DUBAI // The iPhone 5 is now widely available in the UAE, at prices comparable to those in Europe, although customers will need to trim their Sim cards to use it.
Apple’s new smartphone was advertised yesterday for Dh3,799 on the deal website Groupon, close to the UK price of Dh3,153 for an unlocked 16-gigabyte handset.
The price is far lower than the average of about Dh5,000 when the phone was released last week.
There is no wait for delivery and buyers can pick up their phone immediately, but a spokesman for Groupon said they would still need to modify their Sim card to use it.
The phone only accepts nano Sims, which are smaller than Sim cards and the micro Sims in the iPhone 4.
“There’s a way to amend your existing Sim card but we won’t advertise how to do that,” said the spokesman. “It’s the customer’s own liability.”
One Chinese company, Yoyo Base, is selling a cutter for trimming Sim cards into micro or nano sizes.
Despite the difficulties in using the phone, and the high price tag, it has already proven popular in the Emirates.
The wholesaler Siasa Group said more than 2,000 handsets had already been sent to retailers.
A spokesman for the company said retailers were often cutting their customers’ Sim cards to fit the devices.
“It’s not an issue,” he 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.”
There has been no official statement from the telecommunications authorities on when the nano Sim cards will be released, but an industry source said an unofficial date of October 25 had been set.
A spokesman for du said: “We have not communicated anything externally about the launch of the iPhone 5.”
Etisalat could not be reached for comment. The iPhone 5 16gb, in black or white, is available to pick up from the Groupon offices for Dh4,199, or can be delivered in a week for the lower price of Dh3,799.