Expert says Apple prefers US subsidy model for devices [Seven Days (United Arab Emirates)]
(Seven Days (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) UAE tech fans have to wait longer for the arrival of the latest iPhone and other Apple gadgets because the country’s telecom firms won’t pay Apple enough for the privilege.
That’s the verdict of a former senior executive at the California tech giant who visited the UAE this week.
Don Strickland, once vice president for imaging and publishing at Apple, said the UAE was unlikely to be on the company’s priority list for shipping new devices first as Etisalat and du don’t heavily subsidise the cost - unlike some carriers in the US and other countries.
The iPhone 5 is officially here - but UAE grey market buyers filed SIM?cards to get their phones first
“The business model of the iPhone is driven by subsidies from the carriers,” Strickland told 7DAYS.
“For example, in Europe, the US, India, Indonesia - the carriers give an unheard of subsidy for the iPhone,” he explained. “But in the Middle East they do not.”
No wonder, some might say. According to US reports released earlier this year, it takes nine months for an iPhone customer to generate profit for a US telco - with firms often shelling out up to $400 in advance to Apple for the flash phone.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of the Entrepreneurs Organisation’s UAE Chapter, Strickland said it was this issue - not any bias against the Middle East market - that means customers in the region often face a wait for the official launch of new Apple gadgets.
“It’s the carrier-subsidy model that’s very different for the Middle East,” the former Apple exec said.
“It just means you’re not going to do that first.”
Strickland, who currently runs his own company - Strickland & Associates - went on to add: “It’s a business model.
Carriers worldwide have supported the phone with subsidies when they are sold. That has not happened here.
“It all comes down to the money.” Neither Etisalat nor du responded to a request for comment yesterday.
Wait is over for iPhone 5
If you're a big Apple fan, you might just be reading this on your new iPhone 5 - if you were prepared to stay up late last night. In a move designed to emulate the excitement seen at Apple launches the world over, UAE telecoms firm Etisalat was scheduled to open 13 of its business centres across the UAE for midnight launches of the much sought-after gadget.
We’ll know by now whether the firm’s staff were greeted with an influx of tech fans or just disinterested passersby for the late launch - where Etisalat was set to charge Dhs2,749 for the 16GB device, Dhs3,149 for the 32GB model and Dhs3,549 for the 64GB iPhone. The 12/12/12 launch marks three months to the day since Apple first announced details of the new device.
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