Apple’s latest iPhone innovation has been met with mixed reviews across the globe. In the Arab region, the press has already begun discussing the new iPhone 5’s drawbacks, including speculations over “grey market” editions of the new tech gadget.
The smartphone, which comes with Apple's newest "A6" processor, one which executives claim to run “twice as fast as the previous generation,” has caused a buzz over its arrival to the Middle Eastern markets.
In the United Arab Emirates, one of the region’s leading tech trade hubs, the release date could come “months after the U.S. release,” the Dubai-based Arabian Business magazine reported, citing local retailers.
This has prompted questions over how much retailers will pay to get their hands on what Apple have dubbed the new gadget as ”the thinnest smartphone in the world."
The new iPhone has a rich four-inch (10-centimeter) display prime for the red-hot smartphone market, in which screen size is a key factor for buyers, according to Nielsen senior vice president Jeff Wender.
At a packed launch event in San Francisco, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller praised the new iPhone as "an absolute jewel."
Apple will start taking orders for the phone Friday and begin shipments on September 21 in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, and the phone will be available in 100 countries by the end of the year.
Pricing for U.S. customers will start at $199 with a two-year telecom service contract.
“No official price has been set for the new device in the UAE as of yet, but the current Apple iPhone 4S model retails for AED2,599,” the magazine stated.
And it’s price on the grey market?
“The iPhone 5 is expected to fetch up to Dh12,000 when it arrives on the grey market in the UAE,” the Abu Dhabi-based The National reported, speaking to the manager of a tech retailer.
“He said the grey-market phones would not be limited in warranty and could come with an international guarantee, meaning owners could go into any Apple shop and have the device checked or replaced if required,” the retailer added.
But while Apple chief executive Tim Cook called the launch "the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since the iPhone," commenters and industry analysts have said that the phone misses the “wow” factor.
“There is not a wow factor because everything you saw today is evolutionary. I do think they did enough to satisfy,” Michael Yoshikami, chief executive of wealth management company Destination Wealth Management told Gulf News.
Although the report said the new product “fulfilled many of the expectations laid out by gadget geeks and technology analysts ahead of its Wednesday unveiling,” analysts are wondering how the consumer electronics giant’s latest product will fare against competition from Samsung and Google.