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What Apple needs to know about releasing the iPhone in Saudi Arabia

Only less than 2 days until the WWDC 2008 Keynote and none of the Saudi Arabia mobile operators (STC, Mobily and the new Zain) announced any deal with Apple regarding the release of the iPhone in Saudi Arabia.

If this is the case then Apple is either:
1) Already in talks with one of those and nothing was announced until now.
2) Have no interest to officially release the iPhone in Saudi Arabia.
3) Going to release the iPhone unlocked directly to customers.
Let’s hope its the latter.

Who will be the Saudi iPhone provider?

In any case, here are the issues that Apple needs to be aware of when/if they release the iPhone in Saudi Arabia officially:
1) Price: Apple is a US-based company and we hope to get a price based on the US Dollar. Assuming a base price of $400 that would be 1,500SR (Saudi Riyal) while the European price is 400 Euro which is equal to 2,368SR a huge difference in price that will effect the purchase. Also to note, Nokia devices cost less in Saudi Arabia than the European prices.
2) Arabic Support: Apple promised Arabic support for the iPods and Mac OS X two years ago. Only Mac OS X Arabic localization was release by Apple’s IMC. As for the current iPhone and iPod Touch. iPhoneIslam released an Arabic enabler application “Arabtaller”. Nokia is the number 1 phone in Saudi Arabia because they got the best Arabic support and we hope Apple would add that support as soon as possible.
3) Activation process: How will Apple handle the “activation process”? If it’s a “SIM locked” phone will the activation process be through iTunes or at the actual mobile telecom store?
4) App Store: Apple have not commented on any plans for an iTunes store in the Middle East. How will the iPhone and iPod Touch users access the App Store to download and install authorized applications and how can iPhone developers in Saudi Arabia sign up for the iPhone developer program?
5) Apple Service Centers: Apple only have 2 Service Providers and they are located in Riyadh only according to Apple IMC site. Compared to Nokia which have over 10 in Riyadh alone. And if you take an iPhone in, will they take 2 months to get a battery replacement in?.

Let’s hope Apple do in fact release the iPhone in Saudi Arabia at the same time as the rest of the world. If it takes more than a few months to bring the iPhone in the market then just like the first generation iPhone, people will sell unsupported unlocked iPhones.

About Khaled A.

22 comments

  1. why iPhone is so expensive in Saudi Arabia

  2. why 2much expensive in saudi arabia??
    i check apple website there only $99, $199, $299, exchange rate 3.75 so why different in saudi Arabia why SR 2499 like ??

  3. my iphone 3gs 3.0 struck on startup with apple logo. pls help i tried t repair from many shop but still the same.freeze n struck.pls help

  4. Tharindu from SRi Lanka

    Let me know the prize of apple iphone 8GB in Saudi arbia? Pls… mail me, tharinducom@hotmail.com

  5. Tharindu from SRi Lanka

    My uncle work in Al Jubail city of K.S.A, Please anyone let me konw the prize of Apple iphone 8Gb… Kindly.. Thank U… ๐Ÿ™‚ mail me – tharinducom@hotmail.com

  6. i bought my iphone one of my friend, the problem is when i charge it for about two hours and its fully charged, when i used it and open applications suddenly there is pop window say 20% left or it low battery… what i do? is this need to change the battery?

  7. what shops in riyadh that authorize to repair iphone?

  8. mail me @ hilok187@yahoo.com ….. more thanks

  9. i dunno where my friend bought it

  10. I bought my iPhone in London and soon discovered that the battery can quickly be used up, not least because I was using the iPhone all the time. I now turn off the wi-fi as soon as I am outside the house, have dimmed the screen, don’t use keystroke nises etc and have become used to using a number of other tips recommended at http://www.knowyourmobile.com/appleiphone/apple_iphone_userguides/18653/10_ways_to_improve_your_iphones_battery_life.html
    However, I use my iPhone for business all day long and it simply won’t last (reminds me of my first mobile 20 years ago!), so i have now fitted a sleek Mophie slip-on case, which has a battery in it and can provide a extra two full charges (approx). I never need to take the case off, as it comes with a USB charger cable. Makes the phone slightly chunkier, but it still slips into my jeans pocket.
    I suspect there are other similar devices available, but this one was recommended by my regular salesman at the Apple store in the Westfield Shopping Centre.

  11. I want to purchase an I Phone5,where can I avail it in Jeddah? How much is it?
    .

  12. my iPhone 4 suddnely turn off when im using…i try the power button and menu button at the same time many time…still no power..i charge for more than 12 hours and still no power on…where is the service center of iPhone in Riyadh. thanks

  13. my iPhone 4 suddenly turn off when im using…i try the power button and menu button at the same time many time…still no power..i charge for more than 12 hours and still no power on…where is the service center of iPhone in Riyadh. thanks

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