By Claire Valdini
Apple fans are able to pre-order the smartphone from December 9
The UAE’s mobile operators have launched the pre-paid and post-paid packages for the iPhone 5 ahead of its official release on December 14.
Etisalat and du said customers are able to pre-order the iPhone 5 from December 9, starting at AED2,749 (US$748.40) for the 16GB model.
Etisalat has priced its 32GB and 64GB models at AED3,149 and AED3,549 while du customers are able to purchase 32GB and 64GB models at AED3,199 and AED3,599, respectively.
While both operators are offering the device at similar price points, UAE users will be charged significantly more than US consumers. A 16GB model on the US Apple website is available for US$649 before tax, US$99.40 less than the UAE.
Apple last week confirmed that iPhone 5 will be available in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain from December 14 as part of its fastest international roll-out for the device so far.
Apple said it sold more than 5m units of its iPhone 5 during the first three days of its release, surpassing a record set last year by the previous model.
The device has since restored Apple to the top smartphone spot in the US, edging out handsets based on Google’s Android software. Apple’s iOS has a 48.1 percent share of US smartphone sales while Android has 46.7 percent, according to research firm Kantar World Panel.
But not everyone has been impressed with the new phone, which has a larger, four-inch screen and supports faster 4G mobile networks. Some users have criticised its new maps feature for a number of glitches including missing information and a lack of features.