With reporting from Elysia Windrum
Hundreds of Qatar residents have been paying up to double the retail price to own a new iPhone 6 before it officially goes on sale in the country on Saturday.
Ooredoo and Vodafone won’t start shipping the devices to customers in Qatar until Sept. 27, when many other countries in the region are expected to debut the new iPhone, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
However, Apple has already launched its latest smartphone in the US and nine other countries. Since Friday, the company has sold more than 10 million devices, which boast a larger screen, faster processing speeds and longer battery life than previous models.
Some of those phones made their way to Qatar, where many shoppers were happy to pay a premium to get them a few days early.
Mohammed Ahmed Abdullah, the general director of cell phone shop World Communication in Al Sadd, said he sold his first shipment of 120 iPhone 6 devices within hours of opening sales on Friday.
Speaking to Doha News, Abdullah said he initially sold the most expensive model, the 128-gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus, for QR9,900. After receiving additional shipments later in the week, he dropped prices to QR4,300.
Those who are willing to wait a few more days for the device will pay considerably less for it.
On its website, Ooredoo said that the base 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 retails for QR2,799, while the top-end 128-gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus will go for QR3,999.
“Everybody know the price is coming down. But they still buy it,” Abdullah said. By Tuesday, he said he was sold out after moving 590 devices.
Abdullah added that his store’s strategy is not unique in Qatar, or even the Gulf. One of his colleagues said he had been in London over the weekend and saw iPhone 6 phones being sold at comparable prices to the rates in Doha.
Several other retailers, including LuLu and Jumbo Electronics, are also selling the devices in advance at a higher price. Both said they’ll be selling the 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 for QR4,199.
Meanwhile, local online classified sites Qatar Living also has several models up for sale.
Abdullah said he purchased his phones from an Asian supplier for QR9,300 a device before adding a markup of slightly more than 6 percent.
He added that his markup on other iPhones was as high as 15 percent – a hike he said is needed to offset the losses he occasionally incurs on other devices.
Elsewhere in Qatar, residents found other ways of securing an iPhone 6:
@peterkovessy @dohanews Mine is on the way from the US 🙂
— Jennifer Gray (@JennyBee1029) September 23, 2014
While competitors have managed to erode Apple’s market share somewhat in recent years, Abdullah says new iPhone releases create a buzz unlike that generated by other devices.
Are you planning to get an iPhone 6? Thoughts?
Why in Gods name would you pay $2500 for a phone you can get for less than $1000?
Have you seen the markup people here will pay to get the latest model cars? In some cases it’s literally hundreds of thousands of riyals more than the official dealer list price.
It’s make a few thousand riyals for a shiny phone look like loose change.
They want to be one of the first to own it and they’ve got the money to spend … to each his/her won … so why not?
Like you said to each his own but could wait for a week for it to get here by Aramex and save over $1500. Plus never buy the first run of any product until they get the inevitable bugs worked out. Being the first to cure cancer is impressive. Having the first Iphone 6…whoo hoo. Just my opinion but if you got that much money to blow then do it my way and donate the +$1500 to some charity that feeds starving people or… looks for a cure for cancer. In the end you might feel better.
Just goes to show some people have more money than sense. However if you have lots of money say 200 Million QR, what do you care for 9,900 QR.
Paying up to double for a new iphone when we are having to fill boxes for labourers and animal shelters are overflowing due to lack of funds. Very sad.
Be careful not to break something getting off your high horse, there are people all over the world who stand in line for days, if not weeks, on end to get these phones, in horrible weather.
That time could easily be spent doing charitable acts as well, but I guess since it isn’t Qatar, they don’t fall under the same scrutiny.
The article is about the sale of iPhones at a premium in Qatar ergo my comment relates to Qatar. Scrutiny? I’ve never had to fill a box with essential items for an employed person in any country I’ve lived in. No wonder the country’s under scrutiny. It’s embarrassing. Each to their own, I guess but I find it difficult to understand.
You’ve never ‘had’ to fill a box and you were never forced to fill that box. It’s a personal choice that you undertook. The impoverishment of the labour-class not withstanding, someone’s choice to spend money on a luxury good, remains a personal choice.
