Home > News > Official from Apple: iPhone 3GS & 3G in Saudi Arabia is unlocked

Official from Apple: iPhone 3GS & 3G in Saudi Arabia is unlocked

Update: The iPhone 3GS from Mobily is unlocked too. You can use STC’s SIM cards.

I have been receiving e-mails stating that Mobily employees are claiming that the iPhone 3G is locked to the Mobily SIM cards. Other employees claim that the next iPhone 3G shipments will be SIM locked. We and others tested the iPhone 3G and we confirmed that it is not locked to Mobily SIM cards. Apparently that was not enough. A friend that went to Mobily in Jeddah yesterday say that Mobily employees still insist that the iPhone 3G is locked to their network.

This page on the Apple support website clearly (and officially) states that the iPhone 3G sold in Saudi Arabia by Mobily is NOT LOCKED TO THE CARRIER. Same in the United Arab Emirates with Etisalat.


Feel free to print that table and present it to the Mobily employee who claimed that the iPhone 3G is locked to their network.
Thanks Rami for the link to the Apple support page.

About Khaled A.


  1. Thank you for this info! 😉 I’m so happy that the iPhones sold here are unlocked and that I can use any SIM from any country at that.

    • Yup, oweynj. At least they are unlocked 🙂

    • plzzzzzzzzzzzzz i wanna buy iphone 3gs from united state so i wanna ask if it works in saudia arabia .(stc) and the second thing what shall i tell the seller so he can give an iphone works in ksa? and one more thing how much does it cost (around? ) plzzzz give me an answer as sooon as possible… and plz tell me if i can unlock it here in ksa….


    • hello meme and Khaled A.. did you find the answer for your question.. will it be possible to buy an iphone from the US and unlock it there.. i need to know the answer for that please..

      keep me posted guys anyone who knows the answer.. thanks..

    • yes, you can buy iphones from USA, get it unlocked and use it anywhere in the world with ne sim.
      I sent few iphones to my friends in KSA and they are using it without any problem.

    • hi meme,
      why would you want to buy locked iphone in usa to use in ksa, while you can buy an unlocked iphone in ksa?

  2. Couldn’t someone just try a different SIM card? There was the same things going around UAE, I tried a Du SIM card and it worked fine.

    • @emiratesmac the problem is with uneducated employees making claims. Just like the Etisalat employees claiming visual voice mail is available soon.

    • any who wants iphone that works every where in world please cantact me and i have for you, plus iam caming to saudi arabia and UAE to pring some iphone so before i leave call me at 6197619360

  3. Today, my brother went to Saudi Arabia, and I told him to visit mobily and get an iphone 16gb, they claimed that 8gb is unlocked but the 16gb is locked to mobily. I checked the apple site and confidently told my brother to buy the iphone (model:MB500AB/B).

    Hope its unlocked and works in dubai.

  4. Dear yousef,

    is the model MB500AB/B unlocked?
    Is it working for you?
    let me know.

  5. i bought a appl iphone 3g 8GB yesterday ! from mobily Tabuk city of KSA. their back side of mobail written “Disigend by Apply California Assembled in China” why?? m nt getting satis.. by dats words. it make confused to people?? THIS IS orginal?? ????????

    • that’s normal, really …

    • guys, the development part is done here in california, US.
      The apple head quarters is about 20 minutes drive from my pace.
      As the labour cost is less in asian countries, they do assembling part there in china.
      So it says, designed in CA, assembled in china.

  6. So Mr. KHALED A. can u tell me its orginal apple iphone 3g or its a fake by mobily??

  7. It’s original…assembled in China….it’s written at the back… is the 16 GIG of Mobily is unlock or what??? i need to know please…Thanks!

  8. It is original, nerozz.

  9. Chester, all the iPhones sold in Saudi Arabia by Mobily (According to the table at Apple.com) are sold unlocked!
    Are mobily employees still claiming that the iPhone is locked?

  10. The question now is, would this unlocked phone work with its full potential in other countries where iphone IS locked to a network?

  11. Hi!
    Yes, it’s unlocked. But did you try to send sms-text messages? I had a problem in sending text message, I got an error ” error sending message” using al jawal sim.
    Thanks for the reply.

  12. How much unlocked 8GB 3G i phone in Saudi?

  13. i went Mobily in Riyadh, and they still claiming that the iPhone is locked.

