Many online retailers have started selling the Apple’s newly launched 7.9-inch iPad mini on the grey market but for a hefty premium and some have already started pre-bookings for the device.
The iPad mini, which hit stores on Friday globally, starts at $329 (Dh1,207) for the 16-gigabyte, WiFi only version. Larger 32GB and 64GB versions will cost $429 and $529, respectively.
But in the UAE, retailers are selling the 16GB WiFi version for Dh1,999; 32GB for Dh2299 and 64GB WiFi for Dh2950.
Not only that, many retailers have started selling the Microsoft’s 32GB Surface RT tablet with cover for Dh2,999 instead of the official price tag of $599 and some have already started pre-bookings for Nokia’s new Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 which is expected to be launched officially in the middle of the month.
“Right now the prices of going to be very expensive and if you don’t need it immediately, It’s better to wait until the official launch in order for the price to come into line,” said Ashish Panjabi, CEO of Jacky’s Electronics.
Retailers said that prices should stabilise a lot quicker than in the past as the time period between the Apple’s release date and its regional launch has significantly shortened. They advised consumers not to jump and buy the device but wait for a few weeks.
“The time to market has gradually been reducing between the UAE and the US and while we don’t have an exact date from Apple yet, it will be here by end of November,” Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO of Emax, said.
Despite the steep pricing when compared to other branded 7-inch tablets, the iPad mini should do well in the UAE,” he said. There will always be grey goods imported into the country earlier, but “my advice to customers is to wait for the official launch as prices are normally very high initially but once the official launch takes place, we can expect prices to be much more closely aligned to those in other countries”, said Bhatnagar.
Both Emax and Jacky’s said that they will refrain from selling Apple products in the grey market.
Panjabi said: “We used to sell all the previous iPad models in the grey market but this time we are waiting for the official launch.”
“Even the iPhone 5 launched two months ago in the grey market is not doing brisk business. People are ready to wait for the official launch as it has a warranty plus the support from an authorised distributor,” Bhatnagar said.