By Vineetha Menon
Online store already has had more than 200 pre-orders for the new phone.
The new iPhone 4 won't be officially available in the Middle East until the end of this year, says the CEO of online store EmiratesAvenue.com
"Like for the iPad which is still not sold by Apple in the UAE, the iPhone 4 should be sold only by the end of the year or maybe even later, from the information we have now," Julien Pascual, CEO of EmiratesAvenue.com told itp.net.
EmiratesAvenue.com is presently accepting early orders for iPhone 4 smartphones, sourced from the United Kingdom and France, for AED 3,499 (16GB) and AED 3,999 (32GB).
"Currently we had over 200 pre-orders for the iPhone 4. We should receive the first pieces on the first week of July," said Pascual. "The iPhone 4 has more pre-orders than the iPad for the same period of time so we can expect a higher demand".
EmiratesAvenue.com's iPhone 4 prices are more than double the $299 and $199 launch prices announced through contract with AT&T Wireless in the United States, but Pascual says they closely match the $915 price tag (AED 3,360) of unlocked units announced by Apple, especially when you factor in customs and shipping costs. If the phones come unlocked from the factory, it can essentially be used with any carrier, including UAE mobile operators Du and Etisalat.
Online retailers AlShop.com, who witnessed ‘crazy demand' for the iPad tablet in the UAE, are also accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 4 but have not divulged exact pricing as yet. CEO Sheriff Rizwan estimates the iPhone 4 16GB will cost around AED 4,000 to 5,000, with the 32GB costing a few hundred dirhams more.
"We've seen roughly around 200 to 300 pre-orders in the first week itself," revealed Rizwan. "Our suppliers are selling it to us at a very high premium but we are committed to offering it to our pre-order customers at a very very minimum margin."
AlShop.com guarantees it will be one of the first retailers in the country to have the iPhone 4 by the end of the month.
Rivals Nahel.com have a different take on the situation, saying it is still too early to talk about availability in the Middle East especially since Apple have halted sales of the phone in the U.S. temporarily.
Apple and its carrier partners took in record pre-orders of more than 600,000 for the new iPhone 4 on the first day. The demand was ‘far higher than anticipated' and resulted in online ordering systems getting overloaded and supplies running out.
"If a store here is already accepting pre-orders, we think that is premature. We (Nahel.com) will position ourselves very well as soon as the phones are available through our suppliers and fulfill customer demand. This is one of our specialties," stated Saeed Hamideh, business development manager for the Consumer Electronics division at Nahel.com.
Do neither the buyer or sellers mentioned in this article realize that the Iphone works on the micro-sim format, which is currently not available with either Etisalat or DU! SO basically you pre-order a phone for a premium which you can't use in UAE.
Actually you can just cut your existing sim Card. They're already selling the device on the internet, and an adaptor too so that your cut out SIM works in other phones as well.
in reply to Rizwan...... The micro SIM cards are available as far as i know with Etisalat. Last week i got one for the iPad. so i dont think this will be an issue any more. One can also find a lot of videos on Youtube, teaching how to cut your existing SIM precisely to make it usable in micro slot.
Funny communication skills : We believe that this is too early to accept pre-orders ... = we don't know where to find iPhones. They did the same for iPads and don't sell it since 3 months ... It's easy to say that you prefer to wait when actually you never have the items in stock.
Can anyone please let me know the price of this new Iphone in Dubai. the current version being sold at high prices and the price does not go down like other brands. I want a cheap original I phone.
Thanks for the update on the Micro Sim guys... had no idea that Etisalat had already started providing them...
Ip4 might have demand but iPad demand is very poor in UAE.
Yet again the consumer in the UAE is likely to be ripped off again. Well, i'll be getting mine from the UK when I go back this summer and claiming the VAT back to bring the price of the 32GB to approximately AED 2,800.
Hi, Actually I saw on Aido, EmiratesAvenue.com and Alshop, and price for iPhone is around 3500-4500. It's not a rip off guyz, realise that they also have shipping cost and all. Unlocked iPhone in the UK is sold for 740 euros (3500 aed). I think it's much better than for the iPad where indeed at the begining it was a rip off