Fans ready to bite into online Apple Store in UAE

DUBAI — While the wait may have taken a while, some may embrace the fact that it was worth it: cheaper products direct from Apple itself.

By Alvin R. Cabral

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Published: Wed 21 Sep 2011, 11:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:06 AM

The technology giant has finally launched its online store in the UAE and three other countries, giving consumers — especially its die-hard followers — direct access to the firm’s trend-setting portfolio of products at lower prices.

But amid all the hoopla of its opening, the UAE Apple Store is certain to hit retailers of Apple products in the country that sell products for up to hundreds of dirhams more. For example, an iPhone 4 unit can fetch around Dh2,500 at retailers, compared to its Dh2,299 price tag at the Apple Store. Customers can also save up to Dh500 on a Mac laptop on the portal.

One retailer was not worried about the potential price battle with the launch of the Apple Store, as long as “a good supply chain is established” in parallel with costs.

“If we can get the products at prices [just] like those in the Apple Store, I see no reason why we cannot [compete at the same level],” Jacky’s Electronics chief operating officer Ashish Panjabi told Khaleej Times via a phone patch.

He also added that as long as retailers are able to provide a good supply of products — in this case, Apple items — and value-added services, there is no reason why retailers should be worried.

The UAE Apple Store offers a complete line of products, from iPods, iPads and Mac computers, as well as other value-added services such as personalised laser engraving, signature gift wrapping, and even designer products made exclusively for Apple by Orla Kelly, Paul Smith, Ally Capellino and Liberty London. Free delivery applies to purchases over Dh520.

Customers will also be able to use the store to customise Macs, configuring it for bigger memory, more hard drive space and other options. Apple has also provided special rates in its education pricing scheme, where students, parents, teachers and education professionals will be able to save on Mac computers, Apple software and selected accessories.

Along with the UAE store, Apple also simultaneously launched its online portal in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, hiking its Web presence to 37 countries.

Apple does not have retail stores in any of the four countries mentioned. Plans are unclear on putting up one in the UAE so far, yet a source has hinted that Apple may set up one in Dubai in the coming months.


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