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iPhone and Mobily… a world of oddity

Mohammad Nahdi blogged about his experience on the first day of the iPhone 3G release in Saudi Arabia by Mobily. The blog post which is in Arabic titled “iPhone and Mobily… a world of oddity” talked about how the staff at the Riyadh branch of Mobily had no knowledge about the iPhone 3G.

  • When he asked about their iPhone 3G bundles he was not given a brochure but a folded piece of A4 paper with the prices printed on it. No terms and conditions, no product features, no nothing.
  • The Mobily employee claimed the iPhone 3G is locked to their SIM cards and won’t work with other companies. The iPhone 3G sold by Mobily is not locked. That employee also claimed that after the 1 year plan the iPhone 3G will still be locked to Mobily.
  • Mobily was comparing the iPhone 3G prices to the “gray market” iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia and not the international prices.
  • The Mobily “system” was not prepared for the iPhone 3G release.
  • Mobily was assured that Arabic iPhone 3G will be released by Apple in 3 months.
  • The iPhone 3G kiosk did not even have the test iPhone 3G unit.
  • Another Mobily employee claimed that Arabic support for the iPhone 3G will be available from the iTunes App Store for $2! That’s impossible, to install a new language you need a system level application that is provided by Apple or jailbreak.
  • That second Mobily employee claimed that Apple provided them with official training.
  • Mobily’s site claimed that you can buy from the iTunes Music store which is not true because the Saudi Arabia iTunes store is limited to Apps.

You can read the whole post in Arabic with pictures at Nahdi’s site.
Update: Nahil had a second visit to the Mobily store. They added giant iPhone posters (with ATT logo though…), a functioning iPhone Kiosk and staff wearing the Apple logo. Although according to him they still have no idea what they are selling! An employee claimed the new iPhone have multitouch while the first one didn’t!

About Khaled A.


  1. Seems like the mess in Saudi Arabia is about as bad as in UAE.

  2. The Mobily employees should’ve been briefed on how they would answer such queries and how they would market the iPhone product.

  3. Even though i just bought an iphone from Mobily I would call that lack of handling business the right way and no readiness for this great apple product, iPhone.


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