By Stephen McBride
UAE online retailer said to be selling tech giant's new gadget at prices well above those in the US
The Apple Watch has entered the UAE grey market, with asking prices hitting over 250 percent above US Apple Store listings.
The US Apple Store shows 38 different models for the Watch, in three different categories: the low-end Sport costs from $349 to $399; the mid-range Watch sells for between $549 and $1,099; and the luxury Edition variant costs between $10,000 and $17,000.
At the time of writing UAE online retailer JadoPado displays an Apple Watch 38mm Stainless Steel Case with Black Classic Buckle model for AED7,499.00 ($2,040). The same model in the US sells for $649, meaning JadoPado is charging a mark-up of 214 percent.
The same store is asking AED4,599 ($1,250) for an Apple Watch Sport 38mm Silver Aluminium Case with Blue Sport Band. This model is at the bottom end of Apple's price scale and costs $349 to buy from the US online store.
The premium that UAE consumers will have to pay on this model is 258 percent, but JadoPado declares prominently that the unit has been discounted by AED1,300 from AED5,899 ($1,605). The previous asking price represents a 360 percent premium.
Other online stores, such as Souq.ae, Jacky's and Landmarkshops.com, have yet to sell Apple's new wearable, but JadoPado's price tags go way beyond predictions from national retailers given to ITP.net in mid-March.
Asked how much consumers could expect to pay on the grey market for the Apple Watch, Omar Kassim, chief executive officer, JadoPado said: "My gut feeling is between $349 and $500 [AED1,280 and AED1,830], so about a $150 [AED 550] premium."
Apple CEO Tim Cook has continually said Apple Watch faces demand that outstrips supply and some pre-booked consumers in the US have been told they may have to wait a month for their device. As yet, there is no information available on the UAE's official launch date for the Watch.