC since the iPhone 4S was announced on October 4. We have had a hard time getting hold of stock and still have retail demands to meet before month end."

He noted that his company is one "of the first mobile phone distributors to import the units to the UAE since it officially went on the market for sale on October 14. The new smartphone landed in Dubai last night and will go on to be distributed to retailers around Dubai and the GCC this week."

iPhone 4s: Apple stunned by sales

Not long after sales topped an historic one million the first day for the new iPhone 4S, Apple announced yesterday that the run on the phones continues. Since its launch on October 14, the iPhone 4S has sold more than four million units.

"iPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend — the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in a statement.

"iPhone 4S is a hit with customers around the world, and together with iOS 5 and iCloud, is the best iPhone ever."

The company also said yesterday that other new product launches are spiralling beyond expectations with more than 25 million customers now using the iOS 5 operating system by Apple within the first five days of its release. Apple also claimed that "more than 20 million customers have signed up for iCloud".