x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Want an iPad Mini now? Be prepared to pay Dh1,000 more in the UAE

Apple's new iPad mini is on sale in the UAE through online stores, although shoppers have been urged to wait until its official launch to avoid paying over the odds.

An Apple specialist holds the new Apple iPad mini, right, next to an iPad, left. AP Photo / Eric Risberg
An Apple specialist holds the new Apple iPad mini, right, next to an iPad, left. AP Photo / Eric Risberg

DUBAI // Apple’s new iPad Mini is on sale in the UAE through online stores, but shoppers have been urged to wait until its official launch to avoid paying a premium.

Online prices can be almost Dh1,000 more than buyers pay in the United States.

The prices on ALShop.com are Dh1,999 for the 16GB, Dh2,489 for the 32GB and Dh2,849 for the 64GB versions. In the US, the devices  cost the equivalent of Dh1,208, Dh1,575 and Dh1,943.

The iPad Mini was officially launched in North America and some Asian and European countries on Friday.

“Apple has got a lot better recently in terms of releasing officially in more territories around the world,” said Ashish Panjabi, chief operating officer at Jacky’s Electronics. “Grey-market prices are always higher but most people are prepared to wait a bit longer to get them at more reasonable prices.”

Mr Panjabi believes prices will remain high for a few weeks, with supplies already running low in the US.

“Although we haven’t been given a date for the official [release] date in the UAE, we are hopeful it will be before the end of the year,” he said. “Apple has been improving production and lead times, so there isn’t as long to wait for their products.”

Despite the higher prices, the new tablets have been selling well.

“We have about 250 units in at the moment in all the memory sizes and colours,” said Sheriff Rizwan, chief executive officer of ALshop.com. “We are expecting all of them to be sold in the next day or so and have had a lot of people buying from Kuwait and Qatar, in particular.”

Apple’s online store in the US has been reporting a two-week delay for deliveries. Buyers in the UK have been told the same.

At 20 centimetres, the iPad Mini is smaller than the original iPad and is Apple’s attempt at breaking into a niche in the market occupied by the Amazon, Samsung and Google.

The device has a dual-core A5 central processor, a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera and 5 megapixel rear camera.

Apple says it has up to 10 hours of battery life for web surfing, watching videos or listening to music.

nhanif@thenational.ae