  14. Khaled ur blog a gr8 apple place, i wanted to confirm one thing, that GPS works with iphone 3g by mobily or unlocked iphone 3g in KSA ???? in ksa iphone gps is possible or not ?

    • techbot: iPhone 3G sold in Saudi Arabia by Mobily does have functioning GPS. Unlocked iPhone 3G GPS work as well. Only Egyptian iPhone 3G have GPS disabled.

  15. thanks,
    any news about iphone 2.2.1 unlock ?
    coz turbo/rebel sim sucks big time.

  16. Techbot: there is an unlock by software method now, it’s called yellowsn0w I think.

  17. I bought iPhone 3G 16GB MB500AB from Mobily today and its unlocked i can use any sim and when I activate the phone via itunes i got a message at the end on itunes congrats your iphone has been unlocked.

    I can even use Al jawal sim. Orange UK sim , o2 UK sim as well as mobily so .. folks buy with confidence as in saudi iphone they are factory unlocked.

  18. noooo…that only works till firmware 2.2

  19. Techbot:

    the iphone I bought from Mobily yesterday … it came with 2.2.1 with 2.30 modem firmware.

    I had UK iPhone too which was 2.2.1 with 2.30 and baseband 5.9 and this one cannot be unlocked ever even with yellowsnow.

    only yellowsnow works with 2.2 or 2.2.1 with 2.30 or 2.28 modem firmware but BASEBAND must have 5.8

    if you have baseband 5.9 or 6.02 yellowsnow will never work and even iPhone dev team have confirmed that possibly iphone never can unlocked again especially the one from US or UK one as they have change the hardware and have installed special RAM within the iPhone motherboad which contains specialy info with the baseband and that wont even allow to run any small fiel deamon or yellow snow to ubnlock iphone.

    I was really stuck and finally bought iphone 3g 16 GB with 2.2.1 modem firmware 2.30 and it was factory unlocked i confirmed with APPLE support in US as well as the apple site which confirms saudi sell iphone unlocked.

    then i went ahead and bought iphone in Saudi.

    I will be selling my UK version iPhone on ebay as its no use to me at all.

    so forget everything you hear and bottom line is iPhone 3G is UNLOCKED in SAUDI AND UAE ! ‘period’

    and few other countries sell unlocked iphone its all depends of the law of the country… why we have unlocked iphone in saudi coz Saudi Arabia have Nokia market and apple have to sell unlocked iphone here this is some kind of politics…

    anyway cut long story short.
    I am happy with unlocked iphone that i dont have to worried about updating iphone 3.0 and all the crap with yellowsn0w

  20. i have just installed iPhone 3.0 final release as which was released today but 3.0 will be released to everyone on the 17th june.

    i confirm its has arabic language support and works like a charm.

    • So you are a developer? What do you think of it so far?

    • No I have ask one of developer to register me in his developer account he charge $10 and he add ur iphone UDID in his account and then you should be able to download and install.

      but so far its great faster and alot alot smother then 2.2.1 safari seems to be running fast loads pages quicker.

      it has MMS enabled too. Arabic font read and write is fantastic
      its got iphone shake to change music track

      if you want to get ur hand on 3.0 i can send u the link of the developer u can register with him and he should be able to to get your access but if you can wait until 17th that its fine…

    • it’s Ok, I already have an account!
      By the way you are welcome to write on SaudiMac!

    • I am going to make my own account too shortly as i want to build some apps as i have some great ideas and if you have some we can work togeather on something and make on?

  21. Hey guys,
    I just want to ask if this mobily IPhone can work here in egypt with vodafone sim card note:( vodafone here selling locked IPhones)

    • The iPhone 3G sold by Mobily is unlocked and any SIM card should work!

    • Thanks Khaled this thread was really useful to me , it seems that i will buy an iphone from mobily because i can’t find the 8 gb Iphone here in Egypt and also a bet cheaper . Vodafone told me they sold all of them 😀 and they are waiting for the new Iphones 3GS sure they will double or triple their original price as usual. do u know if mobily have a stock of the 8gb iphone in jidah or not?

  22. hey
    have any new/info/leaks as to when the iphone 3G S will be available on mobily
    The wwdc Keynote showed August as the saudi launch – no specs or dates

    REALLY hope it is unlocked like the iphone3G – i used the O2 network sim in UK and it worked like a charm
    someone on this forum said he had a problem about messaging – yup ur reply was right – change the message center number – in o2 it auto updated actually…

    i have swirlyMMS (which i bought) and boy oh boy – it works like a charm on mobily and in o2 uk – WE DO NOT NEED it anymore do we after we get 3.0

    also am hoping that the low cost 8G model is available on the saudi market as well !!!

