Apple iPhone XS and XS Max launch in Dubai: wait is over as fans get hands on new products

Fans queued through the night for the special early opening at the Apple Store in Dubai Mall

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 21 SEPTEMBER 2018 - Crowd at Iphone XS launch at Apple store Dubai Mall.  Leslie Pableo for The National
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Apple fans queued eagerly this morning at Dubai Mall as the new iPhones went on sale.

Doors opened at 8am with shoppers excited to get their hands on the snazzy new devices.

Customers came from far and wide.

Vladislav Mikheev, 24 from St Petersburg, flew in to get a new iPhone XS a week early than the Russian launch date:

Bakhit Al Subousi, from Abu Dhabi, was the first to book his gold iPhone XS:

Apple announced its new phones earlier this month at a highly-anticipated event in California.

It has introduced the iPhone XS - an advanced version of the iPhone X with a 5.8-inch screen, faster processor, and better camera. It is selling from Dh4,229.

Read more: Crowds queue overnight in Dubai Mall ahead of iPhone launch

Also on sale from today is the iPhone XS Max - a bigger version of the iPhone XS with a 6.5-inch screen and the higher price of Dh4,649. Both are available in 64, 256 and 512GB capacity.


Apple fans queue around the clock at The Dubai Mall


Apple revealed the iPhone XR as well, but pre-orders for that don't start until October 19 ahead of an October 26 release in the UAE. The device is a lower cost version of the iPhone X with a 6.1-inch LCD screen and it comes in six colour choices. It's lower price point of Dh3,179 is likely to help Apple gain a broader market share.

However, one of the major improvements introduced by Apple with its new handsets - dual SIM capability - isn't yet available in the UAE.

Telecom provider du noted on its website that "eSIM / dual SIM handsets will not be available in UAE", while Etisalat has since confirmed it is working with Apple to make eSIM available to customers in the near future.

Apple said at the earlier launch event that dual SIM capability is being implemented in many countries via a regular nano-sized SIM and an eSIM, though China would be an exception as it is getting dual nano SIMs.

At last year's iPhone X launch in the UAE, some Apple fans flew up to four hours to get to Dubai Mall and purchase the new phone, while others queued through the night.

Analysts were not expecting such a frenzy this time around as the new releases marked incremental updates rather than totally redesigned handsets.

The Apple Watch Series 4, which is about 30 per cent bigger than current models and includes more health features, will also be available.Etisalat says it will also be the first operator in the Mena region to launch the eSIM service with the new Apple Watch series.

Etisalat customers will be able to purchase the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with flexible Smart Pay plans on a 12, 18, or 24 month contract and also avail the AppleCare+ service for Dh30 per month. Customers opting for a 24 month smart pay plan can purchase the iPhone XS for Dh185, or the iPhone XS Max for Dh210, respectively, per month.


Read more:

Apple iPhone XS and XS Max launch: Will UAE customers upgrade as initial prices and pre-order details are revealed?

Apple iPhone launch event 2018 - live updates

Apple Watch takes a steer towards health