Dubai retailer doctors nano-SIMs as iPhone 5 prices sink Dh1,900

GCC retailers 'desperate' to get their hands on Apple's new phone, says Siasa director

Call it the cookie-cutter approach: a Dubai retailer is offering the16GB iteration of the hot-selling iPhone 5 for Dh4,100 – the lowest price quoted by a retailer so far in the country, and Dh1,900 cheaper than what it was being offered for on the first day of the global launch.

Siasa Group, which has a presence in the UK, UAE, Hong Kong and China, claims the iPhone 5 is now available at Siasa Dubai and will soon be distributed to other retailers and wholesalers through the Siasa distribution channels in the UAE.

A Siasa spokesperson told Emirates 24|7 that Apple’s latest smartphone is selling fast. “We had pre-sold the entire batch of 150 smartphones we received on Saturday,” he said, adding that they’d already managed to sell most of the 230 iPhone 5 smartphones they received on Sunday by 2pm, when this news website spoke with him. “Another 150 are on the way,” he added.

What’s more, when queried about iPhone 5’s incompatibility with the current crop of SIM cards available from local retailers etisalat and du, he offered to ‘fit’ our current SIM card into the nano-SIM slot. How would he do that? “We’ll do it for you,” he promised. There is indeed a nano-SIM cutter available online, as this site revealed yesterday.

The iPhone 5 went on sale worldwide this Friday, after its launch in the US, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Britain, France and Germany. On the day, the iPhone 5 was being offered for Dh6,000 in the grey market in the UAE. Siasa is apparently having the product shipped from its UK offices, and is therefore offering it at the prices mentioned earlier.

Apple has announced that it will begin retailing the iPhone 5 to another 22 countries by end-October, but has not yet announced its plans for a UAE/Middle East launch. Nevertheless, it has said that the phone-maker will be retailing the new device in about 100 countries by the end of the year.

“It is not yet clear when Apple will release the iPhone 5 in the Middle East, giving international mobile phone distributors such as Siasa an opportunity to supply consumers direct,” a media note by the company said.

“We are pleased to be one of the first distributers in the region to supply the iPhone 5,” said Director Mohammed Sadiq. “We have received twice the number of orders on the iPhone 5 compared to last year’s iPhone 4S,” he added. That seems to be in line with Apple’s own revelation about the global interest in the device.

“Our phones have not stopped ringing since the announcement of the iPhone 5 last week,” he said. “Wholesalers and retailers are desperate to get their hands on the iPhone 5 due to the high demand in the GCC. We have already sold out in our UK branches and have just about managed to reserve stock for our Dubai and GCC customers.

“We are also looking to import from our Hong Kong branch to meet the demand. I have personally had a good look at the new iPhone 5 and am very impressed with new technology and the thought process that has gone into the design.”

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