    NOW we only need a TRUE apple store here in saudi and i can think about getting a NEW 13′ macbook pro !!!!!!

  23. did any body tried to activate the unlocked Iphone with another network where iphone IS locked the network?

  24. arnold of riyadh

    i try to upgrade the software of my iphone to new software version 3.0, but suddenly cannot upgrade and when i try to restore my iphone gives me an error “cannot restore” pls help to find the solution

  25. plzzzzzzzzzzzzz i wanna buy iphone 3gs from united state so i wanna ask if it works in saudia arabia .(stc) and the second thing what shall i tell the seller so he can give an iphone works in ksa? and one more thing how much does it cost (around? ) plzzzz give me an answer as sooon as possible… and plz tell me if i can unlock it here in ksa….


  26. plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz i’m waiting for ur answerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  27. Can u tell me the latest price sale of Aplle iphone in riyadh & where i can purchase?.the reason is,.i dont want to purchase anywhere maybe i can get fake.thank you..

  28. Hello…can anyone please tell me how much does the iphone 3G and the iphone 3GS costs now??! and if it is a good idea to buy it here in saudi?? and where can i get it from ??

  29. well i just want to know how much the i phone 3g 8g costs in mobily cuz i am planning on buying it today

  30. is any iphone been unlock can be used in any country?

  31. Hi,
    I looks like will be coming to Saudi Arabia later this year to train some people Military Freefall and have an unlocked Iphone 3GS I want to know what the best way would be to call and sms back to Australia without using international roaming.
    Thank you for your help

  32. where are the prices?!?!?! how much does iphone 3gs cost?????!?!?!!?!!??!?!

  33. Please help me!
    I need to buy iPhone 3GS this week urgently. Does anybody know in which Mobily shop it is available?? Thank you in advance!

  34. Still the iPhone 3GS V 3.1.3 from US still cannt use STC’s SIM cards????

  35. im wondering does the iphone 3gS work in saudi arabia (zain)

    pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease answer quickly

  36. im wondering does the iphone 3gS work in saudi arabia (zain)

    pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease answer quickly

  37. im planning to buy iphone 3gs here in saudi arabia but im not sure iphone 3gs will work in the philippines sim card???this locked or unlocked.???tnx

  38. im planning to buy iphone 3gs 32gb here in saudi arabia, can i use this one in the philippines.any problem about it, mobily is postpaid or prepaid only in saudi arabia.now planning to buy outside mobily office still it will not in work in the philippines..what i know is all iphone 3gs from mobily company…

  39. pls reply..iphone 3gs 32gb is working properly to philippines????its unlocked???

    • will michael i can say it is work because i bought iphone from mobily and even i used it here in my smart roaming.

  40. Hi. i have an iphone 3gs 16 GB which was bought in UK, i am coming to Saudi Arabia next week. will the networks and sim card of saudi arabian telecom support this device. At present in India its not supporting any network. Kindly help me

  41. Guys, whats ur advice, from where should i buy the iphone 3gs 16gb unlocked, from mobily, jarir, extra … plz tell me as soon as possible

  42. i need help..my uncle will buy an iphone 3g as a gift for me..will i be able to use it here in the Philippines if it is unlocked?

  43. i need help..my uncle will buy an iphone 3g there at Saudi as a gift for me..will i be able to use it here in the Philippines if it is unlocked?

  44. Dear All, I have an i-phone 3G which coming from Philippines and tried to unclocked here in K.S.A., unfortunately after the procedure this phone is not capable for mobily internet only STC. Can you help me please? call me +966 543836340.Thank you.

  45. dear,

    i’ve brought iphone3gs, here in saudi arabia, is it unlocked already?
    Please advice, do i need to unlock my iphone3gs when im there in Philippines or at any country?

    your advice will be highly appreciated.

    • Yes it’s unlocked and it will work anywhere around the world, please note we are talking about the iphone sold by mobily

  46. if we purchase iphone 3gs with mobily .can we use this phone in anothier sim card in any country???

  47. if i purchased iphone 3gs from mobily saudi arabia.then can i use this mobile into anothier sim in saudi or anywhere in the world

  48. There may be naturally a good deal to know about this. I imagine you produced some beneficial items in Functions also. Preserve working ,great job!


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