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Retailer urges consumers to delay buying iPhone 5

Would-be buyers better to wait until official channels have stock in the UAE

Retailer urges consumers to delay buying iPhone 5
Panjabi is upbeat that the iPhone 5 launch will only spur the smartphone market and expects a robust Q4.

Apple aficionados should hold off on buying the latest, thinnest, lightest, fastest iPhone, with aluminium frame, longer battery life and over 200 new apps, according to a senior executive at a regional power retailer.

Ashish Panjabi, COO at UAE-based consumer electronics retailer Jacky's Electronics, said that the price of the newly released iPhone 5 will escalate rapidly after it arrives on UAE shores.

Apple pulled the curtain aside in the USA yesterday to reveal the iPhone 5, which the smartphone maker described as the most beautiful consumer device that it has ever created.

"We should have stocks hopefully towards the end of September but they will be expensive as we're also going to be buying them at higher prices," Panjabi told Channel Middle East. "We advise that if you can wait, then please do until prices come back down to a more rational level."

Panjabi said the official launch information hasn't been given to retailers in the region yet, but Apple's statement yesterday stated that it should have iPhone 5 available in most countries by December 2012, which one would assume covers the UAE as well.

He explained that Q4 2012 should be a robust quarter not only because of the iPhone 5 launch, but Jacky's also expects to start selling the Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices from Nokia and the Samsung Galaxy Note II. "Added to this, there will also be the introduction of Windows 8 laptops and tablets. The fourth quarter in any case tends to be a busy period for us with various festive initiatives," he said.

Panjabi is upbeat that the iPhone 5 launch will only spur the smartphone market. "The replacement rate for smartphones has been constantly increasing as product lifecycles have gotten shorter. In the UAE especially, it is not an uncommon sight today to see people with multiple devices and new product launches have always done well here," he said.

Panjabi believes Apple's first priority with the iPhone 5 will be to provide an upgrade to the huge base of iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S devices that exist. The second base that Apple will probably want to tap into, according to Panjabi is the base of iPod Touch users, particularly teenagers. "After that, I'm sure they'll be targeting those using rival devices whether it be on Android or BlackBerry platform," he said.

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