Data packages from telecom operators are driving demand for iPhone 5 sales in the UAE,  retailers told Gulf News.
“We are nearly going out of stock on Apple’s new device, mainly fuelled by data packages. Apple’s 16GB is currently out of stock and we are getting new stocks in the next couple of days,” Ashish Panjabi, chief operating officer at Jacky’s Group, said.
He said Jacky’s has already sold around hundred devices. “I think iPhone 5 users are heavy data users and data is the future,” he said.
Retailers expect the holiday season and the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) to fuel more demand for the product.
Apple officially launched the iPhone 5 in the UAE on Friday  but telecom operators started selling the product from Thursday onwards.
Competition hots up
With the festive season round the corner, Panjabi said other mobile phone vendors are stepping up advertising, especially Samsung.
According to research firm IDC, Apple is expected to sell 25,000 units in the fourth quarter in the UAE compared to 18,500 units in the third quarter.
“iPhone demand is growing quarter by quarter and the new device is expected to spur further growth,” Hamza Saleem, senior research analyst at IDC, said.
Total smartphone sales in the UAE are expected to amount to 510,000 units in the fourth quarter, compared to 415,000 units in the third quarter.
Experts said the telecommunication operators are expecting brisk sales of the iPhone 5.
Demand from tourists
According to Nadeem Khanzadah, the general manager of retail at Jumbo Electronics, the new Apple product is creating a huge demand from UAE residents as well as tourists. “It is a good time for consumers as there is a healthy offering from all the major operating systems. People are buying new devices from Nokia, HTC and Samsung, apart from iPhone,” he said.
Many tourists from India are purchasing the iPhone 5 from the UAE as they save more than Rs7,000 (Dh471.9). A 16GB iPhone costs Dh2,750 here while in India, it is priced at Rs45,000.