Muscat: Apple fans in the country have reported mixed reactions to the launch of the iPhone7, even as they anticipate the product’s official launch in Oman.
Despite the phone not being officially launched in the country, Apple product admirers in Oman rushed to stores on the first day of the release to buy the latest handset.
Some were able to buy it because of availability in the grey market, however, many chose to purchase it from the official Apple store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or elsewhere abroad in case they were travelling.
Sufyan Mahmood, an Omani cricket team player is a regular user of the iPhone, said that although he rushed to buy the latest model and that the phone works well, he is disappointed that the features in the new phone are not very different from the previous version, especially in terms of looks.
“I bought my iPhone7 from one of the stores in Ruwi for OMR310. It has a 32GB memory and honestly speaking I am disappointed with this latest launch by Apple. There is no big difference, mainly when it comes to the looks, no one can differentiate an iPhone6 and an iPhone7, looks totally the same. To that extent I have to actually tell everyone that this is an iPhone7.”
Adnan Ilyas, another cricketer from the Omani national team, bought the iPhone7 plus for OMR360 from a shop in Ruwi, and said he is pleased with the phone.
“I love this new phone, the iOS10 is great and also very user-friendly, the phone also has two cameras, which is amazing.”
Rida Shehzad, an MBA student at the Sultan Qaboos University bought the iPhone7 as a present for her father from a store in a mall in Qurum, and said it is not different from the iPhone6.
“Although the phone works great with the software and everything, I don’t see any reason for people to move from iPhone6 to the iPhone7, because they are very similar with no major improvements.
“I use the iPhone6, but my father used the iPhone5 previously, so for him it’s a good change, with the screen size and the updated operating system and a few other features.”
“I bought the phone for OMR300, and before going to this store, I went to some of the bigger stores in Oman, but they said that they are expecting the stock only by September 25,” Shehzad said.
As the phone has not been officially launched in the country, prices vary from one store to another.
An Apple fan told the Times of Oman that although he has not purchased the phone yet; he intends to buy it from Dubai as prices in Oman are much higher, “I got a quote for OMR500 from a store in Qurum for the iPhone7 with a 256GB memory, which I can buy for AED3,399 or OMR356 from the official Apple store in Dubai.”
Fahad, another iPhone lover, who changes his phone every year as a matter of habit, said although he knows that the new iPhone7 is not very different from the last version, he will still buy it.
“I’m aware that there are no major changes in the iPhone7 when compared with the iPhone6, but I always buy the new one, it’s a bad habit, but I like the iOS. That is always the case for every new model of the iPhones, they obviously lack in features, compared with their rivals, but they also have diehard fans that refuse to switch from the iOS like myself.” A salesman at a mobile phone store in a shopping mall in Muscat said they had sold about 20 pieces on Sunday, when they first got the stock for the iPhone7 at their store.
Another store owner said the phones are selling very well and that they have been selling at least four pieces per day since September 18, when they got the phones.
“The phone arrived early and we got TRA’s (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s) approval before we started selling; we are selling at least four pieces per day and we currently do not have the iPhone7 plus, which will be arriving this week. The response has also been great, especially from the locals. Prices are 32GB for OMR305 and 128GB for OMR360, but the majority of our customers are buying the 32GB phone.”