Five million units of the recently launched iPhone 5 were reportedly sold in the three days since the smartphone made its way onto the shelves, but a problem with smartphone’s Nano SIM card slot threatens to slow down its sales.
Telephone companies in the UAE provide SIM cards that cannot fit in iPhone 5 and this may pose a problem for its fans and may consequently lead to the devaluation of the smartphone.
Some consumers from the UAE are still awaiting major telecom companies like Etisalat and DU to release the device, but some retailers and online dealers like Groupon and Siasa Telecom have started selling the iPhone 5 widely in the UAE.
A report from a UAE daily on Sunday said that Etisalat and DU were planning to issue and cut their SIM cards to fit the device. The two telecom companies have yet to announce when they will officially issue the iPhone 5 in the market.
A spokesperson from Groupon UAE told Al Arabiya that they started to offer the deal on Monday. However it is for a limited period of time only, as they have only limited stocks at hand.
Prices of the iPhone 5 depend on how soon buyers want the item delivered. Groupon is selling the 16 GB unlocked white and black version for Dh3,799 ($1,034) within one week delivery, but if buyers can’t wait to get a hold on the iPhone 5, they offer same day pick-up for a price of DH4,199 ($1,143); which is far lower than the reported Dh5,000 ($1,361) when it was first released last week.
The spokesperson said that they will not offer cutting service for SIM cards as it is the customer’s decision and sole responsibility should they wish to.
“It is the decision of the customer to modify their SIM card should they wish. We will not accept any liability for customers modifying their cards,” the spokesperson who refused to be named, told Al Arabiya English.
The Groupon UAE spokesperson said that they were the first Groupon branch to offer iPhone 5.
“We can proudly say we are the first Groupon Office to offer the iPhone 5; however, we expect others to follow suit shortly. The response has been great especially as we have an option to pick up your iPhone the same day,” he said in an e-mail to Al Arabiya English. “We have sold 89 units to date” he added.
Siasa Group, a wholesale telecom-company have started shipping units in the UAE since Saturday, said that more than 2,000 units of the iPhone 5 have been sent to retailers, and that these retailers are offering cutting services to their customers.
“It’s not an issue,” a spokesman of the company said. “The cutters are already available on the market, so they don’t need to buy their own, “The shopkeepers are charging around Dh2 to do it for them,” The National reported.
Yoyo base, a Chinese online website, has been offering the Nano SIM
card cutters to buyers who can’t wait for the official release of the iPhone 5 expected to be at the end of this month.
“This Nano SIM cutter is designed to cut your SIM card the same size as Nano SIM with perfect accuracy,” the site claims, “This patented cutter is made of stainless steel, and can handle thousands of cuts without any deformation,” it adds, as reported by 24|7 Emirates.
Amidst reports spreading on the nano-SIM card issue on the device, the iPhone 5 sales topped the sales of the iPhone 4s when it was released in 2011, which sold four million units on its first week.
However, Apple has to catch up as demands continue to increase amid reports that Apple will be releasing the iPhone 5 in 22 more countries on Friday, according to Reuters.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company is “working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.”