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iPhone 5S 16GB is fastest-selling model in UAE

The pent-up demand is largely for 5S and retailers expect 5C to take time to catch up

Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News
iPhone 5S and 5C were launched at the Apple store at the Mall of the Emirates. One or twostores are sold out. There is high demand for the gold device, but it is in short supply.
Gulf News

Dubai: Major retailers witnessed a brisk start to Apple iPhone sales in the UAE on Sunday at 12am.

iPhone 5S 16GB has become the fastest-moving model and is expected to be sold out this week, top retailers told Gulf News.

Major retailers opened their stores for more than an hour and many enthusiasts were queuing up to get their hands on the device.

“We managed to get a decent quantity and still have some stocks left. We got only a limited gold iPhone 5S and we have to fight for every piece we got. We got a better allocation than we expected,” Ashish Panjabi, COO at Jacky’s Electronics said.

He said more sales are on 5S than 5C and that was the most enthusiasts are waiting for. Sales of lower priced colourful 5C are expected to pick over the period.

“We got a very good response and many customers have already pre-booked and since it was a public holiday the sales have been good,” said Nadeem Khanzadah, Head of Retail, Jumbo Electronics.

He said one or two stores have completely sold out the devices. The demand is overwhelmingly for gold but it is in short supply. “We have sold gold colour iPhones completely, followed by silver and space grey,” he said.

Retailers are getting the stocks from the telecom operators who are the authorized distributors for iPhones in the UAE. Globally it is like that and in India it is sold through Redington and Ingram Micro this year.

“The stocks we have could last for couple of days and getting more stocks depends on the telcos,” Panjabi said.

The iPhone 5S is sold in the UAE for Dh2,749 (16GB), Dh3,149 (32GB) and Dh3,549 (64GB) while 5C carries a price tag of Dh2,349 (16GB) and Dh2,749 (32GB).

But UAE Apple store is selling the 5S for Dh2599 (16GB), Dh2999 (32GB) and Dh3399 (64GB) while 5C for Dh2199 (16GB) and Dh2599 (32GB).

“Devices bought through the website may carry customs duty as it is shipped from other countries,” Panjabi said.

Some iOS 7 features like turn by turn navigation, 3D navigation, Facebook Facetime and iMessage, etc are not currently available in the UAE.

“We got 500 units and we have sold around 300 units. The telco operators will give us the next supply only at end of this week,” Khanzadah said.

The pent-up demand is largely for 5S, so 5C will take time to catch up. Eventually, there is a $100 price difference between 5S and 5C and is available in different colours. But 5C will never exceed 5S sales.

“We are going to start trade-ins once we get constant supplies,” he said.

Etisalat customers can trade their iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S devices for discounted rates ranging from Dh600 to Dh1,150 for the new devices. They can also avail of a money-back on the purchase of the new iPhone if they trade in their old phones later.

The new models have been the best launch for the US company with nine million unit sales in three days of global launch on September 20.