iPhone 14 craze: Kerala man flies to Dubai to buy Apple device ahead of India release

This is the fourth time the businessman has travelled to the city just to buy phone hours before its release

By Ajanta Paul

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Tue 20 Sep 2022, 8:38 PM

Last updated: Wed 21 Sep 2022, 9:05 AM

A man from Kochi, Kerala, has travelled thousands of miles to Dubai to buy the coveted new iPhone 14 Pro Max before its release in India.

The 28-year-old businessman, Dheeraj Palliyil, purchased two iPhone14 Pro Max from an authorised Apple premium reseller in Dubai's Mirdif City Centre.

Talking to Khaleej Times, Dheeraj said, "I flew down to Dubai on September 15 evening and next morning around 6.30/7am I reached the store. I bought two iPhone 14 Pro Max - 512 GB and 256 GB - in deep purple colour, and they together cost me Dh11,048. I also bought the AppleCare+ for both the devices for Dh799 each."

The managing director of Dare Pictures, Dheeraj is in Dubai till September 24 and plans to lay his hands on an iPhone 14 Pro.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Ahamed Hassib, store manager, iStyle, Mirdif City Centre, said, "Every year Palliyil comes to our store to buy the latest iPhone and this year was no different. He wanted two iPhone Pro Max, and we made sure our loyal customer got what he wanted."

Since Palliyil pre-booked his phone, he didn't have to queue for hours. The team from iStyle was there to receive him and hand over the coveted phone as soon as the store opened. Ahamed quips, "iStyle hopes to see him again next year when Apple launches another new iPhone."

A cinematographer by profession, Palliyil is a self-confessed "hardcore Steve Jobs fan". He spent almost Dh1,900 on airfare and visa fees to travel to UAE. When asked if all the money spent was worth it, Palliyil said, "This is all I can do in his (Steve Jobs) memory. I take this as a chance to remember the genius. The cost doesn't really bother me; it's more about the time as I rescheduled all my work to travel here. As a fan, I am willing to forgo even that."

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

The Apple enthusiast also revealed that this was not the first time he has done something like this; this is, in fact, the fourth time he has travelled to Dubai to buy a device ahead of others in India.

He first made the journey during the launch of the iPhone 8 in 2017, followed by more trips in 2019 and 2021. "I did not want to wait. It's all about passion, craze, and dreams; sometimes we have to pay a little more for our passion and dream," Palliyil said.

"It's all like a dream come true for me to buy the iPhone. Apart from iPhone 13 and 14, all previous phones are released 10-15 days later in India. So that's how I started my trip to Dubai. I can go to Singapore, Hong Kong, or even the US to buy, but I choose Dubai because of my attachment to this country. I get the latest iPhone model from my favourite Apple store and my favourite staff," sounding content Palliyil summed up his feelings.

The UAE is amongst the first countries where Apple has rolled out its latest smartphones which were unveiled on September 7.

Loyal fans of the tech behemoth all over the UAE rushed to buy the latest iPhone and its variations as soon as the devices hit shelves – with one fan even buying 10 phones.

Several people waited for over four hours outside the Dubai Mall store to reserve and get their hands on the new devices. Those who had paid and reserved online earlier were able to access a separate queue that allowed them to enter the store according to the timeslot that was available.



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