Locals yet to catch iPad fever

Maha Mussadaq April 11, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Apple’s new iPad does not quite appear to be the apple of everyone’s eye in Pakistan yet.

It has created headlines all over the world and sold about 300,000 units in the US on the first day of sales. The iPad, which launched in the US on April 3, had customers lining up outside stores long before they opened.

Yasdani Iftikhar, a producer, said he might be one of the first to buy the iPad as soon as it hits the markets in Pakistan. “The first time I saw the promo on Youtube, about four months ago, I wanted to have it then and there,” he said. Iftikhar believed the iPad will save time as well. Instead of charging a laptop, this will be much faster as the approximate battery life is 10 hours, he said.

Potential iPad customers in Pakistan may face problems regarding repairs.

In the US, problems with Wi-Fi connectivity were detected within the first week. Solutions such as downloads and patches were immediately available at the Apple website.

However, since there is no official Apple retail outlet in Pakistan, customers will face problems about where to take their iPad if it is not functioning properly. Also, the iPad is 3G enabled and can be used as a phone. The SIM used is smaller in size and is not be available in Pakistan.

Although the iPad allows access to Skype and Bluetooth, external devices are required as it does not have a built-in camera or microphone. Mahrukh Qureshi, 22, a university student, said, “There is no point carrying so many devices along with the iPad; it’s like going back to square one. “We are still waiting for the perfect all-in-one gadget.”

The iPad does not support Adobe Flash either, and users may experience difficulties browsing websites which are built entirely on Flash. A businessman Irfan Shehzad, of Munir Brothers, said he has not ordered any iPads because there is next to no demand for it.

“Bringing such a product in bulk to Pakistan’s market would be taking a huge risk,” he said.

Price is also a concern, as price fluctuation in foreign markets will directly affect the price and sale of the product in Pakistan.

From a business point of view, dealers selling the iPad are aiming for a profit of Rs3,000 to Rs4,000 per piece. Shehzad said about ten people have already asked him about the iPad and have pre-ordered it. “Apple is a well-known and credible company, always meeting the needs of its clients. So the iPad, irrespective of its flaws, will most likely prove to be a successful gadget in Pakistan’s computer market.

Youngsters are always looking for the smallest devices. They believe the iPad might not be as handy when it comes to carrying it around. Aimun Zahid, an 18-yearold A-level student, said, “I have both an iPod and an iPod Touch.

I would not buy an iPad because I can use the internet on my iPhone and with my iPod Touch I can connect to Wi-Fi.” Her friend Alizeh Malik added, “Everyone in my grade likes the iPad, but I will not buy it. I cannot put it in my pocket like an iPod; it’s big.”

The Apple iPad will officially be launched in Pakistan next month. The price of an iPad, with storage capacity of 16GB, will be around Rs75,000 to Rs80,000. For iPads with storage capacities of 32GB and 64GB, the price will go up to approximately Rs100,000.


Tyler Maxwell | 14 years ago | Reply Are you serious with the price in Pakistan? 80,000PKR for a device that retails for $500 in the USA? And merchants are aiming for 4,000-5,000 PKR profit? Your math is off. You listed a price that’s almost twice what it retails for in the USA.
Fawwad Shafi | 14 years ago | Reply I just got the iPad and am using it to surf ur website. It's very nice but more of an entertainment device than a full fledged computer. People in Pakistan really like Apple products and I expect the iPad to do well here. I got it from a website based in Karachi. By the way, ur website is quite nice.
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