Longer wait for iPhone 7, available in Oman's grey market

Oman Sunday 18/September/2016 22:11 PM
By: Times News Service
Longer wait for iPhone 7, available in Oman's grey market

Muscat: iPhone lovers in Oman will have to wait longer than their counterparts in the UAE and other countries for the latest creation from Apple- the iPhone 7.
Get your essential daily briefing delivered direct to your email inbox with our e-newsletter
Available in the UAE from the first day of the launch, the iPhone 7 is still not for sale in Oman, and there are no indications when it will be available in stores.
A salesman at one of the stores in Muscat that sells Apple products, said he is not sure when the iPhone 7 will make its debut in Oman. “We don’t know yet about the launch of the iPhone in Oman because it has not been officially announced by Apple. They say ‘coming soon’ for Oman on their official website. It may happen next month, but we are not sure.”
Although the much-awaited smart phone is not officially available in the country, individuals and shop owners are posting adverts selling the phone before the official launch in Oman.
“If there are stores selling it in Oman, it is illegal to do before the launch,” the salesman added.
Latheef, another salesman who runs a mobile store in Qurum, is already selling the iPhone 7 in Oman. He said that the response has been enormous.
“The response has been overwhelming since the iPhone was launched in the UAE. We sold four phones on Sunday. We are selling the iPhone 7 (32 GB) for OMR 305 and the 128 GB for OMR 360,” said Latheef.
According to an Apple products dealer in Oman, the iPhone 7 is to launched in the first week of October.
The official also said that the phone may be on sale in Oman, but that is not through the official channel. Further, he noted that the phones being sold locally have Hong Kong specifications, instead of Gulf specifications. He also said that these phones will cost OMR50 to OMR75 higher than prices from official dealers.
Further, the website of a distributor in Oman says delivery will be available from the 17th of September, while the official launch is in October.
Tariq Al Barwani, an IT expert and founder of Knowledge Oman, said he has been observing trends for the last few years, and he believes that mobile shop owners in Oman will sell the iPhone 7, regardless of its official launch in the country.
“From my experience, and in observing market trends for the last few years, mobile shops will sell the iPhone 7 in 48 hours, some are even saying that they will start today.
“These days, however, people buy the phones online or from an outside country, if they are travelling, but general mobile stores will also be selling it, keeping in mind the high demand, and that the price is usually much higher than the actual cost of the phone.
“The Middle East has only two official Apple stores – in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai.”