Why do people believe that wealth vanished in the trade of good they consider unnecessary? It has simply changed hands, from an individual who values an iPhone at double the MSRP to an entrepreneurial individual who predicted what early adopters in an economy with high disposable income would do.
You may find it difficult to understand if your employer decided to pay you 50% more salary for the same services you currently perform, but would you ask them to distribute it to charity?
I do agree with Restie. I find it ridiculous that people pay the double for a device because they can get it one week before the others. It just shows how vain and stupid some people are here. That said, I would not link that to charity and the laborers’ situation here, for one simple reason, the same person who paid 9990 for an iPhone might be a regular charity donor. The same applies to rich people around the world. They buy luxury cars and houses for ridiculously expensive prices but many of them also do give to charities. A prominent example of that is Bill Gates who donates billions each year for charity.
Bill Gates is a poor (no pun) example in this case because the man doesn’t allow his kids the luxury of iPads (maybe it’s a Microsoft thing), or making them into trust fund babies. He even went on saying, if he could, he would donate up to 90% of his wealth to his foundation.
Steve Wozniak is probably a better example. He’s a chill guy who likes his toys and probably a top lender too on Kiva under a pseudonym…
Same names and same negativity about Qatar and Qataris in every article. truly guys, stop your jealousy and your hate for this country and go get a better life. Thanks
“Hundreds of Qatar residents…”
Definition – Resident: a person who lives or has their home in a place:
At no point in this article does it make references to Qataris.
and my point wasn’t about the article itself, it was about the negative comments which come next.
What’s where you are born got to do with it? The article and comments are about luxury spending. Believe it or not Qataris are not the only luxury spenders residing in Qatar. Not everything is about starting a race war… your confusing DN with Qatar Living.
I think the logic here is same as that of someone spends a huge amount for a specific phone no or a car plate no.
Hopefully these imported phones will have all their features available and not be locked to the network (eg Facetime) like those purchased in Qatar.
And here’s me, still happy with my Nokia N86 😉
Nokia X1 here 😛
No camera, no internet, no tension.
love it – I’d double vote that up if I could 🙂
I bet you have a 1986 LC as well…… 😉
You’d lose that bet I’m afraid 😉
To the commentators: no one has the right to judge one’s spending habits. If I want to buy candy for a million dollars, then I will. At the end of the day the money is mine, and I’m free to do what I want with it, as long as it doesn’t directly hurt others. It’s a cycle. Money needs to be spent one way or another. Can’t keep it with you forever, so have fun with it.
You have to be objective about money to use it fairly. It doesn’t make you any better or any more useful than any other person. Even if you use your money to help people… that doesn’t make you better than somebody who has no money but is sympathetic and genuinely loving to others. At the end, ‘money and the things money can buy, have no value, for there is no question of creation, but only of exchange’. Don’t get too caught up on worthless ‘news’ like this. Money comes, money goes.
That lesson is sorely not learned.
Are people this vain and impatient to pay for an iphone at 9, 000qr when they could just wait a week and get one for less than half of that?
9,000 is a lot of people’s salary.
What a waste of money. I plan on getting an iphone but waiting until Sunday to get one when it is reasonably priced.
iPhones are never “reasonably priced”. You are still, however, getting one for someone else’s salary if you’re waiting until Sunday.
Amber, are you blonde?
Well no high end smart phone is cheap. But 9900 is 7200qr more than official release price.
In before complaints of that person paying 9,900 QR for the 6 Plus being an
idiot, kindly be reminded that there were eBay bids going north of a
thousand US Dollars for an iPhone 4S/5 just because it had Flappy Birds
preloaded onto it (the game had just been pulled off). Those auctions
have actually met the reserve and people actually paid money on those
That person should also invest in an otterbox case for their 6 Plus to avoid accidental bend-age.
And they were equally as dumb. Dumb knows no race are nationality.
No, they were not dumb. They had the funds to do as they please. Just like you 😉
News sources in Australia are reporting they re bending due to low quality aluminium cases!
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