The iPhone 3GS has launched in Saudi Arabia last November by Mobily but that did not stop gray market iPhones from being sold in the market and at a higher price from the official iPhone distributor.
I have checked and Jarir has brought these iPhones from Hong Kong, iPhones sold there are unlocked. According to the Apple Online Store the prices of these iPhone 3GS models are: 16GB for HK$5,388/2,603SR and 32GB for HK$6,288/3,038SR.
So why should you NOT buy an iPhone 3GS from Jarir?
1. The Mobily iPhone 3GS is officially unlocked. Jarir employees will claim that their iPhones are official but so did Axiom! Mobily employees will also claim that the iPhone is locked but they are misinformed as well!
2. Mobily’s iPhone 3GS is cheaper. Mobily‘s most expensive iPhone price is 2,599SR/$693 and 2,999SR/$800 for prepaid which includes free 250MB of data monthly for 6 months. That’s 600SR/$160 cheaper than Jarir and you get a free SIM card with data for 6 months.
3. Jarir doesn’t have an iPhone repair center. Mobily doesn’t seem to have a local repair center either, but they will replace your iPhone under warranty.
4. Apple’s Middle East distributor Arab Business Machines (ABM) have warned users against buying imported iPhones. So why does an authorized Apple retailer such as Jarir sell imported iPhone from Hong Kong? The same goes to any authorized retailer. So is Jarir dealing with a gray market with knowledge from Arab Computers and Arab Business Machines?.
5. Hurting the Saudi Arabia Apple market. Apple made a deal with Etisalat and Mobily and made them the official iPhone providers. This only hurt their sales numbers and how the Saudi Arabia market is represented to Apple, Inc.
6. The same goes to other Apple authorized retailers who are selling gray market iPhone 3GS. I will name them later.
7. The baseband is the same. All of the new iPhones now have the new baseband so Jailbreaking will not be easy in both cases. (Thanks Sharbeen for this point).
Arabic version of this article on SaudiMac.net soon.
This is SaudiMac’s 500th English post. I would like to thank you all for supporting the site.
Update: added a 7th point. thanks Sharbeen.