Apple is finally launching its iPhone 5 in the UAE on December 14, with price likely to be the same as the current iPhone 4S. The launch will force local retailers to slash their prices by around Dh2,000.
Local retailers are currently selling 16GB iPhone 5 between Dh3,000 to Dh4,000 while Apple is expected to launch at around Dh2,200. The iPhone 4S is also currently being sold in the local market at the same rate..
A media release from Apple today said it will be launched in South Korea on December 7 and more than 50 additional countries including South Korea, Brazil Russia and the UAE a week later.
The official UAE launch comes more than two months after the initial launch in the US and other markets. The iPhone 5 was first launched in seven markets on September 21. It was then launched in 47 other markets including India on November 2. Last week, Apple said that the new phone will be available for sale in China on December 14.
However most electronic stores in the UAE started selling the iPhone5 within weeks after the initial launch. iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, featuring an A6 chip and an improved battery life.
iPhone 5 will be priced similar to what the iPhone 4S is currently priced in the UAE. The local Apple store is currently selling the iPhone 4S for Dh2,199 for a 16GB model.
Meanwhile prices are expected to drop drastically during the coming week. Sharaf DG which was selling a 16GB model for Dh4,699 has already dropped the prices by about Dh700. It is currently selling a 16GB unit for Dh3,989. Cobone has meanwhile advertised a deal where a 16GB iPhone5 is being sold for just Dh2,999.
UAE telecom provider Etisalat said it would launch the iPhone5 this month itself. Detailed subscription plans will be announced soon. Currently etisalat subscribers can get an iPhone4S for free with an 18-month contract for a monthly payment of Dh230 for 1GB of internet usage.
Du had already said that it is in talks with Apple for a tie up. The LTE feature available on the new iPhone will enable users to enjoy download speeds of upto 100mbps.
Apple in its news release said the phone will be made available through the Apple Online Store and select Apple Authorised Resellers.
iPhone 5 has been selling fast and according to reports Apple expects to sell 47.5 million iPhones in the current quarter, about 2.5 million more than what was predicted earlier.