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New smartphone launches to be darling of the crowd

It will not have a major impact on third-quarter sales due to summer holidays, IDC says

Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News
Ebrahim Alchamsi and his family were the first customers in line to buy during the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus at the Store in Apple Dubai Mall.
Gulf News


Smartphones again stole the limelight along with the new launches and the reduced prices for previous models.

Samsung Note 8 was launched two days ago but Apple 8 and Apple 8 Plus are available at the event as it was launched on Saturday.

The 64GB iPhone 8 is priced at Dh2,849 and 256GB at Dh3,479 while the iPhone 8 Plus 64GB is priced at Dh3,249 and 256GB at Dh3,879.

The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 (32GB) is available for Dh2,199 and iPhone 7 (128GB) for Dh2,599. The 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus (32GB) is available for Dh2,699 and iPhone 7 Plus (128GB) for Dh3,099.

The launch price for iPhone 7 (32GB) in 2016 was Dh2,599 iPhone 7 (128GB) for Dh2,999 while iPhone 7 Plus was Dh3,099 (32GB) and Dh3,499 (128GB).

Despite getting lukewarm response for the new Apple devices globally, including the UAE, retailers don’t expect Apple fans to buy the iPhone 8 now but rather wait for the iPhone X.

But Nabila Popal, senior research manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey at International Data Corporation, said that the new launches will not have a major impact on the third-quarter figures, which ends on September 30, as it is launched closer to the end of the month.

“We have seen in the last few shoppers that retailers are not holding too many inventories and are very cautious. Generally, third-quarter is very slow due to the summer holidays and it is the slowest quarter of the year despite the Gitex Shopper,” she said.

The last major upgrade for Apple was the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 2014.

Since then, she said that there haven’t been major upgrades.

“I believe a lot of people that upgraded then and have been holding off on upgrading since then, will likely now upgrade to the latest devices. Anyone who is thinking about converting from Android to iOS is likely to convert now,” she said.

Moreover, she said that the facial recognition feature and the buzz surrounding AR upgrades have resulted in a much greater hype this year than last year and hence will be the key drivers for the new devices.

“However, having said that, I don’t think it will drastically change the overall market share of Apple in the region amid the usual increase in Apple’s share that usually happens in the fourth quarter due to the increase in sales,” she said.

She added that the situation for Note 8 will be similar to the global trend as they have received record pre-orders. It is a great phone and the user feedback is also overwhelming. What happened to Note 7 did not damage the reputation of Samsung, people are waiting and very excited about it.

Mahesh Chotrani, assistant vice-president of Jacky’s Electronics, said that Samsung Note 8 and iPhone 8 devices will anyway sell even if Gitex is not there. There will be no offers on these two products.