DUBAI // Excited consumers who want to get their hands on the new range of iPhones are prepared to wait until they are officially on sale.
Most people say they are not prepared to pay inflated grey-market prices for the handsets and will wait a few weeks to buy the new phones directly from Apple.
The UAE Apple store will begin accepting orders for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus on September 27 – just nine days after the US launch.
Prices start from Dh2,599 for the iPhone 6 and Dh2,999 for the iPhone 6 Plus, both potentially huge savings on grey-market models.
“It’s just not worth it to buy imported models,” said Jane Wilson, a British expatriate in Dubai.
“I’ll wait a few extra weeks and that way I’ll get it at a much better price and won’t have to worry about problems with the warranty.”
Both new phones come with an improved retina display, faster processors and 8 megapixel cameras.
The new Apple Pay feature using Near Field Communications turns the handsets into contactless credit cards allowing for easier retail and online payments using the built in fingerprint scanner. The service will be available only in the US from next month, but Apple hopes to expand it to 115 countries soon.
The new phones come in silver, gold and space grey colours.
A 128GB iPhone 6 Plus will cost Dh3,799 and the same capacity iPhone 6 will be Dh3,399. Neither phone is available for order yet.
The Apple website also makes it clear that the popular FaceTime audio and video calling function is not available on phones bought in the UAE. That is a disappointment for Edward Hill, from Australia.
“The only thing that would tempt me to get an imported version would be the FaceTime function,” he said. “But it’s not worth the premium you pay for imported phones.
“I go back to Australia to visit family in October so I’ll probably order through the Australia Apple Store and pick it up when I’m there.”
Ashish Panjabi, chief operating officer for Jacky’s, welcomed the price and timing of the release of the new phones.
“Apple have been very smart because Gitex Shopper starts that same day and then a couple of weeks later we have Eid Al Adha,” he said.
“I think most consumers will be much less inclined to buy grey market now that they know the phones will be out so soon.”
The new iPhones will be available to order in North America and western Europe from Friday, before officially going on sale on September 19.
The Apple Watch was also announced by the technology giant on Tuesday night and comes in stainless steel, a toughened version for sport and 18-carat gold models.
It is expected to launch in the US early next year and will cost US$349, or just over Dh1,200.