Dh62,500 Apple Watch idea from Dubai?

Apple Inc. last night unveiled a bevy of devices, primarily the much awaited Apple Watch, which starts at a reasonable $349 (Dh1,282).

Apple Watch will be available on Friday, April 24, to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US. The wearable will also be available to preview or try on at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo and Selfridges in London on April 10 (on sale on April 24).

Read: Apple Watch unveiled: Pricing, features, availability revealed

However, unlike in the past when the Cupertino-based tech giant used to unveil one or at best two versions of its new products, and leave the ‘premiumisation’ of the devices to third-party players, this time the company has done so itself.

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Among the three versions and a number of variations of the Watch that Apple has launched are also a couple of them that will set you back by a whopping $17,000 (Dh62,441).

Now even as that’s got to be Apple’s most expensive gadget – ever – it is not the most expensive Apple gadget ever. For, third-party firms like Gold & Co have been for years adding the royal touch to much-loved Apple devices here in Dubai and across the world.

Read: iPhone 6 gets royal treatment in Dubai – gold, black gold, black platinum

 
Dubai residents and tourists to the city have been among London-based Gold & Co.’s most ardent customers of gold- and platinum-finish iPhones, iPads and Macs. In fact, Dubai’s very own ultra-luxury, 7-star Burj Al Arab hotel has a dedicated outlet that sells such extravagant treats, and the hotel itself sells Burj Al Arab-branded 24K gold iPads and iPhones, among other solid gold gadgets.
 
Amjad Ali, CEO of Gold & Co London, told this website that his firm had received about 500 pre-orders of gold-plated iPhone 6 units within days of the global launch of the smartphones, and a couple of weeks before the ‘regular’ device became available in the country.

Emirates 24|7 reported in September last year that Dubai residents were lapping up iPhone 6 units in gold and black gold for as much as Dh21,995 apiece even before the smartphone officially hit the UAE’s shores.

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While the iPhone 6 in 24K gold started at Dh17,995 (gold), and went all the way up to Dh21,995 (black gold), the price of the Burj Al Arab-branded commemorative iPhone 6 units went up to Dh47,900 for the unit in Black Gold. On the other hand, the less expensive variant, in plain-vanilla yellow gold, is being retailed for ‘only’ Dh44,900.

Obviously, even as the number of such units sold will be limited, profit margins in such a lavish device would be huge – much more than the regular units. Little wonder, then, that Apple decided to jump into that sphere itself with its latest product launch, even if it’s to test the waters initially.

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The world’s largest company set a global profits record last quarter with $18 billion in quarterly profits – the biggest ever reported by a public company, worldwide.

“The results were fuelled by all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales as well as record performance of the App Store. iPhone unit sales of 74.5 million also set a new record,” Apple had then said in a media statement.

 

 

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In fact, residents in Dubai and the wider UAE have always looked forward to being the first ones to flaunt new Apple devices. There are many in this country who don’t mind spending a little – or sometimes a lot – extra to be the first ones to get their hands on the devices.


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This has led to a thriving grey market of Apple devices before their local launch here in the UAE, and most Apple devices are made available – through unofficial channels – here in Dubai and the rest of the UAE soon after they become available in some global markets.

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While the UAE is not among the list of nine countries where Apple Watch will go on sale in April, expect more than a handful of Dubai residents to be sporting the Watch right after their global availability – if not before it.
 
Tell us whether or not you would shell out Dh62,500 for the new Apple wearable, and why?
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