Grey market developing for Microsoft Surface in underserved areas

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TheNational.ae reports that grey market importers are importing Microsoft Surface tablets into the United Arab Emirates and selling them at premium prices.

"Demand has been good, we ordered a small lot to begin with and it sold out. More is on the way," said Ashish Panjabi, the chief operating officer of Jacky’s Electronics.

No launch plans for the tablet in the UAE has been announced yet.  "We want to do things when we are ready and have the right products set to make sure customers are happy," Gustavo Fuchs, the head of mobility at Microsoft Gulf told The National before the launch.

Jumbo is retailing the Surface for Dh2,699 (US$734) with its original cover. Normally grey market imports are actually around 10% cheaper than official imports, as they do not have to include the cost of the warranty, vs the 50% premium the Surface often demands.

"There has been a lot of hype and demand for the new platform. The grey market happens because of availability. If we do not go grey, we lose out on sales opportunities," said Nadeem Khanzadah, the head of retail at Jumbo.

The higher pricing is driven by demand from eager technophiles in the region.

"I run a trading company and I wanted the Surface because it has all the Microsoft software, like Word and PowerPoint, this is important for my business and so I don’t mind paying a little more," said one customer.

Jacky’s decided to work with the grey market to meet demand for the iPad when it was launched first in the United States.

"We would rather go through the official channels, but if people are desperate enough and willing to pay ridiculous prices, then we will source it and sell it at a ridiculous price," said Mr Panjabi. "It is a question of supply and demand."

Are any of our readers craving for the Surface in areas where it is not available? Let us know below.



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  • disqustingtard

    No sign of Surface nor Windows Phone 8 around here, as if they don’t exist.

    • Sambo

      where is here??

      • disqustingtard

        Asia, Sambo.

      • http://twitter.com/joepann Kitab

        Here is where, dumbo. No Surface here, period!

  • Tips_y

    Surface and WP8 are not available in the Philippines yet. But a few tv ads of W8 made with local personalities already came out last night on local tv stations. Hopefully, they will do product launch quickly this time around. It took several months after the U.S. and Europe launch of WP7 before it reached the Philippines.

    • Tips_y

      5 hours after I made the above post, I found on a local online site “Microsoft Surface Windows RT 32 GB Tablet” selling for 57,668.00 Pesos, approx. $1,400.00

      • disqustingtard

        That’s even worse than not being available at all. The Sony Duo 11 is cheaper (full HD, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, stylus, Windows 8).

  • spy

    I can find this products at a premium here in the UAE. surface for 3500aed ( around 900$ – higher) Damnn frustrating because I been wanting to get one.

  • http://94octane.com Beezer

    I blame both Microsoft and those communities for paying the ridiculous amount to these resellers. Microsoft should open a store in the region and ship to the region officially at these prices if people are paying for them.

  • http://about.me/lapsrj Leandro

    here in Brazil if you do a quick search on Mercado Livre(Brazilian version of eBay) you’ll find surface being sold for R$2000 ~ R$3000(US$1000 ~ US$1500). As a comparison an iPad costs R$1400(US$700).

  • Bugbog

    The few European countries included in the original release are actually being served/sourced from the Netherlands. So I don’t see a reason why they just didn’t include the whole of the EU in the release schedule. (Or maybe they just presumed it would occur unofficially and organically?!)

  • PsyllO

    not in belguim for the moment i know alot of people who would buy one but not gone wait moths for it so bad action of MS too not put it on sale in the whole EU