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iPhone 5’s absence will be felt at Gitex Shopper

Smartphone vendors still see room for growth in the UAE

Gulf News

Dubai: The iPhone 5 will not make it in time for the Gitex Shopper 2012, or at least in the kind of volumes that can feed demand.

For those few models that will be brought in ahead of the official launch here, there is the tricky issue to have the Nano SIMs to make them work.

Local telecom operators and retailers are counselling patience in the interim.

“We understand how keen our customers are to get one,” a statement from du said.

“Our customers will enjoy speeds of 100Mbps on 4G LTE and 42 Mbps on DC HSPA+ on our 4G network.

“Soon we’ll bring this much-anticipated smartphone to the UAE with attractive data plans and Nano SIMs.”

That will still be a few weeks away, which effectively means that the greatest corporate duel of our times — between Apple and Samsung and by extension the iPhone 5 versus the Galaxy SIII — will not be played out at this year’s Gitex Shopper. Nor will Nokia make an appearance with its newly announced Windows 8 Mobile enabled Lumina 920.

Even without the absentee models, the Gitex Shopper will still have plenty to showcase.

The Eros Group expects the new Samsung Galaxy Note II to make it for the show, and if not immediately after.

“We expect to see Nokia gain back some share with the launch of their Lumia family of Windows Phone devices as it will also support Arabic,” said Ashish Panjabi of Jacky’s.

“However, brands like Nokia, Samsung and BlackBerry have actually expanded the reach of the market as they have a whole host of devices in the entry level for people who’re looking to buy a smartphone for the first time.

“Many of these customers possibly have an entry-level mobile phone in the Dh69 to Dh199 bracket. But they may move up to buy an entry-level smartphone from Dh299 to Dh699.”

Tech retailers are ready to look well beyond the short-term of the Gitex Shopper 2012 to create that ideal consumer-facing environment. “The retail environment for tech remains undifferentiated for product,” said Vishesh Bhatia, who recently took over as CEO at Jumbo Electronics.

“Typically, the majority of the functionalities of a gadget remain unused — our goal is to ensure customers make full use of devices.”