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‘Apple’s iPhone is still popular in the UAE’
Jumbo Group’s CEO expects phones and tablets to be hottest-selling products this year.
November 8, 2013 10:05 by kippreport
As consumers in the Middle East region welcome the official arrival of Apple’s iPhone 5S and 5C this week, the CEO of a major retail chain in the UAE says that the iPhone is still among the top three selling phone brands in the country.
Vishesh Bhatia, CEO of Jumbo Group, adds that phones and tablets continue to be the “hottest-selling” products this year.
Earlier this week, Gulf News was told by local retailer Jacky’s Electronics that due to pent-up demand, the iPhone 5S 16GB is already the fastest-selling model in the UAE. The retailer expects it to be sold out this week and predicts that the demand for the iPhone 5C will catch up.
Apple’s new flagship devices were not available during GITEX Shopper in October, an exhibition considered by most brands and retailers as a significant opportunity to showcase new devices and boost sales. However, Bhatia says that Apple’s absence at GITEX Shopper was “not conspicuous” and that the longevity and appeal of its portfolio will ensure that the brand remains in the top three of the most popular brands list.
Commenting on whether the mid-range iPhone 5C will be a market winner, Bhatia says that expecting a cheaper version of the iPhone is the wrong way to look at the device.
“What the 5C offers is choice, colour, fun and variety for an audience that would like to own the iPhone, but maybe in a different, more vibrant form. With that positioning and rationale, 5C sales will improve over time,” he says.
Apple’s flagship devices were launched on September 20, 2013, in nine countries, including the US, Canada, China and France. At the time, it announced that the phones would be available in 100 countries by the end of the year.
Apple revealed that it sold nine million iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C models in their first three days on the market, making their launches the most successful ones to date.
Bhatia says that a lot has changed since the launch of the first iPhone. With the market flooded with touch-screen smartphones, he insists that it would be unfair to compare the latest launch with the enthusiasm of previous launches, simply because there were not many options around at the time.
“The iPhone was a game changer that reshaped the smartphone industry. Nothing can take that achievement away from Apple,” he concludes.