iPad Air and iPad Mini to be available in UAE grey market soon [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dubai: No offical launch? No problem. For UAE-based Apple fans hoping to get their hands on newest gadgets by the California-based company, there is a predicable routine in the emirates.
Wait for the offical launch date, wait a day, and then go buy the product from a local — non-Apple — retailer. Consumers often pay a heavy mark-up to be one of the first to own one. It's called buying on the grey market, It's a pattern that emerged after the launch of the first iPhone. With the launch of Apple's iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina display and MacBook Pro models launching next month, it begs the question: where does the grey market get them?
Often they come from runners, people who buy their device from an offical Apple store overseas and then come to Dubai and make a quick buck by selling it to online retailers.
"Sometimes we buy through third-party individuals and travellers, also know as runners, who come to the UAE only for selling the devices. The only issue is that they sell to us for a premium. The sellers know that Dubai is a premium market and they get the price they ask for. It is not fixed," Naushad Pava, customer service agent at mygsm.me, told Gulf News.
"For example, we got iPhone 5S from third parties for a premium of Dh2,000 and we add our margin to that," he said. The price to the consumer is Dh5,900 for a 32GB iphone.. The original price is Dh2,999 for the 32GB model.
However, runners aren't a reliable source of devices. Mygsm also has offices in Hong Kong and UK, and buys direct from Apple stores there.
"We have our own offices and ship it through FedEx. The product will be available within one day," he said.
Sheriff Rizwan, CEO and founder of AlShop.com, said they also don't buy the devices from runners.
"We don't know whether the products are stolen, so it is not reliable. We import the products from authorised Apple distributors and Apple stores from different parts of the world," Rizwan said.
He said the price is not yet fixed, and will expect to receive around 250 wifi-only models and 250 4G models.
With the official launch of iPhone 5S and 5C on November 3, AlShop and mygsm said that they will also be correcting their prices. "We have to keep it lower than the official price, otherwise no one will buy from the online stores. The only difference is we sell the international model with full options like Facebook Facetime and iMessage. These features are likely to be blocked in the region," retailers said.
"We have already good pre-orders and enquiries for iPad Air when compared to iPad Mini. We got more than 100 pre-orders for iPad Air. These orders we get it regularly whenever any Apple products are launched in the UAE," Pava said.
Mygsm will be selling the iPad Air 64GB/4G WiFi for Dh2,999 and iPad Air 128GB/4G WiFi for Dh3,699 while the iPad Mini Retina display 64GB/4G WiFi for Dh2,499.
JadoPado.com said that they will start selling only when they have the products on hand.
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