Dubai: Apple has started selling its new handset — iPhone SE — across the UAE and is already out of stock of some models at its Dubai store.
An Apple salesperson at the Mall of the Emirates said that they are already out of stock on 64GB version and had sold close to 100 units during the morning.
He said that many people came bought two devices each. One family came and bought four devices and everybody wanted the 64GB version, the largest available on the SE.
Biju Sathyan, a resident of Dubai, said that he was buying an Apple phone for the first time. He wants to gift it to his wife, who wanted a small screen.
“I am not an iPhone fan but my wife is a big fan of Apple devices. I use an HTC Android device,” he said, a device he said he was happy with.
The four-inch device has the heart of iPhone 6S and the body of iPhone 5S. The 16GB version is priced at Dh1,649 and 64GB for Dh2,049.
Louisa from Dubai said that she was planning to buy a refurbished 5S for Dh1,099 from Gitex as her second device but later decided to buy the SE. She said she was forced to buy the 16GB as 64GB was not available.
Recent global reports show that demand for the iPhone SE has been significantly lower than that of past new models, apart from China where pre-orders hit around 3.4 million units.
According to mobile engagement firm Localytics, the iPhone SE managed to grab only 0.1 per cent of the iPhone market after one full weekend on sale.
Localytics’ numbers do not necessarily tell the whole story, but iPhone SE also had the lowest adoption compared to the iPhone 5S and all the 6 models.
“The larger screen models and the iPhone 5S all had better opening weekends than the iPhone SE. In 2013, the iPhone 5S captured 0.9 per cent of the Apple iPhone market in its first weekend of sales. Even the larger “Plus” models released in 2014 and 2015 (the 6 Plus and 6S Plus) fared better than the SE, at 0.3 per cent each compared to the SE’s 0.1 per cent,” Localytics website said.
Daniel Gleeson, senior analyst at IHS Technology, said that the market cannot expect the same fanfare for the opening of iPhone SE as compared to other iPhone launches.
“One of the big factor that will impact the SE sales is that most iPhone customers are on a two-year contract which expires between September and December. That is why Apple usually gets a big spike in new iPhone sales during that period,” he said.
Apple is not pushing it [SE] as heavily in its stores compared to 6S, and its “main goal” is to sell 6S models rather than the SE to its customers, despite being a good device that fills a niche in the market.
“It is not intended to be a big seller in Apple’s line-up of handsets. Apple is expected to sell 215 million units this year compared to 232 million units last year,” he said.